I've been slowly getting back into the habit of meditating again, and it has been really great, so I thought I'd share some of my thoughts on it, maybe it can help others as well.
What kind of meditation?
I'm not a religious person, so it was a thing that I wasn't considering for a long time, but I found out about mindfulness meditation, and since I was interested in that it was what I started doing, and while I don't really know if there is anything that is really proven, in the worst case it's a great way of relaxing and calming down for me, so it's what I'm doing.
Like in many places in my life, the simple is often the best, I like having a bit of sound around me while I'm meditate, so the thing that I've found to be the best if the weather allows for it is to walk out into the forest and find a nice spot to sit down, if the weather is crappy I find some nice ambient sound to play while meditating.
I tried doing guided meditations at first, but I found them to not really be my kind of thing, the talking and so just kept bringing me out of things, so I went for the simpler way, and just set a timer first doing shorter sessions and building up longer, ones, starting with short 5 minutes sessions, and building up to about an hour, 5 minutes a week, now that I've fallen off I'm back at slowly building up to longer sessions.
I have 2 applications that I do like, 1 is on the fdroid application repo and is called bodhi timer and the second one that's not as privacy respecting, but has a lot of features and tutorials and such is insight timer.
So I sit down in a comfortable position, start my timer, close my eyes and start focusing on my breath, when my thoughts starts to wander and I realise it I gently redirect my thoughts back on to my breath without being crass with myself that I did something wrong, and keep on doing exactly that until the timer lets me know I can open my eyes again. In the beginning this is hard and I find myself constantly wander in long thought streams without noticing, but as I get the training it gets better and better. I've found the most important thing to me is to not get annoyed at myself for losing myself in thought, because that brings me into a big fight with myself that is really not needed.
I find this a nice way to relax, and stop my mind from racing. I'm by nature a rather anxious person, and often my mind keeps on building elaborate doomsday scenarios for stupid things that will never realisticly happen. I said something stupid to a coworker, and they probably didn't spare it a second thought, while in my mind I build up a long chain of ridiculous inferences until I've convinced myself they will hate me tomorrow, which of course doesn't happen, and things like that. I've found that when I do regularly meditate, I manage to stop thought spirals like this from happening earlier, and I'm more aware of my thoughts than I'm otherwise.
Secondly having some breaks through the day to really relax, let my mind stop spinning, helps me really calm down and have some time off from my otherwise quite busy mind, and it's nice to have one or two quite tranquil pauses through the day.
I have to try and read up on the scientific things about meditation, because I can't really remember any longer what it was, and I'm getting curious, it's just annoying to have to wade through all of the wooey things that are around meditation again. It was the thing that stopped me from trying it for years, but no matter what I've found it to be something that is positive for me, and helpful, maybe it will be for someone else as well, just trying it out for me at least I found it's something that I enjoy, and it's helpful to better my mental health.