Over the last several years, the practice of meditation has risen in popularity. It has started to gain mainstream acceptance as a preventative method of healing and one of the most studied alternative ways of therapy.
It has been proven that meditation has a wide range of benefits regarding mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual wellbeing. More and more healthcare professionals are recommending the practice of meditation to deal with depression, stress, and anxiety. Practicing meditation will enable you to get into a state of deep relaxation within minutes.
This makes it possible for the stress-causing hormone levels to drop, resulting in good and happy feelings. Science has discovered that conditions of depression, stress, and anxiety have a way of altering the structure of the brain. This can result in one’s thoughts and mind focusing more on the negative things that have happened in the past or are more likely to occur in the future.
By engaging in meditation, you can change your awareness to the extent that you are better able to view things in a more clear and truthful way, focusing on the present. By focusing on the present, you are able to gain more clarity and improved health for your body and mind.
Practicing meditation has the potential of transforming your life, as well as the perception of the world. The techniques that are used not only help you to find relief from stress and depression, but also provide you with the ability to attain clarity of mind with the continued improvement of the benefits as you engage further with meditation.
Whether you’re a beginner with no clear purpose for practicing meditation or you are dealing with a specific condition that can only be relieved through the practice of meditation, you will continue to realize massive benefits as you continue to embrace the practice of meditation as a habit.
Meditation is a practice aimed at training the mind. This is accomplished by introducing a level of consciousness that enables the brain to engage deeply in peaceful thoughts. The process involves using techniques and practices that enhance concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and calm, with the aim of transforming the mind and enabling you to see the true meaning of things.
When you practice meditation, you can learn and identify the habits and patterns of the mind. It can also enable you to cultivate new and positive ways of being. When done on a regular basis, meditation has the potential of transforming your mind into being more energized, peaceful, and calm.
Meditation is a simple process that involves being able to watch the mind rather than trying to control it. It allows you to get into a state where your thoughts start to flow freely without judgment. With regular practice, you slowly begin to become more aware as fewer thoughts pass through your mind.
Meditation can also be defined as a technique that helps in resting the mind with the aim of attaining higher states of consciousness that is different from the waking state. This means getting a deeper insight into who you truly are while experiencing the center of consciousness that is within us. While a variety of different religious identifies with the practice of meditation, it is really a science and not a religious practice.
The meditation process follows a given order with defined principles and leads to results that can be verified, which is what makes it a science and not an act of faith.
Does meditation have proven benefits?
Based on many scientific studies, they concluded that there is increasing evidence that meditation reduces anxiety, depression, and pain, there is some evidence that meditation is effective for some active treatments like drugs, exercise, other behavioral therapies.
The practice of meditation originated in India between 5,000 and 3,000 BCE. Archeologists, while at the Indus valley, discovered evidence of meditation.
The images depicted people sitting in what could be recognized as meditation postures. They also discovered descriptions regarding meditation techniques that were found in the Indian scriptures that date back to 3,000 years ago.
Over the centuries the practice was adopted by some of India’s neighboring countries where it formed part of the religions. It then spread to other parts of the region and is now practiced throughout the world.
While the practice of meditation varies depending on the cultural and religious influences, it has been identified as a significant cornerstone of spiritual development. The various aspects of meditation, including the mystical elements, has been incorporated by almost all the major religions. One doesn’t have to follow the religious traditions to enjoy the benefits of meditation, making it a universal act that can be practiced by anyone in the world.
The practice of meditation continues to rise in popularity due to numerous studies that have been conducted to reveal the various benefits.
Meditation should be practiced on a regular basis as a way to train the mind and improve concentration, focus, and to control your thoughts. Numerous benefits have been associated with the practice of meditation.
Along with the clarity of mind, meditation can help improve your sleeping patterns, provide you with relief from depression, stress, and anxiety, enhance your levels of self-discipline, enhance your levels of positive mental attitude, as well as improve your mood.
There are many other valuable benefits that can be experienced through the practice of meditation. Just as in the same way that meditation alters the mind, it also changes the structure and functioning of the brain, resulting in various mental benefits.
