Meditation in a shoe box! Tips for creating your perfect and personal space for meditation.
Last January I discovered a little thing called meditation. This discovery came at a time when I was experiencing a lot of stress and letting it get the best of me. A combination of stress at work, planning a wedding and personal stuff meant my emotions were not in balance and my “happy” was nowhere to be seen. This was just unacceptable! So I knew that I had to take control, but I also knew that I needed to be approached this change in a meaningful way.
Meditation has so many natural benefits. It helps lowers excess cortisol and stress hormones by relaxing and reduces blood pressure through the slowing of your breath. Also, by allowing yourself to enter a meditative state on a regular basis (despite the feeling that you don’t have enough time in a day!), it also improves your immunity. Overall, the result of regular meditation is reduced stress; which helps fight many health problems! Most importantly though it fights off depression, anxiety and that feeling like you’re drowning in stress.
Some people think meditation and other relaxation techniques are nonsense or for hippies. The truth is the world in which we live in needs to place more value on these timeless practices that lead to better well being. Why do I feel so passionately about this? Because everyone I know, including myself, are stressed more often than not! We fill our lives with pressures, both internal and external, like school and course load, work that doesn’t make us happy, family crises, health problems, the list goes on! The way we supposedly deal with this stress is lounging on our couch in our pyjamas all weekend like that is actually going to meaningfully allow us to face our stressful life. So I am not apologetic about my need to relax and meditate regularly and if some people want to call me a hippie, then I will embrace it. If you want to join me on my “hippie” journey and give it a try, here’s how to make meditation easy and accessible for you.
The first step is to set the stage, though this meditation article talks about deepening your experience, I actually think it is a great place to start – let’s be ambitious, shall we?
And well some people have the space and opportunity to create a permanent meditation space in their home, I simply do not. That is why after reading about the elements of good meditation I decided to simplify it and make a meditation shoebox, a concept I am very excited about and has worked wonders!
Here’s what you’ll need to create your own:
- A shoebox! This will hold all of the items in one place and store neatly under your bed or wherever you have limited space, while also doubling as the base of your meditation altar
- A decorative cloth, essentially to cover the shoebox so that you forget it’s a shoebox – mine is a beautiful cloth from Turkey given to me as a gift
Next you’ll want to consider items that engage each of your sense:
- Sight – I chose a candle so I could focus on the flame
- Sound – I use my iPhone to play soothing nature sounds and I place this behind the “altar” so I can separate myself from my phone during this time
- Smell – My candle does double duty here, with a rich spicy scent [picture of candle]
- Touch – This would be an opportunity to use prayer beads if you have them
- Taste – I like to enjoy an herbal tea just before meditation
- Nature – It was suggested to me to use elements of nature in creating an “altar” space so I use seashells that I’ve collected from the beach
- Other things to consider – a lighter or matches for your candle, anything else that makes mediation easy, convenient and helps create good vibes.
Now all you need is 5 minutes a day…Enjoy and good luck!
For your own meditation box, what would you put in it? I’d love to know!