The Musician’s Guide to Beginning Meditation
Many famous and successful musicians and celebrities have attributed meditation to helping them find moments of peace and tranquility, in an otherwise loud and hectic world. From Oprah Winfrey and Steve Jobs to notable artists, such as Katy Perry and Paul McCartney, meditation has rooted itself in success culture. Many of these influential figures say it offers a balance to the stress that accompanies late nights and packed schedules. Optimal health, after all, is total physical, social, and mental well-being.
In recent years, mental health has taken a front stage. Mental health services continue to become more and more accessible. National health departments have started emphasizing the importance of mental and emotional health in addition to physical wellness.
Meditation practices have been around for thousands of years. Benefits of meditation include lower stress levels, reduced anxiety, a deeper appreciation for your surroundings and life itself, improved sleep quality, increased focus, promotion of positive thinking, increased self-awareness, and decreased pain.
Essentially, meditation is the focus on a particular object, focal point, thought, or activity, such as breathing, to attain mental and emotional clarity and stability.
So, how can you get started?
The breath counting method provides a simple beginner practice. It’s simple and easy to follow.
- Find a comfortable sitting or lying position. Make sure your posture is straight but relaxed. Do not tense up your shoulders.
- Gently close your eyes.
- Take a deep inhale.
- As you exhale, mentally count “one.”
- Inhale again, and as you exhale, mentally count “two.”
- Continue this until you reach 10. At 10, count back down to 1, and repeat.
- Start doing this for 3-5 minutes and slowly increase your time as you notice your focus improving. Don’t panic if you find yourself at 15 and no clue how you got there. Just restart and reset. It does get easier!
This form of meditation forces you to focus on your breath and clear distracting or worried thoughts.
Find a time of day that is suitable for your lifestyle. Some prefer to meditate first thing in the morning, others prefer some time throughout their day, in the evening, or a combination of all of the above. Phone applications, such as Headspace and Insight Timer, also offer guided meditations which are great for those just starting their meditation journey.
Choose what works best for you. Find 5-15 minutes each day to mentally unwind. Your concentration and focus will vastly improve, and you will be able to deliver more through your music and performances.