There are numerous benefits of meditation, added to the fact that it can be done free from the comfort of your own home, makes it extremely useful. Meditation provides spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Here are some of the benefits you can gain from practicing meditation on a daily basis.
Mental benefits of daily meditation
There are numerous mental benefits that are associated with regular daily meditation. Here are just a few of the mental benefits that you can gain by practicing mindfulness through meditation on a regular basis.
Reduces stress levels, anxiety, and depression, both mentally and physically
One of the main reasons why people engage in meditation is to find relief from stress, depression, and anxiety. They have determined that meditation helps to reduce stress levels and depression, both mentally and physically.
When the body experiences a sudden threat or increased stress, it immediately triggers the fight or flight response. This leads to a sudden rush of adrenaline due to the release of epinephrine hormones.
These hormones cause your pulse rate and blood pressure to rise, and increases blood flow to your muscles, and results in faster breathing. The relaxation process that occurs during meditation helps relieve stress and the symptoms associated with stress. After just eight weeks of consistent meditation practice, the benefits you gain are enormous and may even last for years.
Mindful meditation, when combined with breathing techniques has the potential for dramatically reducing or in some cases, eliminating cases of stress, anxiety, and depression that occur when the daily pressures of life and other unpleasant situations become greater than you can cope with.
Stress and depression don’t occur because the situation at hand is valid or not. It is influenced more by how you respond to the situation. Practicing meditation gives you the opportunity to analyze the stressors and determine if they are valid or not.
Meditation creates a level of awareness where you are able to see things from another perspective. Training the mind through various meditation techniques will increase the mental resources that are used to help you in addressing stress and depression.
With consistent meditation practice, you can improve the clarity, focus, and calm in your mind, which leads to a reduction of stress. All that is required to be free from stress and depression is practicing meditation for about 10 minutes a day.
Recovery from addiction without the use of drugs
It has been proven that regular meditation practice can be extremely useful in helping with recovery from addiction. Meditation helps change how the brain is able to process information.
This helps to enable addicts to evaluate cases of addiction and allows them to act appropriately without the use of drugs. Mindful meditation helps to induce the state of relaxation, giving addicts the ability to monitor their breathing as they stay calm.
Being in this kind of state helps them to reduce negative feelings and the cravings that cause addicts to seek out the drugs or substances that they are addicted to. Anyone can learn the process of meditation for recovery from addiction.
Engaging in meditation helps those recovering from addiction to clearly observe their desires and thoughts without being compelled to act on them. It allows them to come to the understanding that they aren’t responsible for the thoughts that come into their minds, but that they are responsible for how they ultimately react to those thoughts. With the clarity of mind that meditation brings, addicts can make
healthier choices that help in the recovery process.
During the early stages of the recovery process, addicts often experience severe mood swings. By engaging in meditation, their mind is forced to focus on one thing, such as breathing, a mantra, or an object that can help them to focus on overcoming addiction.
Reduces pain by focusing and calming the mind and body
There have been various clinical settings that have used mindfulness meditation to help patients that deal with chronic pain. Numerous studies have discovered that if you are capable of focusing and calming your mind and body that you are equally capable of controlling pain.
The practice of meditation makes it possible to face muscle tension, irritability, and sweating that is often associated with chronic pain. When you practice mindfulness through meditation, you are better able to come to terms with the pain that you are experiencing instead of running away from it or masking it with medication.
Significantly increases happiness and good feelings
You can significantly increase your level of happiness and good feelings by engaging in mindfulness through meditation. Participating in regular practice will allow your brain to better focus on positive emotions.
Just like when you train your muscles and exercise for better performance, you can also work on your feelings of happiness. Engaging in meditation regularly increases your feelings of joy and happiness. Mindful meditation helps to improve the psychological function of the brain, leading to the release of the hormones that are responsible for feelings of joy.
Health benefits of meditation
The health benefits that are associated with meditation are pretty diverse. Some have even been proven scientifically to be extremely effective. Here are some of the health benefits that you can experience when you engage in meditation regularly.
