Meditation nourishes one’s mind, body, and soul. It is in fact the only nourishment for the soul. It is a yoga practice and proves effective against pain and suffering, stress and anxiety.
Practicing meditation helps you understand the 3 L’s of life i.e. live, love and laugh. You’ll have a better understanding of who you are and what you are.
You’ll develop a positive attitude/ approach towards life. Your perception will change over time and you’ll start seeing things in a new light.
Today, meditation is used as an effective countermeasure against stress, anxiety, and depression. Studies suggest that people who practice meditation for at least 10-15 minutes daily can live a long and healthy life.
Let us now take a look at some of the popular definitions of mediation below.
- Founder of the Rajneesh movement, Osho defines meditation as the state of mind when you cease to do anything i.e. do nothing. In other words, when you are not doing anything bodily and mentally, you are meditating.
- Spiritual leader Dalai Lama defines meditation as seeing your natural state of consciousness.
- Sadhguru, an Indian yogi and author define meditation as Dhyana. It is something you can never do but become since it is a certain quality.
In simple words, meditation is the art of doing nothing at all. It requires one to stop thinking, concentrating, or contemplating. It is a state of utter relaxation.
However, not all meditational practices require one to stop the cognitive process. Example- Analytical meditation and Mindfulness.
Elements of Meditation
1. A quiet setting: Finding a quiet place away from distractions to meditate is always helpful. Beginners can highly benefit from meditating in distraction-free places.
2. A comfortable position: Finding a comfortable position to meditate is important. Sitting upright leg-crossed is one of the best sitting postures while meditating.
3. Dedication and devotion: One has to be dedicated and devoted enough to practice meditation every day.
4. Relaxed breathing: Keep your breathing as natural as possible when you meditate.
5. An open attitude: Your attitude can be the turning point of your meditation journey. Keeping an open attitude is essential.
6. Time management: People often struggle to find free time to meditate out of their busy schedules. Practicing meditation first thing in the morning can be helpful.
How does meditation work?
Meditation works on many levels depending upon the nature of meditation you practice.
- Calms the mind: Meditation is an ancient remedy for calming the mind. It helps to free the mind from unwanted emotional baggage. Your mind feels as light as a feather and stays young.
- Relaxed the body: Meditation helps to reduce stress which causes pain in the body. It helps in keeping one’s emotions and hormones checked. Thus relieving the body of all kinds of pain and suffering and helps in relaxation.
- Makes you mindful: Meditation helps to create a shift in consciousness level. It helps to cultivate a sense of higher awareness in people.
- Helps in waking up the dormant powers: Some forms of meditation helps to wake up the dormant power lying within and without.
- Connects you to the divine source: Meditation helps to form a bridge that connects you to the divine self.
Here’s a list of different types of meditation for your reference purpose. Make sure you go through every single one of them before selecting the one that suits your needs.
1. Metta Prayer/Lovingkindness
Metta Prayer is a traditional Buddhist concept that implies acting with compassion toward all beings.
The meditation practice requires people to recite positive Metta phrases over and over again.
Some of the most common Metta phrases include:
‘May I find peace’
‘May I be grateful’
‘May I be happy’
‘May I be safe’
‘May I be loving’
You start by blessing yourself first and expand outward wishing good health, good fortune, and good life for the people around you.
Now keep growing outward until you’ve wished love and kindness for the people of the entire world.
This form of meditation shows love and kindness are for all. It emphasizes practicing the art of forgiveness and love throughout one’s life.
The goal here is to make the world a better place to live in. One that exists without hatred and curses.
2. Body Scan or Progressive Relaxation
The progressive muscle relaxation technique is an effective stress management technique.
In this method, you tense and relax a set of muscles as you breathe in and out. It requires that you work on your muscle groups in a certain order so that your body feels relaxed.
This form of meditation helps in relaxation by relieving muscle tension. It helps to promote the feeling of well-being and enhances your sleep quality.
It makes the body scan technique an effective way to begin a mindfulness meditation.
3. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness means becoming aware of one’s thoughts, feelings, and surroundings.
