These days, we are overcome by stimulation from all angles. Whether we’re at home or at work, the constant stream of information, images, and sounds is never ending. We land up stressed, and our minds become very busy.
Meditation is an ancient practice of building awareness and attention of our mind and body. The purpose of meditation is to reduce one’s reactivity to the constant chatter of the mind, and eventually slow down our thoughts.
In this article, we’ll look at the benefits of meditation, and give you a guideline on how to try it yourself. Although meditation is mainly practiced in a quiet and comfortable place, it can be done anywhere and anytime with a little practice.
What Are The Benefits of Meditation?
Meditation has been shown to improve focus and relaxation, while relieving stress and fatigue. It helps one to quiet the mind and find inner peace. Studies on meditation show that meditating for as little as 10 minutes promotes alpha waves in the brain, which are associated with relaxation and reduce anxiety and depression. Meditation can also be used to manage the symptoms of physical health issues such as heart disease, insomnia, chronic pain, digestive problems, even cancer.
Combined with other mindfulness practices, meditation can aid in understanding and dealing with one’s own negative emotions. When done with a guide, or mediator, meditation can create powerful emotional healing within us. It also gives us a better ability to empathize with others and create deeper relationships based on understanding and not reactivity.
How to Meditate
There are many kinds of meditation. The most common form of meditation involves bringing your attention to a single point of focus – your breath, bodily sensations, or even a word or phrase (which is known as a mantra). It is important to remember that it’s completely normal for the mind to wander. When you try to shut down your thoughts, you are only giving them more attention. In meditation one should observe thoughts as the mind wanders, allow it to pass, and then bring your attention back to the practice.
To begin, take a seat in a comfortable position in a place that feels calm and quiet. You can sit in any position, kneeling or cross-legged, or on a chair with your feet grounded on the floor.
Set a time limit for yourself. This can be anywhere from 10 minutes for beginners, to several hours for those who have much practice.
Close your eyes and bring attention to your body. Be aware of any sensations you may feel. Now focus on breathing slowly in and out. Notice when your mind wanders from the breath. Be kind to yourself, do not judge your wandering mind. Simply bring yourself back to the breath.
When you are ready, gently open your eyes and notice how your body feels, notice your thoughts and emotions.
It’s That Simple, Yet That Challenging
Make meditation a part of your daily practice to fully experience the wonderful benefits it has to offer you, just like the rewards you’ll find when you register right here. Ten minutes a day is enough to grow your mental and physical awareness and improve your daily life forever!