Helps boost immunity in patients recovering from cancer
It has been proven that when you get into a relaxed state through meditation, it helps to boost the immunity in patients that are recovering from cancer.
With the continued practice of muscular relaxation, you can reduce the risk of cancer coming back. It also helps to boost the natural killer cells that are common with the elderly, giving them a higher level of resistance to viruses.
Emotional balance for mental clarity and focus
Your emotional balance entails being free from the neurotic behavior that leads to a troubled ego. If you want to remain focused and find mental clarity, it is critical that you achieve emotional balance.
Meditation helps to cure cases of emotional imbalance, leading to the release of soaked memories, which then results in mental freedom.
Your reaction and responses to issues will no longer be influenced by the emotional burden when you start to practice meditation. It will allow you to view things in their true nature.
Lowers blood pressure by reducing stress hormones
Practicing meditation has been shown to help with reducing blood pressure levels. It also helps to make the body become less responsive to the hormones that cause stress. Meditation provides similar results that can be experienced when taking blood pressure medication.
Engaging in meditation will help to significantly reduce stress levels, which enables your body’s systems to normalize, resulting in overall improved health.
Improved cardiovascular health by improving the immune system
When you are in a meditative, relaxed state, the release of nitric oxide by the brain increases. This causes the blood vessels to open up, resulting in a drop in blood pressure. Nitric oxide is responsible for improving the function of the immune system, regulating blood pressure levels, improving the role of the central nervous system, behavioral activities, and improved memory.
Practicing meditation alters the physiological functioning of the body. This positively impacts some parts of the brain which results in experiencing deep levels of relaxation and calmness. This deep level of relaxation results in the heart pumping blood slowly and steadily, delivering sufficient levels of oxygen throughout the body.
Spiritual benefits regardless of faith or religion
Many different religions have incorporated meditation into their religious practices. However, because meditation is more like a science, it can be practiced by anyone, regardless of their faith or religion. There are numerous spiritual benefits that you can experience through the practice of meditation.
Increased self-awareness for significant spiritual benefits
One of the significant spiritual benefits of practicing meditation is self-awareness. Self-awareness involves going deep within yourself through mindful meditation, with the intention of connecting with your inner self.
Self-awareness forms the basis of meditation and entails being able to identify with the very core of being, being aware of the present moment, how you react to things, the subtle issues of the mind along with the behaviors and habits.
Once you are aware of this, you will learn how to keenly monitor how you respond to situations from a disconnected point of view. Practicing meditation allows you to rise above the domain of your senses to connect deeper with the spirit. Operating at this level supersedes the emotional level and provides you with the capability to usher yourself into a state of high revelation and insight, which isn’t attainable at the emotional level.
Types of meditation – Find the best technique for you
Meditation has become a universal practice giving people a way to cultivate an inner sense of peace and happiness. There are numerous religions that practice meditation, although they practice it in different ways and for various reasons.
While some practice it as a way to connect to God and for being able to listen to God more clearly, others use meditation as a way to enhance their levels of awareness. Whether you are practicing meditation to overcome depression and stress, find a way to heal from chronic disease, or for self-awareness, it is vital to know the type of meditation that best suits your needs.
Anyone can practice meditation, anywhere they are comfortable. The practice leads you to experience enhanced levels of consciousness and self-awareness, leading to a host of benefits discussed in the previous section.
Learning how to practice meditation effectively can help you avoid stress, depression, and anxiety, and the possible death from stress-related diseases. Regularly practicing meditation allows you to get into a state of mind where you are capable of thinking with clarity, without the negative perceptions that often influence your thinking.
There are no specific ways to meditate, and some of the practices can be done while moving, engaging in various yoga poses, or simply sitting quietly. It is vital that you find a meditation practice that best suits your needs.
You will also want to consider the kind of meditation that compliments your personality to provide you with enhanced comfort.
Different types of meditation that you can practice
• Mindfulness meditation
• Spiritual meditation
• Focused meditation
• Transcendental meditation
• Mantra meditation
• Movement meditation
Each of these meditation types requires some skill and knowledge to practice. If you are not well-versed with the practice of meditation, it isn’t advisable to try all of them.