There are many proven physical and mental health benefits of mindfulness such as:
- provides relief from stress,
- improves mental health.
- lowers the risk of heart disease,
- blood pressure management,
- reduce chronic pain,
- improve sleep, and
- ease gastrointestinal difficulties.
Practicing mindfulness makes you aware and vigilant of your surrounding.
The mindfulness meditation technique teaches you the art of acceptance. You pay attention to your thoughts without passing any judgments.
When you practice mindfulness, you learn to live in the moment i.e. focus on the present. You pay no attention to your troublesome past or the unseen future.
Here’s a video by Jon Kabat-Zinn on mindfulness.
You can practice mindfulness over any length of time and any way you see fit. You can practice it while walking (walking meditation), sitting down on a couch, or even laying on your bed.
All you have to do is deliberately bring your attention to your thoughts, bodily sensations, and surroundings.
4. Mindful Breathing or Breath Awareness Meditation
Breath awareness meditation is a technique that requires focusing on your breathing.
Practicing mindful breathing is easy. All you need to do is sit comfortably on a meditation mat or a meditation cushion. Close your eyes and focus on your breath as you inhale and exhale.
You also have the option to keep your eyes open if you prefer to. But I would recommend that you close your eyes since it is much easier to concentrate with your eyes closed.
Breath awareness meditation guide
Here’s a stepwise guide on mindful breathing exercise.
- Sit comfortably erect on a chair, cushion, bed, yoga mat, etc.
- Spend some time relaxing your body.
- Change your posture if you find it uncomfortable.
- Do not pay heed to your thoughts and focus on breathing.
- Try noticing nourishing sensation as you breathe in and cleansing sensation as you breathe out.
- Breath effortlessly without pause.
- You will notice your breath becoming smooth as time passes by.
- No relax your entire body from the head down to your toes.
- Shift your attention in a systematic pattern throughout your body.
- Notice your stress and tension fading away.
- Finally, bring your awareness of touch back to the nostrils as you breathe.
Mindful breathing benefits
Practicing mindful breathing helps to lower the stress level and cure depression. Some other benefits of practicing mindful breathing exercise include:
- Helps to increase your energy level.
- Provides relief from muscle tension.
- Improve sleep quality.
- Improves digestion.
- Lower blood pressure level.
- Slow down the aging process.
- Provides relief from stress and anxiety.
5. Kundalini Yoga
Kundalini is a divine feminine form of energy that lies dormant at the base of the spine. It is the fundamental life force in existence.
Kundalini yoga in its essence is the most dangerous and most potent form of yoga. It is a means of activating the divine feminine energy from within.
Practicing kundalini yoga requires prior experience of yoga and meditation. Nobody should attempt kundalini yoga without constant guidance and observation from experts.
Here’s a video on kundalini yoga by Sadhguru.
Kundalini yoga when down the right way can change your life for good in a matter of days.
But if it goes wrong, the consequences that you need to bear might be worse.
There are 112 ways of doing kundalini yoga. Finding the right way to uplift the kundalini depends on the individual.
Kundalini Yoga benefits
Here are some of the benefits of kundalini yoga that you should know about.
- Clears blocks in your energy field,
- Provides relief from stress and anxiety,
- Gives you confidence,
- Builds strength and resilience,
- Improves cognitive function,
- Spiritual enlightenment, etc.
Can kundalini yoga help you lose weight?
The answer to this question is a yes. Kundalini yoga works on your thyroid gland which results in weight loss.
The most powerful kundalini yoga poses to lose weight are shoulder stand and plow pose with a breath of fire.
But there are other more effective ways of losing weight. Intermittent fasting could be a better choice if you are looking to lose a lot of weight fast.
Possible kundalini yoga dangers and symptoms
One might experience the following signs and symptoms during the initial phase. The symptoms may last for a few moments to few days.
- an electrical sensation across your body and a low humming noise inside your head,
- some may experience panic attacks, anxiety disorder, fatigue, etc.
- lack of sleep or insomnia,
- strange visions, lights, and sounds,
- a feeling of being overwhelmed by the energy,
- inability to concentrate at work.
