The subject of meditation and how to start meditating can be confusing and even intimidating to some people. Meditation is an art form that dates back thousands of years. It is well known for being a practice that monks and other religious people participated in.
There are many health benefits of meditation for both the mind and the body. It is being used more widely, and what most people don’t know, is that there is more than one form of meditation.
The best way to describe mediation is by this; it is a practice that allows a person to train their mind to a better way of thinking. This better way of thinking could be to stop focusing on the past and let things go, or to develop a more positive mindset.
The practice of meditation allows you to learn how to relax your mind and your body. It can help you develop a new life force, also known as gi, ki, and prana. At the same time, you can learn how to love again, have compassion, improve your generosity and to forgive things.
Buddhist monks used meditation on a daily basis and it helped them perform all of their rituals. They would use things like prayer beads to help them keep track of things that needed to be accomplished. As well, they would touch their beads while saying mantras.
Many religions incorporate some form of meditation into their beliefs. It is often used to help clear the mind and to sync your body and mind together. Mantras were often performed while in a sitting position and helped a person develop a calm state of mind.
The goal is to relax your mind and become totally aware of your thoughts and feelings. This can be done by clearing your mind and only thinking about one thing at a time. You may wish to focus on things like losing weight or forgiving someone for a recent action they took.
Today it is recognized that meditation can be done in many ways with tons of benefits. Taking part in yoga is one way to meditating.
Kneeling or sitting and repeating phrases or quotes, is yet another way. It is even possible to meditate while walking, and numerous people actually perform it this way.
While at one time there may have been strict guidelines and expectations to meditation, today how you meditate and where is more of a personal choice. You want to choose a location and position that is comfortable for you, and one that allows you not to be disturbed
Benefits of Meditation
As you are aware, there are several ways you can meditate. While each method may have different benefits, we’ll take a look at the overall benefits of meditation in general.
How Meditation Affects Your Brain
It is so easy to stress out your brain these days. You are busy at work, you have a family to take care of and provide for. This can lead to you not eating correctly, not exercising enough and we haven’t even touched on social impacts such as drinking and smoking. It is easy to see that your brain is extremely taxed out.
Meditation For Stress
As you become stressed out you start to make impulsive decisions. You are always in a rushed state, so you don’t take the time to think things through. This can lead to making bad judgments that could affect everyone around you.
Using meditation methods such as the Mindfulness or Transcendental ones you can minimize and even reverse these effects on your brain. By giving your brain permission to stop and relax, you are allowing it to enter a period of restfulness while still staying alert.
What this achieves is that it helps to strengthen the communication process in your brain. Without getting too technical, this is where your brain’s prefrontal cortex and different areas that control brain functions are located.
The result of this restful period is that your ability to make strong, well thought out decisions is restored. Outwardly you project a more stable and confident appearance to your colleagues.
The overall benefits of meditation include:
- Feeling as though you have a purpose in life
- Your behavior becomes less impulsive
- Decision making skills are enhanced
- Your memory works much better than it used to
- You stop abusing things such as cigarettes, drugs and alcohol
- Energy levels are increased
- You become much healthier overall
- Immune systems works better
- Your self confidence levels are increased
- You feeling of well being is improved
- Your relationships are better
- You just feel happy and optimistic about your life
So if you are not totally happy or satisfied with your life then you may want to incorporate meditation into it.
How To Start Meditating
The best thing about meditating is that it doesn’t require a lot of time. All you need is to set aside 20 minutes per day for this beneficial exercise.
Use the following steps to set up your own routine for meditating and aim for at least once, if not twice, per day.
Select a Time
Choose a time that is convenient for you. During this time period ensure that you will not be disturbed. You need to feel relaxed and your mind should be free of worry.
Many people enjoy meditating either as the sun comes up or goes down. If possible you could even meditate outside.
How To Start Meditating: A Quiet Location Is An Important Element
This is very important as you don’t want to have your spouse or children interrupt you. A quiet room in the house would work or even a secluded spot in your garden.
You need to sit comfortably while meditating. While sitting cross legged, or in the lotus position, is recommended it is not always necessary. Sit comfortably on a chair and still receive the same benefits.
Meditate Before Meals
If you eat a large meal you often feel tired and lethargic. This is why it is best to meditate before you eat. But, do not try and meditate if you are on the verge of getting really hungry, otherwise your concentration levels will be disrupted.
How To Start Meditating: Warm Up
As with any type of exercise you want to warm up, even if you are just going to be sitting down. This helps to get your blood flowing to all areas of your body and your brain. Plus it helps to make you feel more alert and ready to meditate.
If you want to know how to start meditating, the simple act of smiling can help you feel more relaxed and comfortable. Remember you are going to learn how to relax and allow your mind to wander. Feeling happier is one easy way to make this happen.
Close Your Eyes
During the meditation process you will be sitting or standing with your eyes closed. When your 20 minutes are up you don’t want to rush to open your eyes.
Instead, give yourself plenty of time to become aware of your surroundings again. In the same way you don’t want to jump up and run for the phone! Allow your body to return to its conscious state again.
By following the above steps you can easily reap more benefits from your sessions. Remember that the more often you meditate, the easier the entire process will be for you.