The concept of meditation has many connotations attached. From religion and spiritual beliefs to scientific research, meditation has played many roles in the development and advancement of society as we know it today.
With today’s research, we now understand that meditation truly provides mental, emotional, and physical health benefits previously thought to be a placebo effect by many scientists worldwide.
Whether you are thinking of learning about meditation to help find your true path in life or if you are seeking ways to reduce stress while relaxing your mind, there are many ways for you to get started right away.
Get Educated About Meditation
Meditation goes far beyond New Age theories and YouTube videos. The actual practice of meditation can be traced back to as far back as 1500 BCE, where it was thoroughly explored and promoted throughout India and regions of the East. Buddhism is commonly referred to as a cornerstone of the rise of meditation. The practice of meditation itself expanded throughout various continents as Buddhism became more widely spread. Today, meditation is practiced in schools through Transcendental Meditations and in a variety of therapies, religious practices, and spiritual beliefs.
Expand your knowledge of meditation by learning more of its origin and why it is utilized in your own belief system to find practices that are just right for your journey.
Know What to Expect
You may be wondering what you can expect from meditating or if you will feel any different once you begin to meditate, especially as a beginner.
It is important to remember that the act of meditation is a process. One that many practitioners spend years, if not decades, perfecting for themselves as each individual operates differently and responds to external stimuli in various ways.
When you begin to practice meditation for the very first time, you may find yourself let down or disappointed if you do not immediately feel relief from stress, worry, and all of your everyday problems. However, meditation requires consistency and a commitment to changing the way your brand and mind operate over some time with meditation in repetition.
Meditation can help you empty your mind, decompress, and even rewire various areas of your brain that may be causing you to feel a lack of focus, direction, or guidance in your life. This process requires time and dedication to truly allowing yourself to silence your mind and its thoughts, even when they are invasive or seemingly urgent.
Meditation will provide long-term mental, emotional, and physical benefits depending on your personal level of participation and the amount you choose to meditate each day. Meditating just 10 minutes each day can have a significant impact on an individual’s overall self-awareness, perception, as well as their mental and emotional wellbeing.
Benefits of Meditation
Throughout history, the practice of meditation has been controversial and not without issue, especially as meditation is utilized by many religions and spiritual practices in addition to science-based programs and organizations today.
With advancements in science and the brain, we have now discovered that meditation provides solid, genuine health benefits, both mentally and physically. Some of the most notable benefits that meditation has to offer include:
- Stress reduction: Studies show that consistent meditation can help to significantly reduce overall stress and worry an individual’s life
- Reduced mood swings and anger: Feelings of anger, moodiness, and irritability are also decreased with ongoing and committed meditation.
- Relieve anxiety and depression: Meditation can help to overcome and face anxiety as well as depression head-on, especially with a clear commitment to the practice in combination with consistency over time.
- Reduce, minimize, or eliminate pain: Fatigue, exhaustion, and chronic pain can also be addressed with consistent and dedicated meditation techniques.
- Lower blood pressure: Opting to meditate daily is a great and effective way to reduce and lower blood pressure. Ultimately, reduced and lowered blood pressure minimizes the risk of strokes and heart attacks in individuals of all ages.
- Slow the aging of your brain: Individuals who meditate regularly and consistently can slow their aging brain down. Slowing aging can help extend the individual’s lifespan in conjunction with a healthy diet and lifestyle.
- Improves attention span: In today’s fast-paced world, increasing and improving your attention span is now more important than ever. With concentrated and regular meditation, relearn how to harnesses your focus and your ability to pay attention to information for extended periods.
Avoid Pressuring Yourself
Whenever an individual begins the process of meditating for the very first time, is is likely that they will feel an overwhelming sense of pressure to perform properly or to immediately see results in their lives. Once you understand the purpose and use of meditation, it is much easier to avoid pressuring yourself or causing yourself to feel overwhelmed.
When just getting started with meditation, avoid setting high expectations for individual experiences. Instead, opt to journal your experiences each time you meditate. Record your mood, log foods you are eating, and journal about daily stressors you are working to reduce or eliminate altogether. Tracking your own progress on an individual level helps avoid feeling overly pressured or letdown after a meditation session.
Spend time researching breathing exercises and incorporate them into your daily routine, especially before, during, and after meditating. Breathing properly can help to improve blood flow, reduce stress while allowing you to improve your overall health over time.
