Wellness Practices: Meditation
Have you ever tried meditation? Or at least, thought about trying it? It’s increasing in popularity and it’s a practice that has a lot of research to back up its effectiveness in bettering our overall well-being.
In today’s article, we’re going to be breaking down meditation and the many benefits it could provide you. Keep reading to learn more!
How meditation can help you and the benefits it provides
We live in a world where we’re constantly stimulating our minds. From the handy devices, we carry in our pockets, to television and social media, our world is becoming increasingly stimulated by the day.
However, with this increase in connectivity and stimulation, comes a degree of stress. It’s hard to just forget about all of our daily tasks, problems, and duties when we’re reminded of them 24/7. This is where something like meditation comes in.
By taking the time to sit still and meditate you could eliminate a lot of the stress you’re experiencing. The idea behind meditation is to bring yourself into a calmer state of mind.
Instead of thinking about the things stressing you out, meditation aims to bring your attention away from those thoughts and back to the present moment.
However, meditation won’t only help you deal with stress. In fact, it has a wide range of benefits that some studies suggest it could provide. Meditation may help:
- Improve sleep quality
- Increase self-awareness
- Reduce negative emotions
- Lower your resting heart rate and blood pressure
Some studies even suggest meditation changes the brain physically. It may help:
- Reduce inflammation
- Support the immune system
- Slow the cognitive effects of aging
- Control the brain’s response to pain
Although there’s a need for more research to solidify some of these suggested benefits, meditation is clearly something you can use to better your overall health.
How to meditate
Meditation can seem a little daunting when you’re new. However, it’s not as hard as it seems. There are so many different ways to meditate that you’re bound to find something that suits you and your experience level.
A few different meditation techniques include:
- Mantra meditations
- Walking meditations
- Guided meditations
- Mindfulness meditations
- Visualization meditations
Let’s walk through a session of mindfulness meditation, simply follow these steps:
- Step 1 - Get into a comfortable position. You can lay down or sit upright, whatever you’re most comfortable with.
- Step 2 - Inhale deeply through your nose. Exhale through your mouth. Keep doing this repeatedly and do your best to focus your attention on your breath.
- Step 3 - When you find your mind wandering, become aware of it, and bring your attention back to your breath. Use your breath as a center anchor point for you to bring your attention back to.
- Step 4 - Meditate for as long as you’d like. The key is to take your attention away from your thoughts when they do arise and bring them back to your breath and the present moment.
If you’re newer to meditation, it might be best to begin with some form of guided meditation.
Meditation is something anybody can practice. Research is beginning to show the many benefits it could provide. And with continuous research done, more information will be available, and there could be more benefits we’ve yet to discover.
So, why not give meditation a shot? Take just 5 minutes out of your day, find a place where you won’t be disturbed, get comfortable and try it out. You never know, it might be your next favorite habit!
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