A Guide To Meditation
You may have noticed that I talk about meditation a lot, especially in my self-care posts. Meditation, in my opinion, is the ultimate self-care practice and has so many incredible benefits to it. Since I've incorporated meditation into my daily routine I have seen such a difference in my mental health as well as other aspects of my life and I now feel better than ever. I suffer quite badly with anxiety and am prone to bouts of depression but since practising meditation I feel like a new woman. I'm not saying I'm cured - I wish - but I'm definitely not as bad as I used to be.
Meditation has been such an underrated practice for so long, but, with the stress and demands of everyday life, more people are beginning to recognise the benefits of a simple meditation session and it's popularity has begun to rise over recent years. So what is it and how can it help you?
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice used to achieve mental clarity, a calm state of being and awareness of the present moment through focusing your attention on one simple thing - your breathing or an object. Meditation is also a great practice to understand your own mind. It can teach you how to transform negative thoughts into positive thoughts and to change your mood from anxious to calm. This practice is all about creating a calm and peaceful state of mind, allowing you to live a happier, worry free life. The ultimate goal of meditations is to reach a higher level of awareness, enlightenment and inner calm through mental focus and clarity.
What Are The Benefits Of Meditation?
As I've already said, meditation opens you up to a wide-range of benefits and really can improve your life - if you let it! Here are just some of the benefits provided by meditation.
- Increases happiness
- Improves your focus and concentration
- Reduces menstrual pain
- Improves your mood
- Reduces stress
- Increases self-awareness
- Improves your decision-making
- Reduces your ability to become distracted
- Improves your immune system
- Reduces blood pressure
- Increases self-control
- Helps with weight loss
- Eases pain
Forms Of Meditation
This is where you hold your attention on a primary focus, such as your breathing, a candle flame or an affirmation. When other thoughts enter your mind, simply acknowledge them and then return your focus to your breathing. This type of meditation will improve your ability to concentrate.
This is where you pay attention to wandering thoughts that enter your mind without reacting or passing judgement on them. Just observe them as they come and go and look for a pattern in your natural thought process. This type of meditation will make you more mindful to not just your own reactions, but also to others.
This is where you repetitively chant a calming word, phrase or rhythmical sound - om - throughout your meditation practice. This type of meditation will help you to block out any distracting thoughts that may pop into your head.
Yoga is not only a form of fitness, it is also a form of meditation. Yoga is where you move through a series of postures while syncing your movements with your breathing. This type of meditation grounds you into the present movement by being able to move from posture to posture without much concentration and focus on what you're doing.
How To Meditate
1. Find a comfortable position to perform your meditation. You can either sit cross legged on the floor, sit in your favourite chair or lie down.
2. Make sure that your posture is correct - spine straight, shoulders relaxed and chest open - and that there is no tension in your muscles.
3. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths.
4. When you return to your normal breathing state, don't control it! Breathe naturally and effortlessly.
5. Focus your attention on your breath and how your body moves with your breathing.
Tips For Meditation
- Practice daily! You don't have to sit for 30 minutes everyday but make an effort to fit at least 3 minutes of meditation into your daily routine. In doing this, you can really benefit from the holistic experience of meditation.
- If you're new to meditation, ease yourself into it by starting off very small. Meditate for 2/3 minutes to start and only increase your time when you feel ready. By overdoing your meditation, you can easily lose focus and become completely distracted from your practice.
- Choose a quiet space to meditate, away from any distractions. Knowing that you're not going to be interrupted by someone or something will make it so much easier to focus.
- If you're lacking focus, burn incense or oils during meditation. When your mind wanders, use the scent to bring you back into the present moment and then continue with your practice.
- If you find it difficult to meditate with your eyes closed, find an alternative. I always find staring into a candle flame just as effective as closing your eyes during meditation.
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What do you find the most effect way to meditate? Let us know in the comments below!