We hear it all too often.
I need to meditate more.
I am not good at meditating.
I wish I knew how to meditate.
Here is the thing: meditation is a practice. Like sports or hobbies, you must practice to get 'good at it.' We see monks as the 'best meditators', but their spiritual practice requires meditation while sitting, walking, standing, and eating. Meditation is a mental practice that involves focusing your attention and eliminating the thoughts that may crowd your mind. It is often used to promote relaxation, mindfulness, self-awareness, and inner peace. Meditation techniques vary, but they generally share some common elements like focused attention, relaxed breathing, visualizations, body scans, and more. There are also specialist meditation practices such as transcendental meditation, loving-kindness (metta), and transformative meditation.
Meditation can be done in various postures, such as sitting, lying down, or walking. It can be a secular practice or a part of religious and spiritual traditions, such as Buddhism and Hinduism. Many people find meditation a valuable tool for reducing stress, improving focus, increasing self-awareness, and fostering a sense of inner calm and well-being. It's important to note that meditation is a skill that often requires regular practice to experience its full benefits.
Meditation is a practice that has been studied and practiced for centuries and can offer a wide range of physical, mental, and emotional benefits.
1. Stress Reduction: Meditation helps reduce the production of stress hormones like cortisol, decreasing overall stress levels. It promotes relaxation and a sense of calm. Ever notice how relaxed you feel after a deep meditation? That is your body quietly thanking you for giving it time to rejuvenate.
2. Improved Concentration: Regular meditation can enhance your ability to focus and concentrate, making it easier to complete tasks and stay present in the moment. If you are feeling distressed by life's wild antics, take a 10-minute meditation wherever you are and revisit the problem you initially faced. You will be surprised by the clarity you can bring to this new way of problem-solving.
3. Enhanced Emotional Well-Being: Meditation can improve mood and emotional stability by increasing the production of positive neurochemicals like serotonin. It can also reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Don't let your mental health issues hinder your lifestyle. Try meditating two times a day for one week. Note how you feel each day after meditation on a scale of 1-10. You would be surprised by how the numbers will hike quickly.
4. Better Sleep: Meditation can help with insomnia and other sleep-related issues by calming the mind and promoting relaxation, making it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep. Suppose you are having a hard time sleeping. The 4-7-8 breathing technique is designed to promote calmness and induce sleepiness. Here's how it typically works:
Lay down in bed.
Close your eyes and take a deep breath through your nose, counting to four as you inhale.
Hold your breath for a count of seven.
Exhale completely and slowly through your mouth for a count of eight.
Repeat this cycle for a total of four breaths, if possible.
The 4-7-8 breathing technique is often used to help calm the nervous system and reduce anxiety. It can be particularly effective when practiced regularly or in moments of stress.
5. Increased Self-Awareness: Meditation encourages introspection and self-reflection, helping you gain a deeper understanding of your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. We live in a very stimulated world, which can quickly become emotionally influenced by the chaos in the outer world. If we can bring calmness to our inner world, our external world can begin to match those sensations.
6. Stress Resilience: Regular meditation can build resilience to stress, helping you cope with life's challenges more effectively. The human experience is stressful - bills, career, family, and responsibilities can all tip us off to feel deep stress building within our bodies. The more we meditate, the more we can see the lessening impact of these factors on our psyche.
7. Lower Blood Pressure: Meditation has been linked to reductions in blood pressure, which can contribute to better cardiovascular health. You may benefit from regular meditative practice if you are prone to high blood pressure.
8. Enhanced Creativity: Meditation can stimulate creative thinking by allowing the mind to wander and make novel connections between ideas. Are you experiencing a writer's block? Or you don't 'feel' like it? Try meditating for 20 minutes and watch your creative juices reoccur. If you still have some blockages, you may want to consider some hip movement. Our sacral chakra holds LOTS of creative energy. If meditation doesn't do the trick, try dancing!
9. Increased Compassion and Empathy: Some forms of meditation, like loving-kindness meditation, can foster compassion, empathy, and interconnectedness with others. For obvious reasons, reflections bring peace, calmness, and joy. You may not notice, but I guarantee your friends and family may say: "wow, you seem so calm and centered."
It's worth noting that the benefits of meditation can vary from person to person, and consistency in practice is critical to experiencing these positive effects. If you can commit to 20 minutes daily, you are well on your way to creating a consistent pattern in meditation and beyond. Different meditation techniques may offer unique advantages, so exploring various approaches is essential to find the one that suits you best.
Are you interested in learning more about meditation?
Join us on Tuesday, September 26th at 6 PM EST for Uncovering Spiritual Gifts with Soul Path Meditation + FREE SOUL CARD READING. Here, you can learn more about soul path meditation with Desi Dimitrova, Spiritual Life Coach, yoga instructor, and Founder of DesiDivine.
Click here to sign up for free: https://www.meetup.com/uncovering-your-spiritual-gifts/events/296184179/.