When we think about meditation and its techniques, we may think about breathing techniques, yoga positions and more. In his latest interview with Angie Martinez, Rapper J. Cole talks about his method of meditating and how he uses it for his anxiety. “Really the only thing I consistently do is I do my breathing,” he says. “I try to do a meditation before I go on. I don’t know if I’m good. It works for me. I have a style and a technique that I use for myself. What I do in the room before a show is different than what I do at home. Before the show, I just need five minutes if I can get it. I’ll take 10. I’ll take three. I just gotta do something to clear my head.”
J. Cole explains that his method of meditation is separate from his prayer, but his rituals are primarily related to stressful situations. “I want to become disciplined to where it is a part of my life every day when things are like good or things a little stressful,” he told Martinez. “The meditation for me is more like being present. I’m not trying to think anything … I’m still, observant. If my mind is racing — and it might be nerves or it might be there’s bills due or this is happening in the family — I’m noticing it and I’m trying to let it go but also not fight it. Bring it back to my breathing, something that’s currently happening. I wanna become a person that does that every day, not just when I feel anxiety or I feel stress … I don’t want to be a slave to my thoughts.”
When we first start meditating, sitting still and focusing on your breathing may feel like the hardest thing to do. Distractions, thoughts of other matters and so on, will pop up in your mind and completely distract you focusing on what is at hand. Katherine Illescas, a fitness/wellness professional and yoga and meditation instructor shares how easily distracted she is in an interview with Elite Daily. “Meditation can help you focus by shifting your attention from scattered thinking to the present moment,” she explains, “but many don’t want to do it because it seems boring, unproductive, scary, complicated, or they think they’re not good at it.”
There are simple tricks and tips that you can apply to your daily or weekly meditation ritual. Of Course, you don’t just start successfully meditating overnight, it’s all about applying patience to your meditation methods. By implementing these four small steps into your routine each day, and you too can become a meditating guru!
1. You can meditate anywhere at any time:
In reality, when it comes down to meditating the only thing you need is YOURSELF. You don’t need any fancy high-priced equipment, and you don’t even need a quiet environment (although it is helpful) to meditate. By setting a timer on your phone for five minutes or less—it will give you enough time to take a break without being missed. You will want to make sure your shoulders, neck, and jaw are relaxed while you are prepping for this session. You can do a quick mental scan over your body to check for any tension. Once you start your timer, bring your focus to your breathing. Simply notice how your breathing feels right now.
2. You can focus on different body parts or surroundings when you become distracted:
It is okay if your mind starts to wonder while you are building up your meditation time. You aren’t doing anything incorrect or wrong. According to Illescas, becoming distracted during meditation is normal, and it is a good way to get back on track. By focusing on certain body parts you return back to the present moment. “Bring your attention to your body parts,” the meditation teacher advises, “such as shoulders, chest, back, belly, hips, knees, calves, ankles, toes, fingers, wrists, forearms, elbows, collarbone, throat, jaw, lips, teeth, tongue, corners of the eyes, scalp — everything.” Observe your mind and your emotions: What are you feeling, and where do you feel it? “It’s just a quick check-in with yourself.
3. Have a Gratitude Ritual:
By showing gratitude for all the things that you are grateful for is one way of bringing peace and mindfulness back to you. You can start by mentally listing all of the things that you are grateful for, taking notice of how you feel as you think about each thing. A gratitude ritual immediately shifts you from what you don’t have to what you do have. And during a moment of stress, a shift is exactly what you need. You can also use a small notebook that will be your dedicated gratitude notebook. The notebook is a key factor in the ritual because it’s important to draw out your gratitude from pen to paper. The mind-body connect of handwriting your gratitude amplifies the benefits.