Think meditation is a waste of time? Think again. We wanna remind you that a little bit of om can make a big bit of difference.

The world is split into two groups: those that already get meditation, and those that don't. For some, it is quite literally the greatest thing they've ever done - for others, it's just sitting on the floor wondering when 'it' is going to happen.

It can be hard to understand what it even is, but don't worry - we're here to break it down for you.

Alexa, what is meditation?

Meditation is all about being present, resting in the here and now and feeling fully engaged with whatever you're doing in the moment (be that yoga, walking or cooking). You're not trying to turn off your thoughts or feelings or ignore what's happening in the world around you - you're learning to observe and understand them better.

The benefits

World Meditation Day is a great time to talk about why meditation could be beneficial to you. Evidence shows that it can improve general wellbeing, lower blood pressure, reduce anxiety and feelings of depression, aid better sleep, reduce fatigue, relieve nausea and help ease chronic pain.

Cancer Research UK share all the benefits of meditation for people living with cancer, as well as lots of resources to back the claims up.

The breathing exercise

So where to start? Learning to meditate is a skill - you're not going to have it down on the first go. But think of it like exercise; you're training a muscle and the more you do it, the easier it'll become. If you're still a bit unsure, then try the simple type of breath awareness meditation below.

The purpose is to simply notice, accept and be aware of your breath. Each time you notice the mind daydreaming, or planning, or worrying, or whatever the mind does – that is an opportunity to bring your focus back to the present moment and the experience of breathing in and breathing out.

1. To begin, ensure that you are sitting quietly. Ideally aim to sit in a comfortable chair with your feet on the floor. If you find sitting uncomfortable, lie on a mat or blanket on the floor or on your bed. Allow your arms and hands to be as relaxed as possible.

2. Gently close your eyes and focus your awareness on the breath as it flows into and out of your body. Feel the sensations the air makes as it flows in through your mouth or nose, down your throat and into your lungs. Don’t try to do anything with your breathing – simply notice it, pay attention to it and be aware of it.

3. Notice any recurrent thoughts, then gently bring your awareness back to your breath. Your mind will probably wander and you may find it difficult to stay focused on your breathing. Don't worry if you find yourself struggling. The act of realising that your mind has wandered – and encouraging it to return to focus on the breath – is central to the practice of mindfulness. Gently return your awareness back to the sensations of the breath again and again.

4. Start this exercise initially for 5 minutes, building up daily. You can also do this exercise lying down in bed if you have difficulty sleeping. It is simply a way of allowing you to be more mindful and consciously aware of your body and its surroundings.

*Now Breathe*

One size doesn't fit all

If this isn't for you, then don't give up! Try sticking on a YouTube or podcast meditation to get you into the groove. Or maybe your version of meditating is completely different - maybe it's putting your phone down and spending a couple of hours cooking or doing some yoga. Whatever you end up doing, make sure it's something that you enjoy - that's the best way to make sure you keep exercising that muscle.