Lifestyle

Meditation: Become the Best Version of Yourself and Don’t Make Mistakes

Does the news cause a lot of stress? Problems at home and work? Is the tension rising? Do not rush to take a sedative for nerves. Try meditation. Even a few minutes will restore your inner peace. Everyone can practice. It’s simple and completely free.

Meditation has been around for thousands of years. Initially, it was intended for sacred and mystical purposes. Meditation is commonly used these days for relaxation and stress relief. It is considered one of the types of complementary medicine between mind and body.

Meditation from the point of view of science

Western scientists have done an interesting study. They recruited 200 volunteers. They were all beginners in the practice of meditation. They were given the exercise for 20 minutes. Their brain activity was measured in parallel using electroencephalography (EEG). Participants then completed a computerized test. His goal was to divert people’s attention.

Often during meditation, the practitioner focuses on a single chosen subject. A popular option is on your breath. In this experiment, the participants had to direct their attention inward. The task sounded pretty simple. It was necessary to sit quietly and follow the movements of the mind. At the same time, try not to get carried away by the emerging pictures.

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An EEG can measure brain activity at the millisecond level. Therefore, scientists have received accurate indicators of neural activity. The results are encouraging. Just one meditation session of 20 minutes positively affects brain function. The mind recognizes mistakes more easily and pays attention to them. However, different types of meditation affect the mind and emotions in different ways.

How long should you meditate?

Most often, meditations last from 10 to 20 minutes. But there are no restrictions. You can focus on your breathing for a few minutes. And on another day – experiment with an hour session. The duration can be any.

How often should you meditate? Daily meditation helps to develop a stable habit. But you can also benefit from daily exercise. Positive results will be noticeable when practiced 3-4 times a week.

Meditation skill develops like any other. Think of it like a muscle workout, even if you have never trained them. It takes constant practice. It can also be helpful to add a new habit to any old one. For example, meditate in the morning after brushing your teeth.

Thought Control

How to meditate correctly? There are a few overused clich├ęs about meditation. For example, its goal is to clear the mind of thoughts. The goal is to become aware of what is going on in your mind and body. It is easy to get lost in the flow of thoughts. Our brains are very good at distracting us from the present moment. When you walk down the street, do you see every detail of the buildings, pavement, and road? The brain is constantly thinking about something else. About work, relationships, politics … meditation allows you to realize the very fact of the constant wanderings of the mind. And it helps to tune in to the here and now.

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Thoughts will inevitably arise anyway. At times you will be distracted. Waste time on extraneous pictures in your head. But with active practice, it will become easier to notice such moments and return to the present.

Meditation Bonuses

The process itself gives relaxation to both body and mind. Emotions go away. There is an internal balance. Overall, health is positively charged as a result. Meditation also helps you deal with stress. It helps to shift attention to something positive. It also teaches you to stay focused and calm.

Daily life can be stressful. So many of us look forward to a much-needed vacation. However, just 15 minutes of meditation can improve well-being on par with good rest.

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Meditation deactivates areas of the brain associated with unhappiness. Sad thoughts and feelings regularly occur in the life of any person. But meditation can help here too. In a state of stress, focus on your breathing for a few minutes. Slow, measured breathing increases comfort and reduces anxiety, anger, and depression. And chronic too. Because the regular practice has long-term effects.

Meditation provides the following bonuses:

  • normalization of blood pressure;
  • decrease in heart rate at rest;
  • change in attitude to problems;
  • increased self-awareness;
  • increased tolerance;
  • development of the imagination;
  • acquiring skills to manage their emotions;
  • focusing on the present;
  • improving the quality of sleep;
  • growth of creative skills;
  • reduction of negative emotions.

Meditation in the fight against disease

Meditation will also be beneficial for a specific disease. Especially when one of the causes of illness is stress. For example, meditation can help reduce symptoms of:

  • asthma;
  • heart disease;
  • high blood pressure;
  • tension headaches;
  • depression;
  • sleep problems;
  • cancer;
  • irritable bowel syndrome;
  • anxiety;
  • chronic pain.

Be sure to talk to your healthcare provider about the pros and cons of using meditation if you have one of these conditions or other health concerns. Meditation is a wonderful medicine for the nervous system. But in some mental disorders, it can worsen symptoms, although this is rare.

It is impossible to replace meditation with a doctor for a serious illness. But it’s a good addition. The inner state has a strong influence on the body.

How to start meditating

Everything is very simple:

1. Find a secluded place. Nobody should distract you. Sit comfortably in a chair, pillow, or floor.

2. Close your eyes and listen to the rhythm of your breath.

3. Sometimes, you will be distracted. It’s not scary. Just notice the distraction and return to your breath.

Did you complete these three steps? Congratulations! You have been meditating. Sitting still and upright is only for some. You can also try lying down to meditate. The main thing is your convenience and pleasure from the process. With constant practice, you will find it increasingly easier to notice thoughts as they arise and bring your attention back to your breath.

Types of Meditation

Focusing on your breath is the easiest option. But there are many ways to get a relaxed state. There are various relaxation methods and types of meditation. Their common goal is to achieve peace of mind. So, here are popular techniques:

Guided imagination

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This method is sometimes also called visualization. Sit down and form mental images of different places or situations. The main thing is that they relax you. At the same time, use all the senses as much as possible. You must see the picture and hear the sounds, smell, and touch.

Mindfulness meditation

This method is based on mindfulness. The goal is increased awareness and acceptance of life here and now. Pay attention to your feelings in the present moment. What do you feel right now in the process of meditation? One of the most popular ways to immerse yourself in the present is to focus on breathing. You can watch your thoughts and emotions. But let them pass without judgment.

Mantra meditation

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This is a simple meditation to calm the nervous system. Repeat aloud or mentally a phrase or word. Thoughts will sometimes run away – stop them. You can come up with any positive phrase in a language you understand. Or take ready-made mantras from Sanskrit. For example, the classic “Om-Mani-Padme-Hum” gives energy.

Yoga

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Meditation is one of the steps of yoga. But you can do a series of postures and breathing exercises for relaxation and peace of mind. Many postures require concentration. It promotes a flexible body and a calm mind. Take a break from a busy day. Feel the current moment.

Meditation as part of life

The classic image of a man in meditation is in the lotus position on the river bank. However, you can practice anywhere. On the street, on the bus, in line, or even amid tough business negotiations. Incorporate the habit of meditation into your daily life. And then, a relaxed and, at the same time, the focused state will become a natural part of you.

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