Do you feel unable to have the attention, mental focus, impulse control or determination to complete the desired task? Well, here’s a way for you to start looking at the cause of your problem in a different way and attack it at its roots. The problem might be right at the source of the inspiration for your desired task – your mind. It has been observed time and again in informal observations as well as empirically valid ones that meditation can help in more than one way to bring inner calm, relax your body, heighten your focus, impulse control and much more. Let us find out more about what meditation really is, what some popular methods are, why you should start meditating and how you can do it.
What is meditation?
Generally speaking meditation is any inwardly oriented, self-executed personal practice which may involve attempts to bring about a desired state of mind. The practice of meditation varies from one school of practice to another and may involve a particular body posture such as sitting, kneeling or even standing on one leg and also a particular methodology such as repetition of verses or focusing on particular anchors of focus such as a still candle flame or one’s own breath. Even though the positive effects of meditation on the mind have been empirically observed, the exact mechanism hasn’t been conclusively pinned yet.
Why you should start meditating?
If you’ve been a certain way for a very long time and think that you’ll never change for the better, then meditation might just be that magic pill for you. This is because it’s been observed in scientific studies that brain plasticity can be achieved through regular and deep meditation. Brain plasticity refers to the brain’s ability to transform significantly. This means that if you want to become a person with drastically different temperament, habits and perception, meditation can really help you.
Besides helping you change, it relaxes the body and reduces the effect of the stress hormones on the body. This has more benefits than you might think. For instance, stress hormones slow down your body’s resting metabolism rate and meditation helps alleviate this slow down effect of the stress hormones. This means you’ll actually lose weight just by getting rid of your stress hormones.
There are many other reasons why you need to meditate, spirituality being one of them. If you can find a resolve to your spiritual outlook just by practicing meditation, then why not give it a try?
How to start meditating?
You have to understand that meditating is a challenging practice. It’s not as easy as it looks. You’ll know when you first try to make your mind a blank slate and keep it from wandering. That said, although it is challenging, it is very much achievable.
When you meditate you will notice that your mind keeps wandering. The mind can be likened to the surface of an ocean. It keeps wavering. But when you get deeper inside your consciousness, you will feel a calm that is hard to achieve otherwise. That could be your objective through meditation.
If there is a center for meditation or an art of living class accessible near your neighborhood, it would be wise to access a session of guided meditation just to give you a feel of how meditation actually feels. It could be just for 15 minutes but when you open your eyes you’ll feel as fresh as waking up after a 4 hour nap.
It is fine if you cannot access a session of guided meditation. It is possible to have a virtual guided meditation. See the link in the resource section.
The first thing you need to understand before you start meditating is that meditation is not about manipulation of your bodily functions like breathing, thinking etc. but simply to be aware of those processes, to be a silent spectator of your being. With this knowledge you can start with the simple breathing meditation.
Find yourself a nice, tidy, unpolluted and quiet place where you can breathe without feeling suffocated. If you can do this in the wee hours of the morning, then it’s great. Just sit comfortably and make sure that you’re sitting erect so that airflow is not restricted. Then just close your eyes and take a few deep breaths just to freshen up. Then just relax your entire body and try to be aware of your breath, the inhalations and exhalations. Try to feel where your breath is going and be constantly aware of it. This could sound simple are you’re reading it but when you actually try, your mind will wander from here to there and from then to later. You cannot capture the mind and bottle it but what you can do is try to get back to the breathing every time when your mind tries to wander. This would get easier as you practice.
Start with 5 minute sessions; this could actually seem too long when you’re actually meditating for the first time. Extend the span of your session as you feel more comfortable with your sessions. As you feel comfortable with this simple meditation you can explore more varieties of meditation from the link provided in the resource section below.
Hope we could convince you to start meditating and were helpful with the tips! Have a great time on your path to a better life!
- Different kinds of meditation – http://www.spiritualnow.com/articles/20/1/The-Different-Types-of-Meditation/Page1.html
- Guided Meditation – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zh-klfBJlHc