As a long standing method of clearing your mind, and opening your chakras, the art of meditation is a relatively easy method of self-help. It’s because it’s such a healthy activity that we thought we’d sit down and help you with the in’s and out’s of meditation. Let’s begin.Prayer is when you talk to God. Meditation is when God talks to you. Click To Tweet
How does Meditation Help?
Meditation can offer a wide variety of benefits, a variety that all stem from one thing: the power of your mind. When we meditate, we clear our minds and allow them to flow freely; it’s like opening your windows when you come back to your cottage after not being in it for a couple years, the fresh breeze will feel good and blow away or kick up some dust.
How exactly this helps is that it allows you to ‘Spring Clean’ your mind. You’ll be able to sort through things that otherwise stressed you out while remaining calm, and as another beneficial result, you’ll cultivate your own self control. Meditation, while restful, is also an easy exercise for your mind; and as a result you’ll see a rise in your own cognitive capabilities. When done properly, meditation will help you organize your thoughts, declutter your mind, and assist your coming to terms with negativity while reveling in the positive.
Now while you do that, your brain will produce chemicals and energies that assist in not just your physical health, but spiritual as well. When you’re stressed, angry, or scared your mind and body create chemicals that are more harmful than helpful, chemicals that can hinder a recovery process, or even cause someone to be become ill. Yes, you can make yourself sick from stress. Meditation is soothing, and thus assists in the elimination of these negative chemicals; it will also open your energies to those around you, and allow you to rejuvenate your energies as a result.
Some of the noteworthy benefits of meditation are: a decrease in overall negative issues such as depression, and anxiety; thus increasing positive thinking, calmness, and your overall mood. Those who practice meditation will notice an increase in mental strength and focus, memory retention and recall, and cognitive power and creative thinking. This means you’ll be able to make decisions easier, and process information more readily. Your physical body will also be affected, and you’ll notice a higher energy level and that you get sick less often. Your blood pressure will decrease, which in turn will help your heart and (for the ladies) some of your menstrual ‘issues’.
How to Meditate
First off we’re going to start with a basic step-by-step so that we’ve got the essentials covered. There are different ways you can meditate, but these are the beginning steps you’ll need to take to get started, as each ‘style’ or ‘type’ of meditation start with these four easy steps:
You’ll want to get into a comfortable sitting or reclining position (sitting cross legged, reclining in bed, whatever is most comfortable for you)
Close your eyes, or keep them open and just ‘soften’ your gaze – un focus your eyes, kind of like how you would if you’re staring off into space, thinking.
Breathe naturally, and count the breaths – up to 4, once you hit 4, start over again. You’re not trying to change your breathing, you’re just concentrating on it, and counting them. Eventually you’ll forget to stop at 4, and that’s okay, just start back at 1 again. This acts as a calming ‘loop’ of sorts.
While you’re breathing, focus on the movements of your body. Not in the sense where you’re being hyper aware of it, just notice it. Feel your lungs expand and shrink as you breathe, or watch your chest rise and fall. Notice it, but don’t focus solely on it. This is your ‘grounding’ or so to speak – the thing you can turn back to when your mind decides to wander; and it will and that’s ok.
Chances are you’ll only be able to stand this for a few minutes, as you’ll find your thoughts hard to ‘ignore’ while you try to breathe. There are some things you can do to help calm yourself and make meditation easier, such as:
Noticing the Thoughts
Your thoughts, while you meditate, are like friends stopping by while you’re outside gardening. Acknowledge them before politely asking them to leave and focus back on your work, or in this case, your breathing. You will get stray thoughts more often than not, but it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t focus on them. Meditation is about clearing the mind and centering yourself, not creating more of a mess and turmoil.
Meditating while you’re emotional can be hard – but it’s also to best way to calm yourself down. A tip for meditating while emotional is to concentrate on your body’s reaction to the emotion (the brand of fear constricting your chest, the tears burning in your throat because you refuse to cry). Focus on that, not the emotion itself, and eventually you’ll find yourself in a lovely meditative trance.
It’s hard to know how long you should meditate for, especially when you’re just beginning to and just want to stop so you can move on. Our recommendation is between 5-10 minutes for those just starting out, though we’ve seen some people meditate for up to an hour. In the end, it depends on how long you can hold your focus for before your body yells at you to get moving.
While meditating, it’s strongly recommended you do so in a quiet environment. Until you’ve mastered your mind and can control your meditation, your mind will be easily distracted by the smallest of things; from traffic outside of your window, to people in your home talking. You want to remove as many distractions as you can, as that gives your mind less opportunity to wander while you’re trying to focus and breathe. Music has been known to help, and there are various videos online that are written to assist in meditation; however music does assist the mind in wandering and in creating stories, which isn’t productive towards meditating.
While this is only essentially the bare basics of meditating, it’s a good starting point for those who are curious, or are looking to try. Don’t be afraid to experiment a little with your technique, or to look for other tips and tricks from other reliable sources, as we simply wish the best for you. In the meantime, we wish you a good day and positive energies.
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