What is Meditation, and why should I practice?
"The mind is everything. What you think, you become" -Buddha
Meditation is the act of giving all of your attention to just one thing. Let it be a moment, the way the wind feels against your hair, or focusing on your breath. It is a way of entering a calm and relaxed state of mind.
With everything going on in the world, it is harder than expected to enter this said relaxed state of mind. But learning about meditation and how to incorporate it into your daily routine will be a beneficial to your mental and physical health.
Mindfulness meditation involves paying attention to the breath, observing it go in and out. Maybe even counting your inhales and exhales. It also involves accepting that your mind will wander, allow it to do so, and finding the strength to bring your mind back to focusing on your breath. When I practice mindfulness meditation I envision my mind to be a bright blue sky and my thoughts to be the clouds. accepting that the clouds are there, and watching them float by, never getting hung up on a specific thought.
Benefits of Meditation
The mayo clinic talks about the benefits mediation has not only on your mental health but your physical health as well. Meditation helps to increase your tolerance and patience and give you tools to deal with stressful situations.
Meditation will also help your physical health in many ways. It can help manage headaches, control blood pressure and allow you to fall asleep faster.
Other Types of Meditation
Mindfulness mediation is just one type of a vast collection of meditative tools.
Mantra meditation includes repeating an affirmation or a simple word multiple times. Keeping yourself from harmful and distracting thoughts.
Guided meditation forms a mental scenery or image in your mind, something that is relaxing and calming to you. You can be guided by sights and smells. Or more commonly have an instructor guide you through a visionary experience.
How do I Meditate?
The first step is acknowledging that you are going to take the next few minutes to meditate.
Create a quiet setting, turn off all distractions and maybe play some calming music quietly in the background.
Get into a comfortable position, this could be seated or laying down. Just make sure you are comfortable and can find stillness in whichever position you choose.
Allow yourself to find a relaxed breath. Let your inhales and exhales come naturally. Try counting your breath, inhale for three and exhale for four. This gives you something to help focus your mind on.
Have an open mind. Meditation is a skill not easily mastered. It could become boring and frustrating but don't give up. Keep at it, even if it for three minutes a day, over time you will notice the benefits meditation can bring into your life.