19 Oct The Act of meditation
Whether you meditate by focusing on a religious book, listening to music, or yoga, you will agree with me that meditation does the mind a lot of good.
The Act Of Meditation
Have you ever gotten back from work stressed, and all you did was get a glass of wine, put some good tunes in the background, and just sat down? Then you have been meditating without even knowing it. Meditation is simply the act of relieving stress. But of course, it is deeper than that. Stick around to find out everything you need to know about meditation.
What is Meditation
The dictionary defines mediation as the act or process of spending time in quiet thought. This implies that mediation is the process of clearing your mind or focusing on something using mental or physical techniques. Sometimes, it could mean using both of these techniques.
People meditate for several reasons –
- To relieve stress and anxiety.
- To relax.
- To help improve health.
For example, drug addicts are usually advised to meditate. When they do this, their brains are affected, and the neurons connected to the parts of the brain that help us to think, make decisions, and control our senses become denser. Therefore, the brain of a person who meditates becomes healthier. They can also deal with and process negative emotions like fear, guilt, pain, etc.
Types of Meditation
There are several types of meditation, but the main ones include concentrative and mindfulness meditation.
1. Concentrative Meditation: Just as we see in the name, this simply means concentrating on a singular thing till it is all we know. It could be a thought, a memory, a sound, a scene, or anything at all. This form of meditation helps us to achieve a state of being.
2. Mindfulness Meditation: We can consider this the opposite of concentrative meditation because here, you pay attention to your thoughts but don’t focus on anyone. You just allow them to pass through your mind. It is the best meditation technique for beginners because here, you only need to be aware of yourself.
3. Movement Meditation: Yes, this is yoga. But the fun part is that movement meditation does not only have to be about striking yoga poses. It is simply an active form of meditation where the movement helps you connect with your heart and body on a deeper level. It helps to develop body awareness. Examples of ways you can practice this are walking, gardening, qi gong, tai chi, and other gentle forms of movement.
4. Mantra Mediation: This means repeating a phrase or word over and over again to clear the mind. It could also be repeating a sound like the most famous one – “om”. You can say your mantra out loud or to yourself. Whichever the case, after chanting your mantra, you will be more in tune with your environment and become more alert. If you are the kind of person that does not love silence and you can not focus on your breathing, then try this method. It will give you a deeper sense of awareness.
5. Body Scan Meditation: It is sometimes known as progressive meditation. It involves tightening and releasing the muscles in the body to reduce tension and promote relaxation. This is mostly used at bedtime to relieve stress.
6. Loving-kindness Meditation: This involves focusing on your feelings for loved ones. It includes opening your mind to love and giving it back as well. It is good for people that are holding in strong emotions.
How To Meditate
1. Choose a quiet spot and rid yourself of distractions by turning off your phone.
2. Set a time limit. For beginners, you should meditate for 5-10 minutes.
3. Sit in a comfortable position. If you want to cross your legs, do cross them.
4. Focus on your breathing. Take deep breaths and focus on how each breath feels.
5. Notice your thoughts. In meditation, you are not going to clear your mind by forcing it. What you are going to do is when your mind does wander, you focus on bringing them back to your breathing. Also, focus on these thoughts without judging them and when you are done, slowly bring your mind back to your breathing.
Benefits of Meditation
1. Reduces stress and aggression
2. Lowers blood pressure
3. Increase focus and enhances one mood.
4. Improve emotional connection to others.
5. Improves adaptability.
6. Increases self-awareness
7. Improves working memory.
According to a Zen proverb, “you should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”