Some, like the transcendental meditation, may marshal you into levels of consciousness that, as a beginner, you may not be prepared to process. As a beginner, it is recommended that you start off with mindfulness meditation, which is simple to try out.
Mindfulness meditation and its benefits
Mindfulness meditation has its origins from the Buddhist teachings and is one of the most popular forms of meditation. It involves regulating the breath. This leads to the activation of the parasympathetic nervous system.
The process focuses on paying attention to your breathing and the thoughts that pass through your mind. Your thoughts should be allowed to flow freely without attaching any judgment. As you begin to practice and observe your thoughts, you will be able to start to identify the patterns that are involved.
Mindfulness meditation is perfect for those who suffer from depression, anxiety, and stress as it enhances your awareness of the present moment, resulting in increased levels of concentration.
In mindfulness meditation, the breath can be used as the object for enhanced concentration. It requires you to become more focused on the rhythm and sensation of your fundamental life force.
As you focus on your breath, it enables you to begin to observe feelings, thoughts as they pass through your mind, and the bodily sensations. If you don’t have someone that can guide you through the process, mindfulness meditation is the ideal practice to begin because you can practice it privately from wherever you feel comfortable.
Various studies have proved that engaging in mindfulness meditation on a regular basis for at least eight weeks has the potential of providing you more prolonged periods of happiness and peace.
Meditation for focus and concentration
Focused meditation is the practice of focusing your attention on a given object, sound, or any other stimulus. It entails having to enter into a concentrated focus through the use of the senses. You can either choose to focus on your breath, staring at a lit candle, counting beads, or listening to sound, like a gong. The focusing should be intense, even as you stay in the moment.
Focused meditation may seem to be easy, but for those who are just beginning on their path, intently focusing your attention for a period can prove to be a challenge.
If your mind is used to wandering, then you have to take control and bring it to the practice as you continue to focus on the object. If you find that you are struggling with issues of concentration and focus, then this is the best kind of meditation that you can practice guaranteeing your desired results.
Spiritual meditation for a deeper connection
Spiritual meditation is geared toward enhancing an awakening process and most commonly practiced with the Eastern religions Hinduism and Daoism. Spiritual meditation is aimed at creating stillness and a deeper connection with God or the life force.
It is believed that most of the suffering comes from the wrong belief that we are separate from God. It is thought that by engaging in spiritual meditation, you can make a deeper connection, resulting in deeper peace within oneself.
Spiritual meditation involves using various elements like frankincense, myrrh, sandalwood, cedar, and other forms of essential oils. The elements carry some religious significance and are thought to heighten the spiritual experiences during the process.
This type of meditation can be practiced with the help of a guide. It is suitable for those who are seeking spiritual enlightenment, higher levels of consciousness, and increased levels of awareness. It is also ideal if you are seeking insight and guidance regarding an issue or spiritual growth.
Movement meditation is a meditative state – a shift of consciousness
You don’t have to practice meditation in the seated, lotus position. It is possible to enjoy the practice of meditation as you move around. Movement meditation can be done while walking in the forest, gardening, taking various poses, or engaging in various forms of motion.
In movement meditation, you engage in movements while also being aware of the body’s movements. You can still feel the smell of the air, the tensing of your legs as they move, and the sound of your feet as they step on the ground. Movement meditation is suitable for those who find joy in movement and those who grow restless when they sit still for too long.
Movement meditation provides your body with an outlet for your energy while stimulating the circulation of blood and energy into the body. Movement meditation also enhances spiritual exploration and has a way of restoring equilibrium to the mind.
When your mind is in a state of restlessness, as a result of stress or depression, movement meditation can be an ideal way to address both the physical body and mind.
Transcendental meditation benefits
Transcendental meditation is practiced for the main purpose of attaining peace and wellness. It is an extremely popular kind of meditation and entails the avoidance of thoughts that are distracting as one engages in breathing. This leads to the realization of a relaxed state of awareness.