- psychotic episodes, etc.
6. Zen Meditation
Zen meaning ‘meditation’ in Japanese is a derivative of the Chinese word Ch’an. The latter is the translation of the Sanskrit term ‘dhyana’.
Zen meditation first originated in India and was later brought to China in the 6th century CE. Bodhidharma, an Indian monk was the first one to introduce zen in China.
Zen meditation is like mindfulness in the sense that both emphasize the presence of the mind. The latter, however, emphasizes general awareness rather than focusing on one specific object.
It is similar to and different from vipassana, another Tibetian Buddhism meditation technique. While both of them have a common goal i.e. attaining peace, the latter is a more goal-oriented approach.
The good thing about Zen meditation is that it is easy to practice. There are no prerequisites as in kundalini yoga. Anyone and everyone can practice it whenever and wherever.
Beginners’ guide to Zen meditation
Here’s a beginner’s guide on how to practice Zen meditation.
Step 1: A zen practitioner starts by sitting erect in a lotus position or in a cross-legged position. But as a beginner, you don’t have to worry about all those things. Just sit the way you feel comfortable.
Step 2: As you settle down, slowly shift your focus inward. Check to see how you’re feeling. low? high? happy? or sad?
Step 3: Now scan through all your thoughts and emotions without judging them. Try registering all your thoughts(if possible) as you float around in the ocean of thoughts.
Step 4: Notice your stress fading away as you become conscious of your thoughts and ideas.
Step 5: Count your breaths whenever you feel like you’re drifting away.
Repeat the process for a long as you can. There’s no time limit and the longer you meditate the better.
Tips for beginners
- Do it every day for two-five minutes for the first month.
- Do it first thing in the morning.
- Find a like-minded group(community) to meditate together.
- Do not worry whether you’re doing right or wrong- just do it.
- Commit yourself.
- Keep yourself motivated.
7. Mantra or Transcendental Meditation
Mantra meditation is a form of mindfulness practice that makes use of mantras.
A mantra is a sacred syllable, word, or phrase in Sanskrit believed to bestow spiritual powers to the enchanters.
Mantras are whispered, chanted, spoken, or repeated within one’s mind(transcendental meditation).
It serves a deeper spiritual purpose in Hinduism and Christianity. For them, chanting mantras is a way of connecting with the divine both within and without.
In Buddhism reciting mantras serve no such spiritual purpose. It is rather a means of keeping the mind focused and receptive to the blessings of the present moments.
Transcendental meditation refers to a specific form of silent mantra meditation. It involves the use of ‘Mantra Japa’ for around 20 minutes at a time twice a day.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi first started the transcendental meditation movement in the early 1970s. Today it is gaining popularity as a part of secular mindfulness practice.
Mantra meditation guide
Steps to practice mantra meditation.
- Find a quiet place away from distractions to sit down quietly.
- Correct your posture and make yourself comfortable.
- Select a mantra that best suits your needs and desires. Try Repeating your mantra as you exhale.
- Concentrate on the sound as you repeat your mantra.
- Accept all your thoughts and ideas that you may encounter in the process.
- Make sure not to confront your thoughts and ideas and just let them float.
- Maintain the position for 5-10 minutes in the beginning and extend it as you progress.
- Come out of the meditation by open your eyes gently.
Some other forms of meditation include the following meditation techniques.
8. Analytical Meditation
Analytical meditation is also known as ‘Vipasanna’ in Pali and ‘Vipasyana’ in Sanskrit. Unlike ‘Samadhi’ where one focuses on becoming mindful and self-aware, Vipassana emphasizes reasoning. Reasoning hones positivity and alleviates your thoughts and emotions.
The guided analytical meditation approach is similar to cognitive behavioral therapy. When you practice analytic meditation, you evaluate your thoughts in three stages. They are:
- the reason why a particular belief is true,
- advantages of feeling or thinking that way, and
- disadvantages of not feeling or thinking that way.
You then use logic and reasoning to influence your behavior accordingly.
