Meditating regularly brings gains on so many levels. So why don’t you get in the habit? Chances are you’re too busy and it seems like just one more job. But there are ways to meditate that don’t make your full life even more crowded.
Become a regular meditator with our guide.
- What meditation actually is
- Five quick forms of meditating
- Times and places to meditate
WHAT IS ‘MEDITATION’
Meditation is an altered state of consciousness, where you are very aware, yet calm and detached. Practiced meditators may go into deep meditation that lasts for hours, but for people with ordinary lives in the Western world it means being relaxed and peaceful. However, it doesn’t mean vegging out mindlessly in front of the telly! Meditation is conscious relaxation, and although it’s a very normal state, your brain takes on a different rhythm from its logical mode and may become more like it is when you are just waking up from a good night’s sleep.
You will know when you have meditated, even if it’s just a few minutes, because you will feel internally clean, peaceful and comfortable.
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
There are so many benefits to meditation. It brings health to your body by relaxing it, so that beneficial chemicals are released into your bloodstream. This can lengthen your life. It benefits your mind by clearing it, enabling you to concentrate when you need to. Most of all it benefits your spirit. Meditation puts things into perspective, making you happier and aware of deeper meanings, more able to feel love, gratitude and forgiveness.
Meditating brings so many gifts that you might wonder why we don’t all practice it regularly. This is because the values of meditation get lost to you in your busy life, and all you experience is yet more pressure – the pressure to find time to meditate. Don’t worry, it’s possible to change this. Understand a little more about how to practice it, and you can become a regular meditator, enjoying all the advantages. Amazingly, you may find you have more time as a result, maybe due to a change in perspective. That’s part of the enchantment of meditating.
FIVE EASY TYPES OF MEDITATION
There is no mystery to meditation and there are several ways you can approach it:
- GUIDED VISUALISATION This means going on an inner journey to somewhere beautiful, tranquil and uplifting, or listening to affirmations and suggestions. A ‘guided visualisation’ is obviously led by the person whose voice is recorded, but you can choose your preference, such as healing, finding your purpose, making changes etc. Countless guided visualisations are available on the Net, often designed to re-programme your mind while you relax and they often only take ten minutes. You could park up and listen to one on your phone.
- YOUR OWN VISUALISATION You can decide to relax and concentrate on imagining your own inner journey, perhaps to a peaceful forest glade where you meet a wise person who gives you advice. Or use symbols – for instance if you want more abundance in your life, visit an orchard and pick the fruit, for calmness visit a lake-side and watch swans gliding etc. This can take as long as you like – five minutes is much better than nothing.
- SAY A MANTRA A mantra is a simple word that you repeat in order to still your mind. Certain mantras from Eastern wisdom are said to convey a special vibration, but you do not have to do that at this stage. A mantra isn’t the same as an affirmation, although you could use a short affirmation as a mantra. Just get relaxed and comfy and repeat something like ‘Peace and love’ – but never use an affirmation that you do not believe. For instance, don’t say ‘I am calm’ if you’re uptight! Let your mantra bring your mind back to meditating if it wanders. Again, five minutes can work wonders.
- BE BREATH-AWARE Take five minutes to be aware of your breathing. Breathe in and out naturally and notice the rhythm. As you relax, you will notice that the rhythm changes slightly. Your mind-body connection is enhanced and calmness established
- WALKING MEDITATION You can do this while walking to work, walking the dog or picking up children from school. Walk mindfully. Forget your ‘to do’ and shopping lists, and concentrate on what you hear, see, feel and smell. Connect with the earth, observe the sky, be aware of the life around you. You are a part of all of this, going with the flow, striding in gentle rhythm…. In real terms this meditation can take no time at all out of your day and it’s a great way to re-harmonise.
TIMES AND PLACES TO MEDITATE
You may have been taught that meditation needs a lot of commitment, having to be in a special place, done every day without fail taking at least twenty minutes. Let go of that idea because it can be a barrier to meditating. Five minutes is better than nothing. You can do it in the loo, in the shower or just take a few moments at your work-station to close your eyes, relax and centre yourself. As you get in the habit this will become automatic, and you’ll begin to experience the benefits.
HOW WE CAN HELP
You’ve learnt more about what meditation is, its benefits, five easy types of meditation and times and places you can meditate. You should start to feel better, calmer and more in control. But if times are challenging you may need more than the ability to meditate to move you on. Don’t worry. Our expert and encouraging team of Readers is always available for you to unburden yourself so call today and feel better immediately.
PUBLISHED: 15 October 2018