Transcendental meditation originates from the Indian Vedic tradition, which entails having a person sit in a comfortable posture with their eyes closed, while silently repeating a specific mantra.
The purpose of using a mantra is to get the mind focused on various bodily sensations while enhancing concentration. While you are in this meditative state, your thoughts will shift as they relax. This leads to you being able to transcend the physical senses.
As your awareness becomes more enhanced, you are able to connect to your deeper self and pure consciousness better. This is extremely empowering and energetic. It allows you to get to realize a deep level of perfect stillness without any mental boundaries.
While you are in this kind of state of consciousness, you can experience rest, peace, and stability along with a whole host of other benefits. This type of meditation is suitable if you are undergoing chronic pain, chronic depression, high blood pressure, and other health conditions.
Transcendental meditation is the most scientifically studied practice with various reports outlining its effectiveness. Transcendental meditation can either be practiced by oneself or with the help of a guide, especially if you are new to meditation.
Mantra meditation benefits
This is another type of meditation that has become popular and is closely associated with some religious teachings. Mantra meditation is usually practiced within the Hindu and Buddhist traditions.
It involves the use of repetitive words, sound, or phrases and is practiced with the intent of clearing the mind. The use of a mantra as a way to meditate is also common in the secular world. Popular words like “aum,” affirmations and different phrases are repeatedly used until your consciousness shifts. You can either speak the mantra loudly or softly, whichever way you find to be most comfortable.
There are many mantras that can be interpreted, while there are those where their values are driven by the quality of the sound that is produced when the mantra is spoken. You can also listen to a mantra rather than reciting it, and it can be expressed at high speed or slow speed.
You can even match the mantra to certain bodily sensations, breathing, or visualizations. When it comes to mantra’s, reciting a unique word is not as important as the vibrations that are generated through the sound.
Sound vibrations can cause the cells in the body to vibrate at a particular frequency. It is that frequency that has the potential to restructure the brain, which results in higher levels of awareness.
How To Meditate: Meditation techniques for beginners
Now that you know more about the different types of meditation, you can choose the type you want to practice depending on the one that best suits your needs.
If you are having problems with stress and depression, then mindfulness meditation is one of the types that you should consider starting. However, others can still help you find relief from stress and depression.
While meditation might seem like a simple practice, in reality, it requires a lot of discipline and diligence to realize the many benefits. To have effective results with your meditation practice, there are different things that need to be put in place.
As a newcomer that is just starting out with meditation, you need to know how to prepare for the process, which can be helpful in ensuring that the process goes well. It is important to take the time and prepare for your meditation session just like you would when planning for other activities.
Some of the things that you need to have before starting on your meditation journey include motivation, goals, expectations, posture, diligence, and the elimination of distractions.
Meditation goals: Firing up your motivation
When you first begin the meditation process, you need to take the time to remind yourself why you’ve chosen to meditate. Your purpose should be clear, so you know whether your practice is successful or not.
Your goal for starting meditation could be to gain more peace, joy, and happiness, to improve your mental skills, or even to achieve some level of awakening. Whatever your purpose for meditating, it needs to be clear as it is what will help make you more motivated to find success.
Having the motivation will help you to deal with feelings of restlessness or any form of resistance that may arise during the process.
Set reasonable meditation goals in the beginning
Goals will help give you direction and setting realistic goals is essential if you are to be successful in your meditation practice. You need to ask yourself what you want to accomplish with each meditation session. Start out with simple goals, like trying to stay patient as the mind wanders or as you get sleepy. You can think of some of the common challenges that you face during your meditation, like getting distracted with simple things or yielding to distracting thoughts. Then, you can set a reasonable goal that will enable you to overcome the given challenges.
As you set goals, you need to be aware of your expectations. Once you realize your expectation, then you can diligently work toward accomplishing them. The expectations, however, should not be too ambitious, such as believing that you will be able to achieve a raised level of consciousness with just a few sessions.
