Anyone who meditates regularly will tell you that they receive profound physical, emotional and spiritual benefits.
Some are initially drawn to meditation because of a physician’s recommendation, seeking the health benefits of lowered blood pressure, restful sleep and stress reduction. Others begin to meditate looking for relief from angry, scared or painful thoughts that constantly flood their mind. Still others come to meditation to find a greater self-understanding and improve their ability to concentrate.
Benefits of Meditation
- Slow the Aging Process
- Studies have proven that regular practice of meditation can actually slow the aging process. Meditation helps to reduce the body’s production of free radicals, which are organic molecules in your body responsible for aging.
- Emotional Stability, Positive Thinking and Happiness
- Meditation is “natural prescription” for people who suffer from anxiety, depression and anger issues. However, you do not need to be diagnosed with a condition for meditation to benefit you! Every-day people who meditate simply enjoy life more! People who meditate are less stressed, healthier, better sleepers, and simply put – happier!
- Stress Reduction
- Meditation is the best stress reducer available. It gives you some “down times” to rest physically and mentally, and it also has a direct effect on your nervous system by reducing your body’s production of cortisol, a stress related chemical, and increasing the production of serotonin, a mood enhancing chemical.
- Improved Health
- Meditation improves your health by reducing your blood pressure, strengthening your immune system, and lowering cholesterol levels. If you have come down with the flu or a cold, meditation will enhance the function of your immune system and help to you to rest more deeply, leading to a speedier recovery. Meditation also helps alleviate headaches and prevents them from recurring.
- Improved Sleep
- Sleep is a totally natural human function, and it’s something we need every day. Meditation dramatically improves the quality of your sleep, helps calm your busy mind, reduces your stress to help you sleep, and is one of the more powerful treatments for insomnia.
How to Meditate?
When you start meditating, you will notice how disruptive your mind is. You may not be able to stop thinking about your to do list, but that’s okay. It’s natural and in time you will find the peacefulness and calm.
Here are some simple tips on how to start meditating.
You can either sit in a chair or on the floor, but just make sure your spine is upright with your head up. If you are slumped over your mind will drift. If your body is well-balanced, your mind will also be in balance. Relax your arms naturally to the sides with your wrists resting on your knees and bring your index fingers and thumbs to touch. This will help generate knowledge, wisdom, receptivity and calmness.
Try and keep your eyes open to make yourself more present. You can lower your eyes and have your gaze be soft. If you close your eyes your thought will more likely drift away, but do what’s comfortable for you. Some people find closing their eyes much more relaxing.
3. Focus using your breath
Use your breath to focus. Don’t regulate your breathing; just let it be natural but pay attention to it. It’s a great way to be in the present moment. Count your breath if you are having difficulty settling. When you notice thoughts coming into your mind again, come back and turn your focus on your breathing.
Don’t put on any music. Silence is best. Then you can actually experience what your mind is doing and it helps bring calmness to your body.
Start with 10 minutes and only sit longer if you feel that that is too short. In time you can extend it to 25 minutes. Some enjoy sitting for an hour, others can’t do more than 10 minutes. Do what feels right for you.
It’s nice to create a special place to meditate if you can. You could even make a shrine or an altar that you can face with special objects that have meaning to you.
Some people prefer to use a yoga mat for their meditation. Wholesale Point has plenty to choose from, ranging in price from $16 to $75.