Analytic meditation is ancient Buddhist teaching handed down by Buddha to his disciples. It helps in understanding the roots of one’s emotions and how they affect the people around them. Meditating analytically brings about inner change through reasoning and systematic analysis.
Buddhist monks often use an analytical meditation approach to deduce conclusions. They often spend time mindfully reasoning their thoughts on life and death. For example- Does life serve any actual purpose? Is death the ultimate truth? What is true happiness?
The spiritual leader, Dalai Lama is often seen talking about the importance of reasoning in meditation. He strongly believes reasoning hones positivity and alleviates one’s thoughts and emotions. Meditating analytically brings about inner change in an individual through systematic analysis.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta told CNN “For the past two months, I have been a changed man. It is hard to fully describe, except to say my mood is mostly sunny and more patient than usual.” After he got a rare chance to learn how to meditate analytically from nonother than the Dalai Lama.
“In the past, my family and friends would’ve typically described me as pleasant but hurried. My baseline restlessness and edginess, however, have now nearly vanished.”
Dr. Richard Davidson told Bustle “Analytic meditation uses reasoning to gain insight into how the mind works and particularly the nature of the way the mind constructs our selves as an entity.”
“By using reason and probing in this way, we can come to an experiential realization of the ephemeral, constructed nature of the self.”
The analytical method of meditation incorporates elements of mindfulness to focus. You use reasoning to decode and decrypt information collected from various sources afterward. The end result is often the simplified solution to a problem at hand.
Analytical meditation benefits
Analytic meditation provides you with the luxury to focus on one thought at a time. That way, you can provide your undivided attention to the problem at hand. As a result, finding a favorable solution to the problem becomes easy.
Anger management is one of the direct benefits of practicing analytical meditation. Our anger is often fueled by our emotions running wild with nothing to stop them. We are quick enough to pass our judgment on someone or something as bad without giving it a proper thought.
Thinking logically will make you realize only you are responsible for your anger and no one else. It is because nobody can make anybody feel bad or angry unless they belittle themselves. A deeper analysis and reasoning of the situation will make you realize that the only fault is yours.
It is also helpful in maintaining your physical and emotional well-being. practicing analytic meditation daily can lower your heart rate and your blood pressure. Additionally, it can help in managing anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression.
How to do analytical meditation?
Here’s a step-wise analytical meditation guide for beginners.
Step 1: The first step is to set your motives for analytical meditation.
Step 2: Find a yoga mat or a cushion to sit down comfortably in an upright posture. Sit in a cross-leg posture with your back as straight as possible. Place your hands on the top of your knees bringing your index finger and thumb to touch gently.
Step 3: Take some time to make yourself comfortable.
Step 4: Cleanse your breath as you inhale and exhale through your nostrils effortlessly.
Step 5: Once your breath is cleansed, you now reach a resting meditation state. It is an important step that allows you to collect your scattered consciousness.
Step 6: Focus all your attention on breathing. Counting your breath is an easier and common way of working with your breath. Count as high as you like until your mind becomes still as water in a pond.
Step 7: Once your mind becomes still, it is time for analyze your thoughts and emotions. Bring out the subject that needs reasoning and analysis.
Step 8: Ripples may appear once you introduce your subject. Observe them closely as they may provide you with the clue you need.
Step 9: Make sure you have your undivided attention(mindfulness) and your awareness remains in the center.
Step 10: Once you’ve found what you seek(answer), it is time you come out of meditation.
9. Sleep Meditation
Sleep is an important aspect of our lives and meditation helps to improve sleep. A good night’s sleep relieves your fatigue and heals your mind and body. It provides you with the energy needed to live another day. Still, people find it difficult to sleep.
About 30-50 adults out of 100 adults suffer from some kind of sleeping disorder. Some find it difficult to initiate sleep. Others find it impossible to maintain their sleep for a healthy period. As a result, they experience a lack of energy, to start their day.
Related: Sleep deprivation, causes, symptoms, and treatment.
Stress is one of the primary reasons behind people having trouble sleeping. The stress hormone, cortisol can alter one’s natural sleep clock thus hampering the sleep-wake cycle.
