A beginner’s guide to visualization and meditation
Visualization and meditation don’t just help you to de-stress – they also provide other benefits such as helping to regulate your mood, increase your attention and even improve your information processing and decision making skills (according to a study published by University of California, Los Angeles). If you’re a beginner who wants to make his or her first foray into the world of visualization and meditation, this article will provide you with all the information you need to get started!
What is the difference between visualization and meditation?
With meditation, you’re focusing on your breath, and at the same time, paying attention to everything that is happening around you without honing in on any one thing. In other words, you’re noticing everything, but choosing to be a passive observer instead of reacting. People often use meditation to de-stress, to clear their minds, and to refresh themselves in a mental and spiritual capacity.
Visualization, on the other hand, is a specific sort of mediation, whereby you’re focusing on a certain outcome or goal that you want to achieve. You’re guiding your breath and your mind in a particular direction, and preparing yourself mentally and emotionally to accept a desired outcome. People often use visualization as a tool to prepare for scenarios such as job interviews, public speaking engagements, and other similar events.
How much time do I need to set aside for visualization and meditation?
There’s no hard and fast rule when it comes to how long you should be meditating or visualizing. However, for beginners who might find it difficult to get “in the zone”, experts recommend starting off with just 5 minutes a day. When you find that you’re able to sit still and relax for the entire duration of that time, you can increase this to 10 or even 20 minutes.
Where can I do my visualization or meditation exercises?
For beginners, try to do your meditation or visualization in a quiet room. Ensure that your surroundings are comfortable (not too warm, not too cold) so that it’s easier for you to stay focused. Many choose to meditate/visualize whilst sitting cross-legged; if this is uncomfortable for you, you can opt to sit in a chair instead.
Once you’re accustomed to meditation and visualization and have more experience with keeping your mind from wandering, you can try doing this on the go. This means that you can stay on your meditation/visualization schedule even when you’re travelling abroad or when you’re having an exceptionally busy week – simply make use of your pockets of time on public transport, in waiting rooms, or at other places to meditate and visualize.
I can’t stop stray thoughts from coming to my mind when I meditate/visualize. How do I overcome this?
It’s natural for thoughts to cloud your mind – the important thing is to not get “attached” to any one thought, and spend the rest of your time spiraling down a rabbithole. Instead, try and detach yourself such that you’re observing your thoughts, but choosing to not engage with them. Focus on your breathing, and if you’re really having difficulty, try counting slowly.
Some people also find it helpful to clear their minds before meditation – you can do this by setting aside 5-10 minutes of time prior to meditation to type or write down everything that comes to your mind. Chances are, your stream of consciousness will be bogged down with thoughts regarding the errands you need to run, or the chores you need to do – take this chance to unload once and for all, so that you don’t have these weighing on your mind when you start your meditation/visualization later on.
Free 45 minute fertility consultation
Meditation and visualization are also extremely beneficial for couples who want to get pregnant. If you and your partner would like to learn how to use these methods to increase your chance of conception, Be Natural is offering a free 45 minute consultation with our fertility coach, Marie Otsuka. In this session, Marie will offer insights she’s gained through her 10 years of experience in working with infertile Singaporeans, and talk to you about how you can use visualization as well as other techniques to boost fertility.
Slots are limited and on a first come first serve basis; contact us here to schedule an appointment!