Meditation is one of the techniques often used for stress management. A person who is riddled with problems often finds it hard to focus, which often leads to more problems. Meditation techniques can help a person achieve a calm state of mind to help them navigate their daily lives. The best part is that every step to meditation is done in the mind.
Okay, I know what you are thinking here… Meditation is hard and every time I sit down to attempt it my mind is filled with a million thoughts and images. How can I slow it down to achieve this “meditative state.” We will cover those fears as well as over 4 steps in how to improve your meditation techniques.
The truth about the mind
The first thing about meditation that you have to accept is that there is no one right way to do it or one right style. It can be done at anytime, anywhere, and by anyone. Heck you can meditate at Starbucks when it is filled with people yelling orders and who’s drink is ready. I can hear you saying, but meditation is about being in a quite place that wont distract your mind and fill it with thoughts. That simply is not true.
Meditation is simply the practice of intentionally spending time with your mind. It can allow us to become more aware of our thoughts and how they affecft us. It can allows us to act more compassionately to others and ourselves. It can also allow us to more fully connect with the present moment, removing the worry and stress of things that have already happened or not happened yet.
You probably have the idea that meditation is sitting in silence and stopping all thoughts from entering your mind. Good luck with that, the mind simply does not work that way. What is important here is not latching onto a specific thought. Let them come and go, much life traffic on the roads. In fact, daydreaming is the act of attaching ourselves to a shiny thought patter and letting it sweep us away. What you need to learn is to see that shiny thought but not allow it to sweep us up and take us from our intention. See it coming and let it continue on through, taking your focus back to your breathing – letting it go. This works whether the thought is a positive or negative one.
It takes practice to just view them as thoughts and nothing more. Learning this allows us to leave our heads more often and be more engaged in our lives with others and events.
Benefits of Daily Meditation
You can start to feel the benefits of meditation immediately and with regular practice become much more noticeable. There are thousands of studies that show practicing mindfulness and meditation can impact the mental and physical health of a person positively. Meditation can allow you to have less stress, better sleep patterns, better focus, and even improve interpersonal relationships.
Remember that every meditation is one step closer to building healthier habits for a much happier mindset.
Meditation allows us to see things more clearly, to feel more calm, and content. It can also allow us to feel more kind to ourselves, regardless of what is going on. Admit it, our own thoughts can be some of the most poisonous and dangerous. Learning to see them as simply thoughts and that they have no control over you can be liberating. Meditation is about a goal or end point, It’s about slowing down, checking in with ourselves, and noticing how our mind is working. Remember, the ultimate point is to learn to be more kind to yourself.
What Do I Need To Start Meditating
One thing people get caught up on when they think about starting meditation is what all will they need to buy to do it. Will they need special loose fitting clothing? Will they need some special mat or music? Is incense necessary and what kind of environment is best to practice it? All of these are trappings that prevent you from getting to the actual doing.
Do you want to know the most important tool for you to start meditating? I have the answer for you but first you also need to realize that there is no right way to meditate. How you meditate will be different than anyone else and that is okay. The best part is that it can be done anywhere. Now for the secret tool you need for meditating. Are you ready for it? The only tool you need to meditate is you.
It is best to plan out when you are going to mediate, so you can hold yourself accountable for it. Much like exercising, if you carve out a time to do it, it becomes special. It becomes something to get you motivated. And the best time to do it is whenever you can fit it in.
You only need a few minutes to five to meditating, so no worries about how long to plan it for. Five minutes may be all you need this time. Most meditations run between five and ten minutes.
Be prepared for distractions, but too much silence can be as distraction as not enough. Dont focus on the distractions, let them fall to the peripheral of your thoughts. That is why walking or running can be some of the best times. This allows you to not focus to long on one particular thought and let it fall away thanks to focusing on the exercise. If noise is still too much, try earplugs, noise canceling machines, or light music.
Dress and sit (if needed) however you choose. Do not get caught up in types of clothes or sitting positions. Those are all distractions from your purpose. Do what feel natural.
If you are struggling, you can try a guided meditation. This gives you something to focus your mind on so those random thoughts dont take over. They can add music that helps in relaxation and the words spoken will help soothe you, also.