One of the best-known remedies for sleeping disorders is meditation. Meditation helps to relax your mind and body by taking care of your stress.
Meditation also enhances sleeping hormones (melatonin), reduces blood pressure, and your heart rate. Thus, improving your sleep quality.
“Yoga is about determining who you are, it’s about determining what you want to be, changing the very fundamentals of one’s existence. Yoga is a system and needs much more involvement than any other things that we do, which are merely an expression of who we are.” – By Sadhguru
Yoga and meditation may seem different from the outside, but they are all the same on the inside. Both serve as a mindfulness technique and promote harmony between the mind, body, and spirit(soul).
The only noticeable difference lies in their approaches i.e. the way we perform them.
Meditation focuses more on what we are not doing and less on what we are doing. You focus on your breathing as you sit quietly in a cross-legged upright posture. The goal is to let the universal energy flow through their body while you do nothing physically.
Yoga, on the other hand, focuses on moving through a very specific series of asanas(postures). You focus on your breathing as you move from one asana to another. The goal is to establish a connection to unbounded consciousness.
- Find a good-quality yoga mat to practice for better results.
- Make use of yoga props such as yoga blocks, yoga straps, toga wheels, bolster, and blankets.
- Wear comfortable clothes that can stretch and move freely.
- Join yoga classes and studios near you or find a professional yoga instructor.
Warning: Do not try imitating yoga asanas (postures) by watching them over the internet. You might end up getting hurt in the process.
Benefits of Yoga
Yoga helps in promoting the union of the mind, body, and soul. Some of the direct benefits of practicing yoga include:
Some of the direct benefits of practicing yoga include:
- Yoga helps to reduce stress and promote relaxation.
- Keeps your mind healthy and strong.
- Improves flexibility, muscle strength, stamina, and balance.
- Promotes happiness and well-being and reduces depression.
- Effective body workout that helps to lose weight and keep your body in shape.
- Boosts the immune system.
- Prevents back, neck, and joint pain.
- Improves sleep quality.
- Lowers your chances of suffering from cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and auto-immune disorders.
Meditation serves different purposes. The most common reasons for meditation are:
Meditation for Stress and Anxiety Control
Are you looking to control/manage your stress or anxiety that is getting out of control lately?
Here’s how to meditate for stress and anxiety management:
Step 1: Take out some time to meditate.
Step 2: Find a quiet place away from physical distractions.
Step 3: Choose a mantra that best suits your needs.
Step 4: Select a comfortable place to sit down with your legs crossed and your back upright.
Step 5: Place your hands on your knees while your index finger touches your thumb.
Step 6: Relax your upper body from the shoulder down to the thoracic cage. Close your eyes gently and take deep breaths.
Step 7: Focus on your breathing but do not breath forcefully. Count your breaths if you may or feel the sensation as you inhale and exhale.
Step 8: Let your thoughts and ideas take the shape of bubbles and flood you. Make no effort to suppress them and let them flow freely.
Step 9: Notice your mind feels lighter and lighter as the bubbles pop one by one. When the last remaining one of your thought bubbles pops- up your mind feels as light as a feather.
Step 10: If you get distracted halfway, shift your focus on your breathing.
Research has shown that practicing meditation on a daily basis helps to reduce stress and relieve anxiety. Mindfulness technique in particular is found to be more effective in dealing with stress and anxiety.
Meditation for Positive Energy
Although it is difficult to believe, our thoughts and beliefs have the power to shape our reality. But once you start believing in the idea that your thoughts have that kind of power, you’ll be able to manifest everything you wish for.
Do note that everything that you wish for will be manifested and not everything you desire. It is because the law of attraction only attracts things you wish for and not the things you longing for.
The law of attraction works its magic in three simple steps. They are:
1. Ask: Ask for things that you want in life from the universe. Be it a success, wealth, relationships, anything. Be specific about what you ask for. For example- if you ask for a car then make sure you mention the color, brand, model, features, etc. Focus on what you want and not on things you don’t want.