You have to understand that you may practice for several weeks without seeing any tangible transformation. So, you need to set reasonable goals so that you aren’t discouraged when practicing. As you begin your meditation practice, you may lack the stability that will enable you to concentrate or attain mindfulness. However, it is vital for you to know that it is normal and that your level of attention will gradually improve as you continue with the process.
Regardless of how you practice meditation, you should know that there isn’t a specific way to follow and there is no such thing as a bad meditation.
The power of diligence in meditation
The results that you desire will only be realized when you are diligent with the practice, so make sure you get fully committed to diligence. This means that you are fully involved in the training and not wasting your time daydreaming.
When you lack diligence, you will lose too much of your time thinking about issues that don’t interest you, instead of being focused on the problems that you are trying to solve through the process of mediation.
When you lack diligence, you may also find that you begin judging yourself for the quality of your meditation practice. This can lead to you starting to resist your practice, engaging in procrastination, and feeling a sense of doubt.
You must resolve your heart to diligently practicing meditation for the entire process, regardless of how the process turns out.
Meditation Hacks: Identify potential distractions for meditation
As you take the time to prepare for each meditation session, you need to perform a quick inventory to identify some of the things that can cause you to become distracted. Check if your mind might be preoccupied with thoughts about the things that may not have gone well for you during the day. You also need to check to see if your mind is focused on worries and stressful thoughts about the future.
To be successful, you need to clear your mind of any form of anxiety or worry, acknowledge the thoughts that might be going through your mind and the emotions you may be experiencing. You then need to work to resolve them. You can even set a clear intention that will enable you to rise above the distractions to stay focused on the meditation process. To adequately prepare for your meditation practice you will need to gather the following items before you begin.
A Meditation Timer is very useful for beginners
When you first begin your meditation practice, you will need to choose a convenient time to practice. You need to select a time that is most convenient for you as meditation is supposed to be a time of relaxation.
You should choose a time when you feel the freest and when you won’t have any distractions. You can select a time that centers around hours of transition, such as sunrise and sunset. These are great times to practice your meditation due to the calm that prevails around these times. For a meditation timer, you can use your phone, or download a meditation app to help you with your practice.
A quiet place for meditation free from distractions
The place that you chose for your meditation practice should be comfortable and convenient. You need to decide on a place for meditating without any distractions. It needs to be a place where you can have some privacy during the meditation session.
Avoid distractions from the television or any other form of noise. The area you choose should also be kept clean and free from clutter. Being in a quiet and peaceful surrounding can make a huge difference in the meditation process.
Choose a comfortable meditation posture
The meditation posture you choose for your meditation practice can either lead to you feeling more focused and relaxed during the process or could lead to discomfort. The kind of position that you use should be one that you’re comfortable with and one that is ideal for your body type. You need to have proper body alignment and stability of your spine, shoulders, and neck. Maintaining the appropriate alignment is vital for the process and can help in lengthening the time you are able to meditate.
Breath Control – Meditation is breathing…
The key to meditation is breathing, as it is involved in all aspects of the practice. Breathing can be done both consciously and unconsciously. However, quite many people don’t know how to engage in breathing consciously in a way that nourishes the heart and provides the body with healthy properties.
How we breath impacts the feelings we get, so participating in shallow and erratic breaths will cause you to feel the same way. Engaging in deep and rhythmic breathing can be incredibly satisfying and a great way to live.
It is essential that you become more aware of your breath and heartbeat. You can work to synchronize your breathing with your pulse to enhance the connection between your heart and mind. When both are connected and working together in harmony, you will be able to get into a place where anything is possible. Your breath is what creates the relaxation as you become more experienced with meditation.
Controlled breathing helps to enhance the function of your mind and body. It can also help to lower your blood pressure, improves relaxation and feelings of calm.
Below are some of the breathing techniques that you can practice for your health and to enhance your feelings of relaxation.
Balanced breathing technique for meditation
This balanced breathing technique is ideal for the body. To begin, take deep breaths, counting to four before exhaling as you count to four. You should be breathing through your nose as it helps to add some natural resistance to your breathing.
This exercise will help you to reduce stress, calm your nervous system and provide you with increased focus. The exercise can be done anytime but works well when done before bed. It is also an ideal exercise for beginners.