Use breathing exercises when you are feeling stressed or experiencing bouts of high anxiety. Breathing exercises can be done and completed in less than a few minutes each day. It can provide long-term health benefits and relief when implemented into your daily life over time.
When you begin meditating in any session, focus on your breathing. Focusing on your breathing will help you better understand why you may be feeling anxious or irritable, especially if you are not taking enough deep breaths or even allowing yourself time to breathe in everyday life.
Meditation Techniques for Beginners
Diving into extended meditation sessions and practices immediately out of the gate as a beginner is not always recommended, especially if you are unfamiliar with the process of meditation or if you are simply looking to ease into it. Before you dive deep into heavy and hardcore meditation techniques, there are a few tips to help guide you along the way.
Learn to Sit Still
It may seem silly to simply sit still for any amount of time. But it is vital in the process of true transformation through the power of meditation. In today’s highly technological world, we have shortened attention spans. We often require immediate gratification or verification in all areas of our lives. Whether you are placing an order for groceries online, pulling into a drive-thru, or researching a topic, we live in a world that rewards us with instant gratification.
If you truly want to implement long-term changes to your mind and brain through the use of meditation, learning how to sit still and be still with your own thoughts is the first challenge to take head-on. Simply sit still for 2 minutes each day and allow yourself to close your eyes while attempting to eliminate thoughts, worries, and emotions. This exercise may seem tricky and even futile if you are only beginning to meditate for the first time. However, it is absolutely necessary for a dedicated meditation journey to begin.
Meditate Early in the Morning
When you choose to set your scheduled meditation time after work or after a long, hectic, and busy day, you may find it difficult to stick to your routine, especially if you feel exhausted or worn out by the end of your day.
Environment is Key
To truly find relief and success from meditating, it is essential to create an environment that is just right for the meditation process itself. Avoid attempting to meditate while you are watching your children, cooking, or focused on high-stress situations such as deadlines, bills, or other pressing matters. Reserve a space in your home or even outdoors that is free from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Inform your family that you will be unavailable during your time of meditation and why it is so important for you to have your time to find your peace and center.
Whenever you are attempting to meditate, it is essential to avoid as many distractions and potential interruptions as much as possible. Eliminate distractions by creating a space for you to meditate freely and without disruption. Turn all smartphones and electronic devices to vibrate or silent while you are in the process of meditating, especially if you are committed to deep meditation sessions.
Allow Negative Emotions to Come and Pass
When people think of meditation without any experience in the practice, they may reference New Age movements and hippies and free spirits.
One of the most common misconceptions of meditating is, however, that individuals who meditate simply avoid negativity and the harsh reality of the outside world. This could not be further from the truth.
Those who partake in meditation are very self-aware of their own habits, mistakes, and pasts. Those who find true long-term success and positive results from meditation have done so by addressing and facing their own emotions, worries, and stressors head-on, rather than ignoring them.
Allowing yourself to feel negative emotions, worries, and stress is a part of the meditation process. For experienced individuals of meditation, the only way out of a difficult or challenging time is through it directly, which may require unpleasant and unsettling discoveries about your own internal thinking and self-awareness.
When meditating, allowing uncomfortable thoughts to enter. Allow negative emotions to arise, and then allow them to pass. Meditation is not a practice that encourages the covering up of emotions, thoughts and real struggles in daily life. Instead, it is a practice that encourages a deep dive into our own minds, hearts, and psyches. By being willing to take the plunge into meditation and self-reflection, you will get to know more about your true nature as well as your true purpose in life.
Learn About Mindfulness
Learning about mindfulness can help you to remain self-aware as you gain perspective each time you complete a session of meditation.
Mindfulness is the ability to reflect on your own actions and thoughts and how others may perceive them and how your inner subconscious is perceiving them. The more self-aware you can become through the process of self-reflection, mindfulness, and meditation, the easier it will be to assert control over your life and the path you want for yourself.
Repetition is Key
To enjoy long-term and lasting benefits of meditation, commitment and consistency are key.
Dedicating at least 10 to 30 minutes of your day to meditation over a few months will significantly impact your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing when applied in your everyday life.
Understanding the basics of meditation and what it entails can help you move forward on your journey to inner peace, enlightenment, and total freedom. By making a concerted effort to focus on calming your mind and self-reflection, you will resume power and control over your own life and its trajectory you never thought possible.