2. Believe: Have complete faith that what you ask for will come true. Channel your positive energy(thoughts) towards the universe. Never stop believing that what you ask for will be manifested in your life.
3. Receive: Prepare yourself to receive what you’ve asked for. Try and imagine that the things you asked for have been delivered to you. Feel how you would have felt when you actually receive the things you asked for.
Let your thoughts guide your actions and you’ll be surprised to see the results.
What is a Positive Energy?
To understand positive energy, we must first understand energy itself. Energy is defined as something that can neither be created nor be destroyed and can only be transferred from one form to another.
With this definition in mind, we could say energy is something that is already in existence. It is also true that everything and anything in this world is a mass of energy. The only question is the nature of energy they possess and at what ratio.
A person with greater positive energy emits positive vibrations most of the time. In the same way, a person with greater negative energy emits negative vibrations most of the time.
Interestingly, positive vibrations have a longer wavelength compared to negative vibrations. It means positive vibrations take longer to travel between the source and receiver.
Now considering the universe as a receiver and our bodies as transmitters. The positive thoughts we emmit will take a relatively long time to travel to and from source to a receiver.
As a result, our negative thoughts can manifest much quicker than that of our positive ones. It is one reason why bad things happen a lot in life and good things are rare events.
Ways to bring positive energy into your life.
- Enjoy nature
- Have faith
- Perform random acts of kindness
- Practice gratitude
- Laugh out loud
- Engage in positive talks
- Practice good faith
- Practice yoga
- Treat yourself to good things
- Practice mindfulness
- Celebrate small wins
Why Meditate for Positive Energy?
The goal is to give up on negative characteristics and emphasize on developing positive characteristics.
Meditation helps to cultivate a sense of higher awareness. It makes you aware of your surroundings more than ever before. Your understanding of reality changes.
You feel connected to every energy source there is in this entire universe. You know your role and you know who you are, that you are the universe and the universe is you.
Your thoughts start taking shape and you learn how to change your thoughts. And when you master your thoughts, you can then get what you want and not the other way around.
Here’s a video on guided meditation for positive energy by My Peace Of Mindfulness.
Meditation for Concentration
Studies have shown that meditation as a daily practice helps to improve concentration. Daily meditation helps to have a better understanding of cognitive functions.
As a result, your ability to learn, remember and recite will get a significant boost.
There is more than one way of meditating for better concentration. You can choose anyone to your liking and start practicing meditation today. You’ll be amazed to see the results for yourself soon.
Meditation for Students
Meditation isn’t age-restricted nor it is time-bound. Anyone can practice meditation anytime. Students too can practice meditation and benefit from it.
Students these days have a busy schedule to meet. They are busy studying, learning, developing skills, and growing in personality. They need an unending supply of energy and the highest level of concentration. This is where meditation comes in.
Practicing meditation makes students attentive and improves their concentration power. It also helps to grow their energy reserves and they never run out of energy while learning. So that they can perform well academically.
Here are some of the proven benefits of meditation for students:
- Increased IQ level
- Better focus and better academic result result
- Improved health and personality as a whole
- Reduced stress and anxiety level
- Creativity and innovation
Meditation for Work Success
Much like students, working people too have a busy schedule to meet. They need to work hard, meet deadlines, improve their skills, etc. and emerge victorious. It is by no means an easy life for them.
They work under pressure day and night without being able to live for themselves. There’s no time to waste and relax. The situation is worst for middle and lower-level employees. Since they face tough competition from within the organization.
Meditation can help achieve work success. Meditation helps you to understand the mind in working. It enhances your learning capabilities and fills you with positive energy. It makes you mentally strong so that you could face any challenges thrown your way.
Practicing meditation can make you emotionally stable. So when things get rough, you don’t have to rely on others for support. It helps to see the creative side of you. This will prove helpful in excelling in your career.
Furthermore, meditation helps to reduce work stress and keeps your anxiety level checked.
Meditation at Work
Meditation at work is relatively a new approach. It is only exercised by a handful of organizations worldwide. This concept of meditation in the workplace might sound odd to some. But it has its own benefits.
