Have a sneaky feeling that the title might just appeal to a lot of you who are wondering, whether or not you should investigate the art of meditation more deeply. Some people practice Meditation every day, others when the need arises, when they feel that they are almost out of control, the world is spinning around them, they need to take back control, so they go back to practicing meditation until they feel better, then they stop.
This is a very short introduction into the practice of Meditation, I do have a website, which though I have not undated it for a while, in fact quite a long time, you might find it to be of some use when you have read this article. Find it here https://meditatingonline.com
Just What Is Meditation
People have been practicing Meditation for hundreds of years, it has been used for both cultural and religious reasons, not only are there many forms of mediation, there are also many types of practice. The goal of practicing meditation is to slow down the mind, which is where it comes in today, with the busy lives that people lead, causing stress, increasing their blood pressure, mediation is seen as a way to control both stress and blood pressure.
Meditation centres around controlling your breathing allowing your mind to slow down, to relax, gradually allowing you to find that inner peace. The following to me sums up what meditation is in a nutshell:
- Meditation concentrates on getting to your core, focusing on the present moment in time.
- It all comes down to you and what you choose to be conscious of at any moment in time.
- Whilst meditation has been studied scientifically by many people and organizations, it is an art, not a science.
The Power of Meditation
Let us not dwell on the black magic thoughts that some people have on meditation there is a certain power to it, as meditation has the power to change your mindset.
When someone is meditating their brain waves are able to slow down, if you learn to breathe properly, this then affects the beta waves in the brain, which are more easily reduced, when these both calm and slow down, it creates an after effect of calm and well-being.
Moving on from the last paragraph, you will see that Meditation affects the brain and its brain waves. According to scientific research and studies, each part of the brain, is affected by meditation. Allowing Incoming information to be slowed down when meditating, also:
- The strengths of your emotions are reduced
- Your sensory input is slowed down
- You stop over thinking
- You no longer suffer from information overload.
Three parts of the Brain are positively affected when one meditates, these are:
- The Frontal lobe
- The Parietal lobe
- The Thalamus
Can you imagine being able to some degree to control your brain, enabling you to relax, focus and have a greater degree of clarity all because you meditate. There are times when I think we all could do with something like this.
Why Do People Use and Recommend Meditation?
The very simple answer is because it does work, people find that Meditation works for them for a number of reasons:
Anxiety is reduced. Some people suffer from a condition or syndrome that tells them that they are in danger, when in fact they are not, this, not surprisingly this makes them anxious, practicing meditation can reduce that anxiety. The part of our brain which makes us decide if we are in danger or not, in some people is so strong, it gives us the impression that we are in fact in danger even when this is not the case.
When we practice meditation, this problem can be diminished, this is a bonus, the brain is composed of many parts, the part that deals with reasoning is strengthened when one meditates, the path that deals with irrational fear is weakened, which leads to a definite plus in both areas.
You can become more emphatic with meditation. When you meditate the part of your brain that is activated is responsible for showing more compassion. It has been shown by scientific studies that when a person meditates that compassion and empathy are more active. It cannot be a bad thing to have more compassion.
You can increase your focus with meditation. As you focus on the present when meditating, it makes commonsense that your focus must improve whilst you are doing so. Whilst you gain a sense of the present moment while you meditate, you maintain this focus long after you have finished your meditation.
Memory is improved with meditation. It would surprise me if this one fact alone regarding meditation does not make a lot of you sit up and take notice, the majority of people would love to have a better memory, that does include me! If you are like me, it will not be the first time that I have been shopping and forgotten something, even when I have a list, just failed to concentrate, or plain forgot as I walked round the shop, too anxious to get it all done and dusted.
When you meditate it activates the part of the brain that increases memory recall and decreases distractions, so when I meditate again, I might just remember all the shopping the next time that I go. Do feel like a session coming on as I have not done any for a long time and I need to relax a little. Find that sitting in a nice comfortable deck type chair on the decking, outside the Summerhouse or Studio, works a treat as I can focus on the plants in the garden. This chair does have a back which enables me to site upright.
Unlock your creativity with meditation. If you are a writer do you ever suffer from writer’s block? or as one who likes to make or design things, suffer from moments of not being able to think creatively? Then meditation could be for you, as it has way of allowing your creativity potential to be released.
Whatever you do either at work or at home having the ability to be creative helps enormously.
Alleviate your stress by meditating. When faced with stress you either fight it or walk away from it, either does you no good, just causes you to get even more usually stressed, if you are like me you get wound up even more. However, if you practice meditation daily it helps to alleviate stress, not only when it occurs, but constantly throughout your life.
You can smile more when you meditate. The mind is both calmed and soothed when you meditate, people are usually more positive, if your mind is calm, your spirit follows. The bond of a mind and body connection is very powerful.
