Life can be hard. Relaxing or even finding time to unwind sometimes seems even harder. But the benefits of learning how to ease our minds are exponential. One way to reduce stress is through meditation.
This centuries old practice can be done by anyone, anywhere. Meditation can help you build skills to manage day-to-day stress better, as well as help you reduce negative emotions.
So what exactly is meditation? According to the Mayo Clinic, “Meditation is considered a type of mind-body complementary medicine. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress.”
What’s more, some research on meditation has shown that it can provide relief to people with a range of health issues, such as:
o Anxiety disorders
o Heart disease
o High blood pressure
o Sleep problems
There are at least seven types of meditation. These include guided meditation, mantra meditation, Qi gong, transcendental meditation and yoga. The four main elements of meditation are:
o Focused attention
o Relaxed breathing
o A quiet setting
o A comfortable position
Meditation for beginners.
If you are new to meditation you can start simply by breathing deeply. Focus on your breathing and the feeling of inhaling and exhaling through your nostrils. Keep your breathing deep and slow, and should your attention wander just refocus on the movement of your breath.
Another good technique for beginners is to scan their bodies. This type of meditation requires you to focus on different parts of your body, becoming aware of whatever sensations are present there. You can combine this with the breathing and imagine that part of your body relaxing.
Finally, you can create a mantra, religious or secular, to repeat. Whatever form of meditation you choose, remember that it takes practice and patience. You may need to try several different kinds of meditation before you find the one that is right for you. Ultimately, there is no right or wrong way to meditate; the important takeaway should be reducing your feelings of stress and improving your general wellbeing.