Studies show that meditating at work significantly improves the productivity of the employees. It was especially true for those who were involved in mental tasks rather than manual labor.
Today, it is implemented by many IT companies around the world. They provide their employees with about 20 minutes of free time to meditate on top of their lunch break. Some organizations even create a separate relaxation space for their employees.
This has proven to be highly beneficial for both the employees and the organizations. The purpose of meditation at work is to set aside all the stress and focus at work.
Below are the proven ways meditation prepares you for work success:
- Enhanced learning,
- Makes you optimistic,
- Improves your mentality,
- Keeps check of your emotions,
- Reduces work stress and anxiety,
- It helps to see the creative side of you, etc.
Meditation for Love
Love is the most beautiful of feelings and can be only felt by people with a pure heart. Love is a give and takes relationship. When in love, you give love to others and you receive love from others.
But there are certain prerequisites before one falls in love. Having a pure soul without any traces of hatred is one of them. Which is only possible through meditation.
When you practice meditation, you have absolute control over your thoughts and emotions. This will in turn trigger positive actions that will make people fall in love with you. Since your actions are the result of your thoughts and emotions.
If your emotions are pure and without hatred, your actions will make others fall in love with you. In the same way, hatred and rage could only make other people react in a similar fashion. Thus all you get is hatred in return.
Meditation for Letting Go
It is not always good to cling to things that belong to you. Example- your love for someone dear to you whom you might have lost recently.
Your love for someone dear to you can sometimes become a hurdle in your life. At times like this, you’ll have two choices. Either you give up on overcoming the hurdle. Or you give up your love for the person you lost and move on.
Mind you, it is not an easy task to let go of your love. But you have to do it and what best way to let go of your love than meditation.
Meditation teaches you to let go of your feelings, good or bad. It teaches you to deal with your emotions when you are sad or happy. You also learn to cope up with your pain and sorrow.
Meditation for Beginners
In this section, we’ll learn how to meditate as a beginner for better results. So, let’s get started.
Here’s a video tutorial by Bright Side on how to meditate: six easy tips for beginners.
Guided meditation for beginners
When you think of meditating, do not mistake it for work or some kind of exercise. It is a simple practice of mindfulness to establish a connection between the mind, body, and soul. You can choose to meditate anytime, anywhere, and in any way you want.
There’s no telling what is a good meditation practice and what isn’t. Keep in mind that meditation has different forms and they serve different purposes.
So it is important that you set your goals prior to starting your meditation journey.
Once you’ve set your motive for meditation and selected the form of meditation, you’re good to go.
Easy to follow meditation steps for beginners:
1. Dress for Comfort: Wear light, loose, and stretchy clothes for comfort during meditation. Avoid wearing anything restricting such as a fitting shirt or jeans. You may find it difficult to breathe freely which is a very important aspect of meditation. Do keep in mind the weather and dress accordingly.
2. Find a quiet setting: As a beginner, it is best that you look for a quiet place away from distractions to meditate. It will help you to concentrate better. Select a place with natural shades, without direct sunlight, and away from noises.
3. Set a time limit: For a starter, try setting your timer between 5-10 minutes. You can set it higher as you make progress.
4. Settle down: Sit in an upright cross-legged position with your back straight. Loosen your arms and shoulders. Place your palms on your knees and relax.
5. Feel your breath: Feel the sensation of your breath as you inhale and exhale. Count your breaths if it helps in concentration.
6. Notice when your mind wanders away: Your focus will shift away time and again from your breathing. When that happens and you notice your mind wandering away, bring your focus back to your breaths.
7. Be kind to your wandering mind: Don’t obsess yourself over the contents of the thoughts you find yourself lost in. Simply come back.
8. Close with gratitude: When you’re done, rub your palms together and rub them over your face. Repeat it three times and then gently open your eyes.
That’s the end of your first meditation session. Next time you meditate, try setting your timer a little higher.
Meditation is beneficial in many different ways. You might not realize it in the earlier stages. But as you make progress, you’ll start noticing changes in your life.
By changes I mean to say positive things will happen to you. You’ll benefit physically, mentally as well as psychologically over time.