You are more focused with a calm mind, therefore you should enjoy more success, if however, your mind is full of clutter, you will find it difficult to focus, reduce the stress increase the focus.
Brain function can be increased by meditating. The brain is not a muscle, in fact it is more like an organ, it still acts as if it were a muscle, the more you use it the better it becomes, which means that meditating is like exercising the brain, as it has a number of ways to help your brain function better.
Remember if you meditate regularly then these effects are long-lasting.
Does the aging process slow down with mediation? How long your life is, can be determined by the length of the telemores in your brain. In reality the less that you suffer stress and anxiety, the less disease, then the longer you will live.
Recent studies have shown that the more a person meditates then the more likely that disease and illness are kept at bay, thereby increasing your life span.
Improve your sleep with mediation. When you wake up in the morning do you feel so tired that it is almost like you have not slept at all? Feel really lousy? There are numerous people who have to take various forms of aids to help them sleep, they could try Meditation instead. Meditation can help you sleep better, improves the nights rest and enable you to not only fall asleep easier, but to stay asleep.
Try these ideas to help you sleep better:
- Practice meditative breathing, which slows both mind and body down.
- Correct way to breathe is in through the nostrils and out through the mouth, this is a good way to alleviate stress, let it all out, slow your body down. It is a good plan to slow your body and mind down to help you get a goodnight’s sleep. When I have difficulty falling asleep, I do use this method and it does work for me. Breathe deeply down into the stomach.
- Try using affirmations, such as “I release all that I did not accomplish today”
- Visualize the way that you would like things to be, this does not mean that it is a negative thought, all these together should ensure that you get a goodnight’s sleep, try it.
Let’s get you started with Some Practice and Techniques
OK, so are you ready to give meditation a go?
Thought that it would be easier if for this article we began with what we know as simple meditation, which can be started or practiced as detailed below. I have deliberately used a numbered sequence to hopefully make it easier to follow.
1. Whatever location you choose as your meditation spot, ensure that it is somewhere where you will not be disturbed, a quiet spot, so that you can have your meditation undisturbed for some ten to twenty minutes. Ensure that your mobile is switched off, with no other forms of distraction close by, such as the computer, radio or television.
2. Sitting quietly and comfortably, with your back in such a position that it is vertically aligned, your posture is important.
3. You must now commit totally to what you are now doing, no distraction, commit to not being interrupted by what is around. If anything in the room is likely to distract you, remove it. If this is not possible change your position so that whatever is in the way is out of your line of sight. You must totally commit yourself to performing mediation.
4. Choose a word that you can identify with your natural beliefs. Ideas include “Peace”, “Family”, “Love”, others may come to mind. I always think of my family, especially my grandchildren or great-grandchildren. You can of course use a word which you can identify with your religious beliefs. Having selected the word that you will be using, close your eyes, this will help you to enter a stage of relaxation.
5. You now need to relax each of the muscles in the body. Begin with your toes. If you consciously think that your toes should relax, then you will feel them do so. Now, move up your body, feet, legs and so on, do not neglect your neck, back pelvis and all the parts of your body. As you do this you should feel your entire body relax, as you feel the tensions leave your body.
6. Whilst you are doing this, continue to breathe in long, deep breaths, repeating your meditation word as you do so. You do not need to say your word out load, as you breathe in, say the word, breathe out, and repeat
7. Adopting a passive attitude is important. Should any thoughts come into your mind whilst you are meditating, ignore them. This can prove to be difficult to some people at first, Just let those words go, concentrate on your mediation word, keep repeating this to block out any invasive thoughts.
8. Aim to keep this going for at least ten minutes, twenty is better and should be your target. There is no need to set an alarm, just open your eyes for a second to check.
9. When your mediation period is completed, just sit and relax as you come down from your meditation. For a few minutes, keep your eyes shut. Allow yourself to come back into the real world before you stand up.
Do try to do this simple form of meditation at least once a day, to enable your meditation to have a real effect on your stresses then try to do it twice a day. Many who practice this form of meditation, prefer to start their day with it, before they even have breakfast as they are fully rested.
After several days, or longer, of practicing this form of simple mediation, you should begin to feel the benefits. If you are not feeling any different, it is possible that you are not following the steps correctly. Concentrate and focus on relaxing, do not focus on whether meditation is going to sort your problems out.
Once you are proficient at this form of mediation, try moving on to other forms. This article is not large to detail them here.
As usual do so hope that you enjoyed this article on meditation, even to the extent of trying out the simple exercises. If you have, would love your feedback, which you can leave below. Your comments are as usual appreciated as is the time that you have taken to make them.
The next article will be a standalone article “Get Yourself Organized”
Be Happy, Healthy and Wealthy
Stuart (aka Edwin)