This Blog Post Will Change Your Life (for the better) Meditation eh? It’s only for hippies and strange men in nappies, right? You literally could not be more wrong. Hi, my name’s Matt and I’m Personal Trainer in Southwest London. I’ve been a PT for five years but it wasn’t until this year that I believe I had a proper USP – unique selling point. Yes I’m great at getting you fit and keeping you motivated, but so are lots of (though not all) other PTs. And then this summer, I started meditating (no! come back!). I had heard of various potential benefits, but was sceptical and couldn’t really see how it would actually help me, however I started doing it, for five minutes every morning, before getting on with me day. I sit in my living room, shut my eyes and try and focus on my breathing, attempting to keep my (usually very busy) mind free of thoughts for a few minutes. Of course nothing happened that first morning – as with most things worth having, you have to stick at it, which I did. I did, however, stick at it, even though, certainly in the first week I felt nothing particularly (other than a slightly smug sense of satisfaction for sticking at it). And then, about 10 days after first starting, I noticed something fairly amazing: I had a new-found sense of capability. I’ve thought about it a lot to try to describe how it best make me feel, and it’s this: I feel more capable. It may not sound like much, but actually, the more capable you feel, the calmer you stay during the day, meaning things don’t bother you as much – you just get on with them. Then as a direct knock-on effect, I was feeling less and less anxious. Why would you get anxiety if you know you can cope with whatever comes your way? I’m going to jump straight in here and say meditation is in no way a cure-all for all mental health issues or complaints you have, and if you’re in any way concerned about your mental health, please speak with the appropriate health professional. However, as a way to create a calmer and happier life, it really can help, with an amazingly little amount of effort. Now I just do five minutes a day, sometimes in the morning, sometimes later, and without fail, I come out of it feeling clearer and able to get shit done. This is why I created a Meditation Guide of how to get started and stay on track, and why I build it into all my programmes. It turns out working on the Inner You as well as the Outer You is worth more than double the sum of its parts. So you can start now, here’s how I do it: - Go and sit upright in a comfy chair, in a quiet room- Have your feet flat on the ground- Set a timer for 3-5 minutes- Shut your eyes and focus on your breathing, steadily in and out- If a thought comes into your head, I like to imagine it as a bubble, which then pops and clears from my head, though there are other techniques to help this- And, that’s it!- Simple, see?- Also: good luck! (Don’t do it in your bedroom and don’t do it lying down, as you may fall asleep.) My Fitter Confident You online PT programme is specifically for gay guys with confidence/body confidence concerns. It includes workouts (which can be done at home) to increase your strength, tailored nutrition plans to compliment the workouts and my amazing Meditation Guide. It’s just £90 for the six week programme which includes weekly check-ins with me directly, to keep you on track and accountable. Better still, 10% of proceeds from the programme go to Wandsworth Oasis!