Meditate to satiate your mind… Meditation? Really?
WHAT IS MEDITATION?
Meditation is more than just sitting down crossed-legged with your eyes closed. It is about being aware of the sensations within you and around you. It is a simple, yet potentially life-transforming skill that can help you to relax and enhance your knowledge about yourself.
IS THERE MORE THAN ONE WAY TO MEDITATE?
Yes, there are many ways! Meditation does not have to be a spiritual or religious practice because the idea of developing your inner self is not restricted to any specific ideology.
Basic meditation techniques involve removing all thoughts from your mind while sitting down comfortably, and breathing slowly and deeply.
Focused meditation techniques involve focusing all your attention on a visual, auditory cue or even your own breathing.
Mindful meditation is staying in the present moment rather than the future or the past. Even taking part in a repetitive activity such as gardening and walking can be a form of meditation; it lets you experience the natural ‘flow’ around you, and can quiet the mind.
WHY WOULD I WANT TO MEDITATE?
There are many potential benefits to meditation:
- decrease headaches and cholesterol levels.
- promote a more restful state (lowers heart rate, decreases high blood pressure and decreases metabolic rate).
- enhance the function of your immune system.
- increase the production of serotonin (note: low levels of serotonin are connected with insomnia, depression, obesity, and headaches).
- decrease stress, depression, irritability and anxiety.
- promote greater creativity and increased levels of happiness.
- improve memory, learning ability and your ability to concentrate.
- lead to increased self-confidence, self-acceptance and emotional stability.
Try the following to start your meditation practice:
- Select a quiet environment with soft lighting.
- Choose a comfortable posture.
- Close your eyes, and breathe slowly and deeply.
- Focus on your breathing – be aware as you inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth.
- Put your hand on your belly as a physical cue while breathing – feeling it rise when you inhale and sink when you exhale.
- Make use of different resources such as guided meditation CDs or the links in the Resources on the right!
Some things to keep in mind:
- Try not to meditate on an empty or full stomach or before going to bed.
- Avoid slouching.
- Be patient when starting out, and don’t worry if you find yourself getting distracted – all new skills take time to learn!
- Take a deep breath
- Five Tools to Build an Effective Meditation Practice
- 5 Meditation Techniques to Get You Started
- How to Meditate for Beginners