The popularity of meditation is increasing and it can exponentially change your life for the better. Many (if not all) influential people practice one form of meditation or another. I could write endlessly on different types of meditation and their individual benefits but for the moment will focus on the benefits and maybe explore different types of meditation at another time.
One thing to note, I have often observed people claim they can’t meditate and settle but, on the contrary this is generally the time when you need to meditate most.
Meditation is meant to be easy and there is no wrong way or right way to meditate, it is a matter of what suits the individual person.
Science based benefits of meditation
To begin here follows the benefits stated by Healthline as science based facts and are given an evidence based tick of approval.
*promote emotional health
*lengthen attention span
*could reduce age-related memory loss
*can generate kindness
*may help fight addictions
*can improve sleep
*can help control pain
*can decrease blood pressure
*you can meditate anywhere
Two simple exercises
As suggested : “you can meditate anywhere” and here are two little meditation exercises that you can do where ever you like.
First – focus your attention on a single object with thought, sound or visualisation. This brings your attention to this one thing and removes distractions. You can either just focus on the one object and listen to your breathing, or add a mantra in your head (or out loud if you are alone) and/or incorporate (in real life or imagination), a calming sound such as a water fountain or birds singing in the trees.
You can do this for 5-20 minutes just bringing your attention back to the object and listen to your breathing. Letting go of any thoughts that pass through your mind. You can come back to them later and they will return after the meditation if they need to.
Second – bring your attention to everything around you like an open monitor and broaden your awareness of all aspects of your environment, train of thought and sense of self. You could notice some thoughts, feelings or impulses you normally try to suppress. They come to the surface, you notice them and let them go – any and every thought they are nothing more than a thought and expand your awareness.
You can do this for 5-10 minutes and when you have finished this open-monitoring of all that is around you it is advisable to bring your attention back to yourself. Notice something within close proximity of you and bring things back into perspective.
Calm the mind
One of the greatest benefits of meditation is to calm the mind. When you mind is racing it is an uncomfortable place to be. Hence, if you can calm your mind you feel more peaceful and at one with the world. Things then tend to flow to you and the calmer you are the happier you are and as a consequence life appears easier.
Many inspirational people in this field are often are happy and laugh a lot. One example is the Dali Lama who is often portrayed as laughing and smiling and
beyond helpful. It is a necessity to live a rewarding and happy life as we live life on a different plane when our mind is calm and focused.
Meditation and mindfulness
Mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something. It is a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts and bodily sensations. If you purposely bring your attention as a psychological process to experiences occurring in the present moment without judgment, you are living a mindful life and this can be brought about from meditation.
If you combine mindfulness and meditation it is a powerful and ancient technique that is again proven to reduce stress, anxiety and depression. Plus, you can re-train your mind to keep calm and alive in the moment and this can change the physical structure of your brain to create long-lasting changes.
Mindfulness brings with it a connection between the body and the mind. When we are living totally in the present there is a natural affiliation between the body and the mind. Many times when we are stressed, tired, not eating well etc we find we are living too much in our head. This results in little annoying things such as, tripping on the pavement or dropping something, losing your keys etc.
These are the results of not being in our body and are just little reminders to pay attention. The best way of alleviating such annoyances is to return to the present moment, by listening to your breathing and pay attention.
The present moment is always moving forward, neither here nor there so to pay attention to the here and now and be present is a key to happiness. Even if it is something unpleasant things always pass and to be in the present moment can help with our intuition and knowing what to do next.
Time slows for no one and meditation brings us back to the here and now and a connection with the life force.
My meditation practice
I have been meditating every morning for the past 9 years and find I cannot start my day without it. It is like a refreshing re-boot before you start the day, especially if you have not slept as well as desired.
I am still looking for a more distinctive change to my life and personality as a result of my dedication to my morning practice. But, sometimes things take time and I question whether I am going deep enough into my meditation practice. I have recently read of people who have meditated and it has had an immediate and positive affect on their lives.
This is why I am interested in further research on meditation and what it is that causes a positive influence and change to one’s life. I have to confess that the meditation technique I learnt suggests I do it twice a day and yet I often only manage the morning and forget the afternoon practice. Therefore, I may be offering a biased opinion.
How often do you wonder why something isn’t working and when you go deeper it is simply you are not doing it properly? Some people are diligent and maybe that is why they succeed?
Meditation is always beneficial.
As with everything, meditation is a personal experience and is always beneficial. But, it depends on the commitment and many other factors as to how much each person receives and it assists them.
How is your meditation practice? Either you may wish to start now with a free ten-minute meditation practice. There are plenty around if you start looking and you will be drawn to the most appropriate one for you. Or you could start with the exercises I mentioned earlier to springboard you on your journey.
Maybe you are meditating every day, or twice a day and you are reaping the benefits? Or you are like me, meditating but not getting what you want out of it and may have to delve deeper into how to get more benefits?
Wherever you are on your meditation journey keep going and I hope you get as much benefit as you can.
Please let us know your experience in the comments below and I look forward to hearing from you,