I’m a bit of a meditation junkie.
I’ve been meditating every day for the last 7 years, and I’ve tried a plethora of different types of meditation, from Vedic (mantra-based) to mindfulness-based to loving-kindness, yoga nidre, yoga nada, breath work, Qi Gong, manifestation, visualization, and more.
Meditation is hands down the best gift I’ve ever given myself. It has helped me with my persistent insomnia, anxiety, and hyper-sensitivity (I scored 26/26 on the HSP test, for those who know it), and has been the catalyst for living a healthier life overall. I love talking about meditation to anyone who’s thinking about it, exploring it, or is deep innit like me.
I recently came across a new meditation that I’m dying to share. This meditation is hands down the easiest meditation I’ve tried, and the quickest way to calm down my system.
In March, I took an integrative sound healing therapy course in India. Sound healing is a type of meditation that uses ancient instruments in a specific way to help the body and mind deeply relax. Using sound for healing purposes has been done for thousands of years, but today it takes the form of a “sound bath”, where a group of people lie down and a sound practitioner plays soothing, dreamy, slow sounds for them. Their brainwaves then adjust to and match these lower frequencies (this is called entrainment), allowing them to sink into a deep relaxation.
On the last day of the course we were given a “further study” book list. As my teacher handed out the list he said, “If you only read one, read Jonathan & Andi Goldman’s “The Humming Effect”. I take recommendations very seriously, so it only took about half a minute before I was on Amazon and the book was on its way to my home in Toronto.
That’s where my new found fav meditation comes in: Humming. Yup, good, old-fashioned hum your favorite tune, humming.
While sound healing uses the frequencies and vibrations from instruments to soothe and slow down the mind and body, humming creates vibrations within the body that have the same therapeutic effect. Vibrations from humming stimulate the vagus nerve, which in turn reduces your heart rate, lowers your blood pressure, oxygenates your cells, reduces your stress response, and releases neurochemicals like endorphins and oxytocin. Whoa.
The best part about humming is that everyone can do it, and you can hum wherever you are, whenever you feel a little stressed or anxious, and it will calm you right down. Sounds amazing, right?
It goes like this:
- Find a comfortable seat, with an upright posture, and close your eyes
- Take a few deep breaths into your diaphragm (upper part of your tummy)
- Once you feel relaxed, start to gently hum on every out-breath
- To hum, you just need to close your mouth and make a steady sound like “mmmmmmm”, “ommmmmmm”, or “hummmmmmm”. Don’t strain your voice.
- Pay attention to the feeling in your body — the vibrations in your chest, throat, and head
- Keep humming on every out-breath for about 5 minutes
- After 5 minutes, sit and breathe normally for another 3-5 minutes, focusing on your breath and feeling grounded in your feet
- Gently open your eyes, and check out how zen you feel!
Pretty easy, right?
There are some simple add-ons to get even more benefit from this simple meditation. One is to close your ears with your thumbs, draping your fingers over your forehead, and the vibrations will sound and feel even stronger.
Another is to think about an area of your body that needs some love – maybe your chest if you’re feeling anxious, or a pain in your knee or hip – and mentally send the vibrations of your hum to that area to soothe it.
A third is to think of an intention before you start humming — something simple like “I feel calm and centered” or “I am financially free” – and continue to think about your intention as you hum. You’re basically encoding your hum with your intention, which will in turn magnify it and all of your dreams will come true 😉
There are a number of other easy ways to optimize your humming meditation. I highly recommend you pick up a copy of Jonathan & Andi Goldman’s “The Humming Effect” to find out more. It’s an easy, short read.
So that’s really it! A good ol’ humming session. I highly recommend you try it out for yourselves in the next few days if you start to feel stressed or anxious. Go find that quiet spot and hum some tunes (and by tunes I mean one steady note).