Do you drag yourself around every day wondering why you’re always low on energy? You’re not alone. With the pressures to keep up with work, family, and all other facets of life, we could all use some time to ourselves. If you’re looking to slow things down, why not try a little meditation? Whether you accept that meditation works or are skeptical, it wouldn’t hurt to try it. Every day, thousands of people turn to meditation to soothe themselves. But what exactly is meditation, and what are the benefits you can expect from it?
Meditation is a technique that many people discover informally through yoga. Forms of meditation may involve deep concentration over a period of time. Within the context of yoga, this is usually performed in specific poses and may include chanting, lowering the heart rate, and deep breathing techniques. Although related, meditation is its own separate practice from yoga, and a growing body of evidence supports its many health benefits.
If you’re new to meditation and don’t know where to start, here are a few helpful tips.
- Find a secluded, quiet area. Ideally, this should be away from distractions like TV or your phone. You can use music but it may be best to avoid a favorite that may be too distracting. Instead, find something soft, soothing and peaceful which doesn’t have any sudden changes to rhythm and beat. An example of music that could work well is Moby’s “long ambients1: calm, sleep“. Moby says on his website that he created the playlist for “sleeping and yoga” and that its free for anyone to use.
- You should dress comfortably. While full athletic gear or yoga clothing is not necessary comfort is important as you could spend an extended amount of time in one position. As with the recommendations around music you don’t want to become overly distracted.
- Meditation has no prescribed duration of time. As a beginner its best to start with just a few minutes and as you become more comfortable and confident with your practice you can increase the amount of time. Try and accommodate to your own schedule and to how it makes you feel. If you overdo it you may become deterred from wanting to continue or from doing it correctly.
- Choosing your sitting position is all about personal preference. You could sit on the floor, legs folded or sit in a chair if that works better for you. Close your eyes and rest your hands where they feel most comfortable. Lying down can also be an option but many find this induces sleep which detracts from goal of meditation.
Once a regular practice is achieved the hope is that you feel an overall improvement in perceived wellbeing as well as an assortment of other amazing physiological benefits including the following small selection of examples:
Meditation is proven to be a great combatant against cardiovascular disease. Becoming aware of your stress and controlling it through meditation can reduce blood pressure and improve heart rate. It is also an effective tool in treating arthritis, reducing inflammation, and healing the emotional repercussions of physical ailments.
Of the numerous studies dedicated to researching meditation, many look into its effects on the mind. This includes an increase in your ability to focus which, in turn, leads to improved cognitive functioning and decision-making skills.
Meditation is known to help people who suffer from anxiety and high stress levels; ailments that affect both the mind and body. Its therapeutic values improve people’s moods and reduce negative thoughts that are the results of depression and damaging habits like compulsive eating and smoking.
There are many reasons make time in a daily routine for meditation. It can be a challenge at first to find the time and motivate one’s self to keep up the practice but this is the case with any exercise or healthy habit. Tools like Muse, or even personal meditation teachers, music or yoga classes can provide just the motivation needed to transition from being simply curious to regularly practising and reaping all the rewards meditation has to offer. The fact that it only needs to take a few minutes from one’s day should provide solace. So, find a peaceful spot, get comfortable and begin.
Guest Author Bio : Vineetha Reddy
Being a regular practitioner and adviser of everything related to health, fitness and yoga, I also have begun to write and contribute to this knowledge ecosystem. I strongly believe that the organic food you find in your pantry provide the best benefits for good health. Follow me for my best ideas and solutions: Twitter / Facebook