Everyone must have received this piece of advice at least once in a lifetime during stressful times, that we must start meditating. And it’s true, but one must meditate not just during stressful times but it should be a practice of a lifetime. Meditation is all about getting to know yourself better and developing the superpower of calm. It’s all about becoming a better and calmer version of yourself every-single-day.
If you wish to develop a better understanding of yourself and a healthy relationship with the universe, meditation is the way! Regular practice will help you in:
- Understanding yourself
- Reducing stress
- Improving awareness & concentration
- Dropping noise-producing thoughts
- Developing a better relationship with your soul
But the real question is WHERE AND HOW TO START? Don’t worry, this article will hopefully answer all of your answers, giving you the perfect insight of how to start when you are a complete beginner.
Benefits of Meditation
There are ample benefits one can reap after sowing the seed of meditation into their roots and watering it every day. Here are some of the most vital ones.
- Become Self-Aware: Self-awareness is one of the most apparent benefits of practicing meditation regularly. It helps you connect with yourself better, understand yourself, and grow in the best version of yourself. You get to understand your thought-patterns, responses, and any areas of tension in a better way when you start meditating. Plus, meditation also helps in making your more empathetic and creative.
- Reduce Stress: In today’s time and age, stress is inevitable. It is also one of the major reasons people seek help from practices like meditation. However, it is the right and best step to take. Meditation has the ability to reduce the stress-causing hormone, called cortisol. Stress is one of the root causes of other mental and physical health problems that start occurring in young adults and adults. Nevertheless, the simple practice of mindfulness meditation every day can reduce gradually but wonderfully!
- Enhance Concentration: Meditation helps you in improving your focus and concentration. Practicing focused-attention meditation every day will help you increase your attention span, helping you stay focused on your work for long periods. Regular meditation will combat the problem of poor concentration or mind-wandering while working or studying.
- Better Sleep: By relaxing your body and mind, meditation places you in a state of peace and calmness, a state in which you are more like to fall into a deep slumber. It increases the quality of your sleep and you sleep more soundly and soothingly. If you’re an insomniac or find it hard to find quality sleep, start meditating for at least ten minutes every day to see the improvement yourself.
- Less Anxiety: Meditation works wonders in reducing anxiety, and other forms of mental health issues that follow. Different sorts of anxiety disorders like paranoia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety, etc. can be cured by a simple practice of meditation. Meditation can help you with work or career-related anxiety, considering the present scenario. As little as 10 minutes of meditation can help combat anxiety and therefore, stress too!
- Lower Blood Pressure: The practice of meditation helps you in lowering your blood pressure and improve heart function. By relaxing the nerve signals and lessening the tension in blood vessels, meditation helps in controlling high blood pressure and reducing the risk of any heart diseases. People who meditate regularly have a healthier heart.
- Increase Compassion: Certain types of meditation help you inculcate positivity and kindness in your behavior. Meditation helps you calm down and teaches you empathy and forgiveness. After a while of practicing meditation, the change in one’s behavior becomes apparent to the rest of the world as it makes you love yourself and others in a more considerate way.
Types of Meditation
Different types of meditation work for different people. Depending on the type of results you wish to get from a certain type of meditation, the areas you want to focus on, progress, and more. There are hundreds of various types of techniques for meditating, originating from different areas of the world. Your individual preference and the function of the meditation is what makes it work best for you!
Here are five of the most common types of meditation techniques.
Originated from Buddhism, mindfulness meditation focuses on observing your thoughts and mental patterns, without getting involved with them. All while focusing on a particular thing (your breath, for example) and noticing sensations in your body. It is like an act of self-introspection, mentally. It helps you in becoming more aware of yourself.
In this type of meditation you use any of the five senses to concentrate and meditate. It helps in improving your power of focus. Practices such as staring at a burning candle’s flame, or noticing the breath in & out are involved in this technique. However, this technique may be a difficult one for beginners.
As the name suggests, movement meditation involves healing meditative practices such as yoga, walking, qigong art, etc. This meditation aims to find peace within the movement, just letting the action direct you.
Mostly prominent in Buddhist and Hindu traditions, mantra meditation is a form of meditation where a repetitive sound (“Om”, for example), is used to clear the mind. The mantra can be a sound or a word, spoken loudly or quietly, making sure you align your mind and sound. This type of meditation helps in enhancing awareness about the environment and self.
This type of meditation is like an act of praying. It involves silence, the use of essential oils, etc. and is mostly used to deepen the connection between oneself and the Universe or God. Spiritual meditation helps one connect to their roots more deeply and grow spiritually.
How to Start (and do it right)
Remember that to master something you need to take that first step to start. No matter how complex meditation might sound, the start is always easy. Take the following steps to start meditating, and do it the right way!
- Find a quiet spot and sit or lie down. Make sure you are in a comfortable and stable position.
- Next, set a time limit. Initially, you can go for ten minutes or less.
- Start breathing slowly, deeply, and follow your breath— in and out.
- Observe. If your mind starts wandering (which it will, initially), try bringing it back. Do it gently by returning your focus to your breath.
- Repeat. Do this for as long as the time goes off. Breath, let your mind wander and bring it back with love and patience.
- When you are done with your practice, conclude it with compassion. Open your eyes gently, look around and notice the environment, how you feel, and what you think.
Lastly, thank yourself for doing this for yourself.
Meditation is a practice that can be done by anyone and everyone, wherever possible. It is a form of self-care. However, one must keep in mind that they are practicing it for their well being and not as an errand.
Remember to practice out of choice, not because you have to. It is something that you’re doing for yourself because you love yourself. Thus, find a way and time that suits you best and just start!