Here’s a list of some of the direct benefits of meditation:
- Slows down aging. Meditation helps to reduce stress, improves sleep, boosts immunity, and keeps your and heart-healthy. As a result, your natural process of aging slows down.
- Lose weight. Your surplus weight is the result of your stress, inactivity, and overeating. Meditation helps to take care of your stress, keep you active, and prevents you from overeating. By making you aware of the consequences thus helping you lose weight.
- Longevity. Meditation can help you to live longer. There are many examples of sages living well over a hundred years. It is all possible because practicing meditation slows down your heart rate and metabolism process. Lower heartbeat and reduced metabolism contribute to a longer healthier life.
- Improves your sleep quality. Meditation helps to relax your body and brain. It also helps to limit the distractions in your brain. Lower distractions when accompanied by a relaxed body promote a good night’s sleep.
- Relaxes the muscles. The breathing technique we use in meditation helps in improving blood circulation. Improved blood flow relaxes the muscles.
- Promotes a healthy heart. There’s no better way of keeping your heart healthy than meditation. When you meditate, a lot of physical and psychological changes take place. These changes help in keeping the heart young and healthy.
- Beats addiction. It is found that people who meditate daily are less likely to develop an addiction. Also, those with some kinds of addiction can beat their addiction.
- Promotes positive energy. Meditation is all about positive thoughts, faith, and optimism. Positive thoughts are the source of one’s positive energy.
- Peace of mind. Meditation helps in achieving peace of mind.
- Give raise to higher consciousness. Practicing meditation helps to raise your consciousness to the highest level.
- Establishes mind-Body connection. It helps to establish a connection between your mind and body.
- Emotional stable. Meditation helps to keep your emotions checked thus makes you emotionally stable.
- Improved concentration. A peaceful mind without distraction can concentrate better.
- Creativity. Your creativity is the outcome of you being able to explore your inner self.
- Optimism. When you meditate, you develop a positive attitude and become more optimistic.
- Improved cognitive functions. Studies show that meditation helps to learn, memorize, and recite things better.
Best Meditation Apps
A meditation app is an app designed to help you in your meditation practice. They are designed in such a way so as to help you train your mind and body for a healthier and happier life. You’ll also be able to get the most out of your day with the help of meditation.
There are lots of meditation apps available on the web. Some of them are free to use while others might charge you depending upon the courses you select.
Top 8 popular paid meditation apps for you to try:
- Stop, think and breath
Top 4 free meditation apps for you to try:
- Smiling mind
- UCLA mind
- 10 % Happier
- Insight Timer
Meditation music is a type of music performed to help people meditate. It aids people in the practice of meditation. It often has religious content.
Hindus for example- prefer to meditate with the sound of “Om” chanting in the background. While ‘Buddhists’ prefer “Om Mani Padme Hum” mantra chants during meditation.
It is believed that meditating with meditation music helps to concentrate better and is very effective.
Meditation Music Helps to Relax Mind and Body
There’s no argument that all kinds of music soothe one’s mind and soul. But the spiritual music or meditation music works best to help relax your mind and body.
Meditational music is usually composed of 40–60 BPM(Beats Per Minute). It comes under the ‘Slower Tempo’ music category. Studies suggest that slower tempo music helps to keep our minds at ease. It also helps in relaxing muscles and helps to release stress from the mind.
There are lots of meditation series available out there for you to get your hands on and try out first hand.
Deepak Chopra, an alternative-medicine advocate advises that meditation can help people live happily. Meditation practice is beneficial for people of all ages i.e. kids, teenagers, youths, adults, everyone.
When you first start to practice meditation, it might feel awkward to you. But as you take your time exploring the inner you, things will get better and better. You’ll learn to control your emotions and develop a positive attitude towards life. You’ll eventually learn to love and let go of your ego, stress, and anxiety.
In other words, you’ll get completely transformed over time with meditation. So, make sure you meditate starting from today.
Here’s a link to the best meditation centers in the USA. Just click on the given link and you’ll be redirected to a blog post. There you’ll be able to make a booking according to your preferences.
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