Meditation frees your mind. Many people who haven’t tried meditation, think of it as doing nothing. They are too busy to find the time to slow down enough to be still. In reality, meditation is an active way of training your brain. Meditating makes you more, not less, aware. There is science-backed evidence that meditation improves your physical, mental and emotional health.
If you want to feel more calm, focused and present, meditation is for you. Meditation teaches you to look for happiness within, rather than outside of yourself.
Not only is meditation great for your health, but you can also do it almost anywhere any time. Even a few minutes of meditation can have a big impact on your sense of wellness.
Meditation frees your mind by reducing “monkey mind” or wandering thoughts. Instead of worrying about the future or thinking about the past, it focuses on the present. Meditation is often as effective as antidepressants. Long time practitioners develop more brain gray matter. Meditating can even improve memory in people with dementia.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a mental exercise which improves your physical, mental and emotional health.
Types of Meditation
There are many types of meditation. Here are seven of them:
1. Guided Meditation
In guided meditation, you are given a series of cues aimed at relaxing your body and mind. They may involve picturing a relaxing image, situation or place.
2. Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness meditation teaches you how to be present in the moment. It often focuses on the flow of your breath. Thoughts may come and go but they are not focused on.
3. Mantra Meditation
In Mantra Meditation, you repeat a calming word or phrase. This frees your mind from all the negative chatter and clutter you may otherwise encounter.
4. Sound Meditation
Sound meditation uses bells, quartz bowls or Tibetan singing bowls to guide you into a peaceful state.
5. Walking Meditation
In walking meditation, you focus on your movements as you take a relaxing stroll.
6. Love and Kindness Meditation
To feel more connected to yourself and others, try love and kindness meditation. Focus on compassionate thoughts. Send your loved ones kind wishes.
7. Yoga Meditation
Yoga meditation combines physical movements, breath work and meditation.
Top 10 Benefits of Meditation
- Lowers your stress, anxiety, depression, and risk of related medical conditions.
- Improves your mood, self image and outlook. Can reverse negative brain patterns.
- Sharpens your concentration and attention.Reduces your risk of heart disease by lowering your resting heart rate and blood pressure.
- Improves your sleep.
- Cultivates creativity and problem-solving skills.
- Improves memory and learning, and fights age-related mental decline.
- Promotes empathy and compassion towards yourself and others.
- Increases your self-discipline and awareness. It can also aid in fighting addictions.
- Decreases fear and pain sensitivity.
Like all habit formation, it’s best to start small. Set aside a few minutes to give meditation a try. You can sit or lie in a comfortable spot where you won’t be disturbed. Try to maintain good posture. Start with a soft focus and then close your eyes.
Take several deep breaths in through your nose and slowly out through your mouth. Take notice of the points of contact of your body on the floor.
Then mentally scan your body from head to toe. Notice how each area of your body feels. If you’d like, picture warm sunlight melting any tension away.
Next focus on where you feel your breath the most. Count your breaths from 1 to 10 and then restart. If thoughts appear, gently return your focus to your breath.
Building a Meditation Habit
One great way to make meditation a regular part of your life is to start or end your day with it.
Building a meditation habit will take time and patience but it will free your mind.
As you probably know, weight training improves your muscular strength and endurance. In the same way, meditation improves the strength and endurance of your concentration. Imagine what you can achieve when you can pay better attention for longer periods of time!
Meditation, like most things, takes practice. Don’t be self-critical. There is no one right way to meditate. Expect your mind to wander and simply refocus when it does. Keep practicing and adapt your favorite type of meditation to your needs.
Meditation frees your mind and greatly improves the quality of your life. Even a few minutes a day can deliver a plethora of health benefits.
Meditation reduces strain on your heart and protects your brain from aging. It also teaches you how to breathe more efficiently. A regular meditation practice is a great way to get rid of stress.
If your mind tends to wander, meditation will train you to focus better. You will also be able to react to stressful situations more calmly.
Practicing meditation regularly provides a sense of wellness, balance and inner peace. We hope you find yours!
Mayoclinic.org; Healthline.com; forbes.com