Meditation can be a life-changing experience.
Practicing meditation is a great way to calm and focus the mind. It provides us with a healthy sense of perspective, reduces stress and improves our overall well-being.
Are there physical benefits to Meditation?
Research shows that meditation can reduce pain sensations in the body. Many medical practitioners recommend meditation to patients who experience headaches and arthritis. If done regularly, meditation can also improve symptoms of fibromyalgia and other non-specific physical discomforts.It is also proven that meditation can increase the lymphocyte count in the body, resulting in a stronger immune system to fight off infections and viruses, such as the flu and common cold.Kirtan Kriya, a meditation from the Kundalini yoga tradition, is practiced to prevent short- and long-term memory loss, including dementia and Alzheimers. Kirtan Kriya is also practiced by students to improve their memory capacity.
“Your goal is not to battle with the mind, but to witness the mind.”
Are there Psychological Benefits to Meditation?
We know meditation improves mental health and even eliminates symptoms of anxiety and depression. We often link anxiety and depression with symptoms such as negative and impulsive thoughts.Practicing meditation allows us to observe our own way of thinking without getting caught up in our emotions. We learn to overcome these symptoms by being aware of our thoughts and placing them aside to think in the present moment.This is one reason most successful rehabilitation facilities incorporate meditation into their rehabilitation program.
“Meditation is like a gym in which you develop the powerful mental muscles of calm and insight.”
How to Meditate – 5 Tips to Meditate for Beginners
Some beginners might find it uncomfortable to remain still and focus on themselves. It can take time and patience before you obtain the life-transforming tools to help you relax and remain present throughout the day.
“Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless–like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
- Create a space for just yourself. A place where you won’t be bothered for the duration of your meditation.
Find yourself a suitable and quiet space for meditation. If possible, light some scented candles and play some soothing music.
- Find a comfortable position
Find a comfortable seating position. Ideally, try sitting on a chair with your back straight. Place a cushion or towel behind your back if you require extra support.
- Set an achievable meditation time
Choose a meditation time that is effective, but also feels achievable so you feel motivated to continue daily. This can be as little as 1 minute, or as long as 40+ minutes. However, most beginners start with 5 to 10 minutes. Set a timer with a soothing alarm tone. This will ensure you complete your meditation in a relaxed manner.
- Observe your breathing
The best way to practice mindfulness is to bring your attention to something other than your own thoughts. Close your eyes and bring your attention to your breathing. Take slow, deep breaths. Acknowledge the sensations you feel when you inhale through your nostrils and exhale through your mouth. Acknowledge your stomach rise and fall as you breathe. Thoughts will come and go throughout this process. When you are distracted by a thought, acknowledge it, place it aside and bring your attention back to your breathing. Continue this process until your meditation timer has gone off.5. End with self-appreciationOnce your meditation is complete, open your eyes, but keep your body still. Slowly bring yourself back into the room. Use this time to observe your surroundings, such as the colour of the walls and the sensation of your feet placed on the ground. Stand up slowly, stretch your body and continue your day. Commend yourself for taking some time out for your own mental well-being.That’s all there is to it.Continue this as regularly as possible and you’ll see your life transform in front of your own eyes!