Abdominal meditation breathing
This abdominal breathing meditation technique can be carried out by placing one hand on the belly and another on your chest. Inhale deeply through the nose, ensuring that your diaphragm inflates with a sufficient amount of air, making it capable of stretching the lungs. Take about six to ten slow breaths a minute for about ten minutes. Practice this every day for about eight weeks.
Alternate nostril meditation breathing
This type of alternate nostril meditation breathing technique helps to bring balance and calm while uniting the right and left sides of your brain. To being with, find a comfortable meditation pose. Hold your right thumb over your right nostril.
Take a deep breath through your left nostril, then while at the peak, close the nostril off using your ring finger, then breathe out through your left nostril. Continue with the same pattern as you breathe through the nostril, using the right thumb to close off the right nostril, breathing out through your left nostril.
This breathing technique is suitable to do whenever you need time to energize or focus your mind. Do not try this technique before going to bed. It shouldn’t be used by beginners, but by those who are at the intermediate level of meditation.
Skull-Shining Breath (Kapalabhati) meditation breathing
This Skull-Shining breathing technique helps to brighten your day from the inside out. It starts with engaging in a long slow inhale that is followed by a quick and forceful exhale that comes from your lower abdomen. Once you are comfortable, you can increase the pace and contraction to one in and out-breath.
The technique can be practiced when you first wake up in the morning as it enhances the overall outlook of things. The exercise is abdominal intensive and will help to shake off the old energy you have upon waking while warming up the mind.
The progressive relaxation meditation method
This technique is used to relieve tension in the body. It should be focused on tensing and relaxing the muscles. Start off focusing on tensing and relaxing your feet and toes, moving upwards to the knees, thighs, and other parts of the body. This technique can be done anywhere you feel comfortable.
The guided visualization meditation method
This technique should be practiced with a therapist or coach. You begin the method by breathing deeply as you focus on images that are positive and pleasant. These should be used to replace negative thoughts.
Guided visualization isn’t just for realizing mindfulness; it also helps with putting you into the right state of mind. You can carry out this exercise anywhere, as long as you are able to close your eyes and let go. You should already have some basic meditation knowledge before trying this technique.
Practical Tips for Successful Meditation
Now that you are aware of what meditation entails and the many benefits that you can gain from practicing meditation daily, there are some practical tips that can help you get the best out of your meditation practice. As a beginner, the following tips can help you overcome common problems that are related to the mediation process.
Start small – three to five minutes for beginners
There have been numerous studies that have shown, that beginners who started their practice with meditating for three to five minutes, managed to sustain the practice and develop it as a habit.
As you begin your meditation practice, start by taking at least three deep breaths as you pay attention to the various sensations that you feel throughout your body.
Have a Clear Understanding of the Benefits of meditation for you personally
If you suffer from anxiety, depression, or stress, it is important to have a clear understanding of what meditation can do for you. Meditation will help you learn how you can recognize the destructive patterns that you may continue to fall into, like engaging in critical thoughts that trigger the stress, anxiety, and depression symptoms that you are trying to conquer.
Understand the principles of practicing meditation
When most people start practicing meditation, they get to a point where they believe that the goal is to reach a state of consciousness where they are able to focus without getting distracted.
However, the focus shouldn’t be on how not to get distracted; instead, it should be on becoming more aware so that you can recognize when your mind starts to drift. If you cannot identify your thoughts, it will be impossible to restructure them. You need to develop awareness so that you can clearly identify your thoughts.
Another principle that you should be aware of as a beginner is the ability to redirect your attention back to the point of focus whenever you find yourself drifting. This should be done without criticizing yourself.
Follow the meditation path that works well for you
Once you become aware of the steps of meditation and the principles that follow, you can choose the meditation path that appeals to you.
If you find that walking is an ideal practice because you can concentrate better, then you can choose to focus on meditating while walking. Practicing meditation while walking can also help you eliminate distractions.
You can focus your walking so that the first ten minutes of your meditation is focused on a minute of feeling the sensations in your body, another minute feeling your breath, another minute on what you hear, another on what you see, and one more on the feeling of the air on your skin.