The Basics of Meditation in 4 Steps
Remember that meditation is not a one shot deal. It is almost impossible to attain a calm state of mind in just a matter of minutes, especially if it’s your first time. It is essential that you keep on practicing meditation until you have conditioned your mind to instantaneously achieve that calm state just by thinking about it. Here are some steps for a beginner to start with meditation as their Stress Management strategy.
- Find A Quiet Corner To Start Your Meditation. Distraction is a hindrance to those who are still starting out with meditation. When you close your eyes, your sense of hearing will be twice as good, so almost any noise in your surroundings will make it hard for you to concentrate. For beginners, it is important to start out in a quiet place in your home where noise is non-existent. Close your windows and lock your door. If possible, you can tell everyone in your home to minimize their noise so that you won’t get distracted.
- Ready Your Position. It is advisable for beginners to avoid lying down when practicing meditation. The aim here is not to sleep, and it is likely that you will fall asleep if your mind reaches a relaxed state. To stop this from happening, you can start your meditation in a lotus position or you can find a chair you can sit on. Make sure that your back is straight and your hands are relaxed on the armrest or on your lap.
- Begin Your Meditation With Proper Breathing. A good way to start meditation is to do the proper breathing exercise. You inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This way, you can come up with a rhythm that you can easily focus on. Also, the amount of oxygen in your body will help to keep you relaxed. Keep practicing your breathing until you can do it easily without having to think about it.
- Focus On Your Mind. While you are concentrating on your breathing, you will achieve a state wherein your mind will start throwing images at you. These are mostly random- events of the day, future plans, problems and worries, fears and so on. It will be hard to ignore these thoughts and you are not supposed to ignore them. The gist here is to acknowledge these thoughts when they enter your mind and then release them. This might sound hard but here is a simple example to understand the concept. You know that you have furniture at home- you can see it clearly with your eyes, but you are not really concentrating on it. Focusing on the furniture will usually make you think of its color, its material, how it looks in that part of your home, and more. You need to be able to look at these random thoughts in a detached state, seeing them clearly in your head but not focusing your attention on it. There will come a time that these random thoughts will stop and you will notice that you are already in a blank space in your mind. This is the state you want to achieve during meditation. This is the place where you can think about your problems and focus on it till you can find a solution for it. With this, you have successfully mastered the basics of meditation for your stress management program.
Meditation And The Mind
Meditation is an art that has been around since the dawn of humankind. This is not a statement to be brushed over. After all, many things about humankind have changed over time, but the profound art of meditation is something we have clung on to dearly. This is because there is no substitute for meditation. Nothing else, single handedly, bestows the many wonderful blessings that meditation brings. In fact, nothing else even comes close. Hopefully, this article will inspire you to also learn and practice this timeless art.
The mind of one who meditates is like the easy, leisurely flow of the Ganges River, as compared to the ordinary mind, which is like Niagara Falls. In other words, your mind is at peace, deeply silent and so you are at peace. Meditation opens up the channels of communication between all levels of your being. What this means is that you have access now to the guidance that is coming directly from your Divine Self. This link gives rise to the flow of intuition and wisdom.
Meditation strips away the layers of false identity that mask your True Self from shining through. Once you eliminate these false egos and stop catering to their nonsense you can reside in your True Nature. This brings forth joy and happiness as it allows you to be at ease with life, existence and yourself. All serious meditators know how much their brain function has been enhanced by meditation.
Now, empirical studies every day are indicating this link. Meditation will undoubtedly increase your awareness. This will give you insight into who you really are and what you really love in life. That is the secret of mastering the art of living and discovering your true talents, gifts and purpose. That which you love, you do for its own sake without the need for reward or accolades. Once this is discovered, life can be lived with passion, zeal and independence.
Meditation for Health
The one ultimate purpose of meditation is enlightenment. To help you discover the true nature of reality. To make you realize that your True Self is Divine and One with the Universe. Take your time and practice meditation today so that you can start feeling better soon. This is going to be a life changing experience for you. If you make the most out of it you will start being a more positive person, and feel more complete. Good luck and enjoy your meditation practices each day.
Are there meditation techniques you use that make it easier for you? What kind of meditation works best for you? Let me know in the comments below, remember that your techniques may help others find their own way in their journey.