When you hear the word “meditation,” what images come to mind? Sitting cross-legged on a pillow, eyes closed, possibly chanting? A religious group engaged in deep and mindful concentration?
For beginners, the simplest form of meditation is breathing. Deep breathing can easily be done anytime of day. The goal of a breathing meditation is to allow the mind to rest from thoughts, which means allowing thoughts to pass through, rather than tending to each one as it enters the mind. Learning to be present in the moment is the goal of meditation.
There’s no right or wrong way to meditate. In the beginning, you may find it difficult to slow your mind and tap into your inner consciousness, so it might be helpful to meditate first thing in the morning, before you’re distracted with your daily tasks. Once you’ve strengthened your meditation practice, experiment with meditating at other times, like at your desk before a long meeting, after a workout, at bedtime –whenever it’s possible to close your eyes and allow your focus to move inward.
Meditation works most effectively when practiced daily, so start with short meditations but stay consistent. It’s more effective to meditate for just five minutes a day at the same time every day than for 20 minutes once or twice a week.
As you experience the benefits, experiment with new types of meditation. Meditation will help slow your mind, allowing you to tune into your intuition and live in deeper alignment with your intentions.
How to Get Started…
In a breathing meditation, find a comfortable seat and allow the spine to be tall. Simply concentrate on the breathing, and make inhales and exhales the same length. Breathe from the stomach rather than the chest, and allow the belly to go soft, rising and falling with each breath. If a thought enters your mind, acknowledge it, and let it go. Allow your mind to be still.
Silence is not an absence but a presence. – Anne D. LeClaire
Health Benefits of Meditation:
- Improves symptoms of allergies
- Reduces Anxiety
- Helps to regulate mood and anxiety disorders
- Helps with binge and emotional eating
- Decreases depression
- Decreases fatigue
- Reduced risk of heart disease
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Decrease chronic pain such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
- Improves sleep and relaxation
- Helps reduce alcohol and substance abuse
- Improves the immune system
- Increases energy
- Improves concentration
Mental Benefits of Meditation:
- Anxiety decreases
- Emotional stability improves
- Creativity increases
- Happiness increases
- Increased intuition
- Gain clarity and peace of mind
- Problems become smaller
- Gain more focus
- Improves learning, memory and self awareness
Mediation Keeps You Authentic
Meditation makes you more aware and allows for your inner attitude to determine your thoughts and happiness.
Once you get to know your mind, you start to become more authentic and at peace with who you are. You realize the stories and that your mind tells you and you gain perspective on them. You begin to realize that many of us are caught up in our thoughts and we become more compassionate towards others.
As you can see, meditation can do amazing things for your body and mind. Calming and quieting your mind through meditation can make you mentally and physically healthier. It can also help you enjoy life and to simply become happier!
The more you meditate the more you seem to benefit. Give it a try!