This can be followed by the remaining five minutes being focused on your awareness, where you can freely observe your level of consciousness. You should avoid using your senses and just focus on your consciousness.
If you find that your thoughts are starting to drift to the future or the past, then turn back to any of the points of focus from the first five minutes and stabilize your attention to the present moment.
Engage in regular meditation practice
Engaging in the practice of meditation daily can be challenging, but you will only realize the desired goal if you are committed to the training. Regularly practicing meditation will also enable you to become more familiar with the exercise until it becomes a habit.
Fuel Your Body with the Right Foods for Meditating
The foods that you consume before starting your practice can have a tremendous impact on your overall health and well-being. Foods help in nourishing the body and can affect the level of awareness and quietness that you achieve during your practice.
The type of food that you eat can also be the reason why you might find it difficult to engage in meditation. Eating certain foods before engaging in meditation may cause you to have a lack of concentration or become sleepy during the process.
It is recommended that you wait at least two hours after eating before you begin your meditation practice. Here are some of the healthy foods that you should eat before starting a meditation session.
Fresh fruits are ideal to eat before practicing meditation. Fruits are healthy and help you to produce the glucose that you need to improve your concentration and enhance your overall wellbeing.
The flavonoids in dark chocolate help to promote blood flow to the brain, which can help to enhance your memory, focus, and learning. To avoid too many calories and fat intake, you should only consume a couple of pieces at a time.
The leafy green vegetables that go into a green smoothie are loaded with antioxidants that help boost your brainpower. To bring a sweeter taste to the smoothie, consider adding fresh fruit. To make it even more powerful, consider adding coconut oil, avocados, and flaxseed.
A handful of almonds contain the necessary nutrients that are needed to reduce hunger while boosting energy. Consuming a handful of almonds before your meditation session can be extremely beneficial for your practice.
To help wake up your brain, you should consume a glass of water before beginning your meditation practice. Along with helping to wake your mind, it also works to get your body rehydrated to avoid getting sleepy during your session.
Foods to Avoid Before Meditation
Just like there are some foods that will benefit your meditation practice if consumed shortly before a session, there are foods that you will want to avoid before meditation because of the detrimental effect they can have on your training.
The intake of drinks and foods like tea, caffeine, and soda in high amounts, should be avoided, as the stimulant in these drinks can make it difficult to keep your mind calm and can even hinder you from getting into a more profound meditative state.
Consuming simple carbohydrates like foods and beverages with high sugar content should be avoided at all costs. These can all lead to a spike in your blood sugar levels, which, after a short time will cause you to crash, making you feel drowsy and sluggish. Meditating when you are tired may not lead to the
realization of your desired goals.
Avoid eating foods that are rich in sugar, fat, and starch, as well as foods that contain creamy sauces and cheese. Your body requires sufficient energy to carry out the digestion of heavy meals, which may lead to you feeling sleepy during meditation.
As you plan for your meditation practice, take the time to consider the types of foods that you eat so that your meditation practice will flow smoothly, giving you the best chance of reaching your desired results.
How To Meditate – Conclusion
Meditation is a technique that is very effective for self-discovery. It has been proven to help with overcoming many medical conditions, including stress, anxiety, and depression.
Whether you are a beginner who is just starting out with the meditation process or you are well versed in the practice, there are techniques that can benefit you greatly when practiced on a regular basis.
Nothing is worth the time spent in meditation, especially if it has the potential to enable you to overcome the stress, depress, and anxiety in your life to get to a place of awareness. A place where clarity of mind and peacefulness is normal.
Meditation is the key to releasing you from the fight or flight responses that have been ingrained in us for centuries and bringing you true peace at the moment, regardless of what is happening around you.
Make the best use of the information in this guide and start practicing the different meditation techniques to find a higher awareness and peace in your life.
Unless you are a true beginner, you can try out other forms of meditation that expose you to great dimensions of existence. Use this guide on how-to meditate to continue to improve your life and overall wellbeing.