Why choose meditation out of all the things you could be doing?
Meditation can seem like a weird thing to spend your time on. Why would you voluntarily go and sit on a couch or meditation pillow and focus on your breathing anywhere between 5 minutes to multiple hours ?Simple answer is that meditation has a lot’s of well researched health benefits.
Some people might think that meditation is only done in religious traditions. It´s true that most religious ceremonies include some types of meditative practices , but there is no need to be part of any specific religion in order to start introducing meditation in to your daily life.
In order to start meditating you simply need a comfortable place to sit were you wont be disturb and few minutes to focus on your breathing. No fancy tools needed.
What is meditation?
Meditation can be defined as a set of techniques that are intended to encourage a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. Meditation is also a consciousness-changing technique that has been shown to have a wide number of benefits on psychological well-being ( Credits to https://www.verywellmind.com/what-is-meditation-2795927) It has been practiced in different cultures for thousands of years.
How can meditation benefit me?
Meditation can help you to reduce stress and manage your anxiety . Regular practice can help you to be more aware of your thoughts and gain better understanding of yourself. Meditation may help strengthen your attention span because you have to be able to focus on your breathing and sit still for few minutes.
Loving kindness-meditation can help you with generating more love and compassion towards yourself and others. Mindfulness meditation might be able to help with your pain according to some studies. I have not experienced meditation having pain relieving abilities so i can´t tell you if it works.you will need to try it out to see.
What benefits i have noticed after meditating regularly?
Most obvious benefit for me has been reduced anxiety levels. I have felt so much calmer after starting my days meditating. Daily practice has been beneficial for getting to know myself better and recognizing where my reactions come from. If i meditate in the morning it´s more likely that I´am having more mindful moments tru out the rest of my day. Falling asleep has been easier after i found meditation and made it part of my daily life.
What meditation types i prefer? There is so many meditation types to choose from, But most often I choose to go with mindfulness meditation. When you are doing mindfulness meditation your object of focus will most likely be your breath.
Another type of meditation i really like is Loving kindness meditation . Practice will start by imagining yourself in your mind and allowing these next four phrases to come up“ will you be happy,will you be healthy , will you be safe , will you live with ease” next step is to imagine someone you care about and do same thing with that person in your mind. then person you are thinking will change to neutral person and difficult person. you will eventually finish your session by sending love towards all living beings.
I have practiced mantra meditation few times. The most known mantra is probably “om” its widely used in yoga practices . One of my favorite mantras is “Today is a beautiful day of opportunity. I am exactly where I need to be. I open myself to the universe and trust in the unfolding of my life.” ❤ This is not traditional mantra used in yoga practices but it was a part of morning meditation i found on YouTube.
Should you go with guided or unguided meditations? This depends on your personal preference, but id say if you are a beginner maybe start with a guided meditations in order to get familiar with the whole process. Main benefit for doing guided meditations in my opinion is that you have a voice to help with anchoring yourself in the present moment when your mind is wondering of .
If i´m having a panic attack its difficult to me to just focus on my breath with out any guidance. One down side i can think of is the difficulty of finding a voice you like and the fact that most of the guided meditations are in English. Because English is not my mother tongue some accents can be difficult to understand. Some of you non native English speakers might be able to relate.
When it comes to mindfulness meditations it´s quite easy to learn how to do them by yourself ,but i personally find myself needing guidance if i want to do any other types of meditation for example loving kindness. It can be difficult to remember more complex instructions. So it feels more comfortable to have someone guide you tru it.
Easiest place to find guided meditations is from YouTube. You can just search Guided meditations and some Specific theme like “Guided meditations for sleep”
few suggestions for guided meditations you can find on YouTube :
- https://youtu.be/zzZox4uN86o ( Letting Go Before Sleep Guided Meditation Hypnosis (voice only) This is one of my favorite sleep meditations. it is only about 22 minutes long.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rWfv-iEV8Ug ( Guided Mindfulness Meditation) If you need a beginner friendly mindfulness meditation that´s easy to follow i would go with this one.
- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=86m4RC_ADEY (Guided Meditation for Positive Energy, Relaxation, Peace) This is for all of you who prefer music on the background while meditating combined with a guidance. Last ten minutes are done with just music and by yourself.
4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=00wcQ_vpSUg (Guided Meditation — Loving kindness meditation) And lastly if you want to start experimenting with a loving kindness meditation try this. i got introduced to it tru this specific meditation video. Also YouTube channel called “ The mindful movement” has another great loving kindness meditation.
Other option you can go with is to consider a meditation app to help with your practice. I would recommend Headspace. It´s probably the most widely known and one of the first ones ever created. It has been on the market since 2012 with 70 million users worldwide.
Great thing about Headspace is that it teaches you the whole concept in a way that´s easy to understand. You get introduced to multiple different types of meditations . The app has different “packs “ that last anywhere between 10 to 30 days and could help you with tackling different problems ,for example anger or grief.
There is a move section for mindful exercises , section all about sleep etc.You will need to pay in order to gain access to the full app ,But there is also free content available. You can try if you like the app before purchasing the subscription. Due to this pandemic there is now even more free stuff available. One of my favorite features on headspace is a help section build in the app that has advice for overcoming all of the common obstacles regarding to starting a meditation habit. Side note: Cartoon like characters in the app are super cute. You´l also find lots of animations that will help with further explaining how your mind works. This is not an advertisement for Headspace i just genuinely find the app to be super helpful. Especially if you are a beginner.
home page is www.Headspace.com if somebody wants to get more information about the app.
I hope you all are having fun while experimenting with meditation and getting to know yourself better ❤