Meditation is something which you have probably heard from many people. You have also seen it butchered on TV, stigmatized to a certain type of people and at times even heard its benefits. This was my journey into understanding meditation. I held a personal stigma towards the people who used to preach the benefits of meditation. It took me a while to verify for myself that while I had an issue with the messengers, I had no quarrel with the message: Meditate, its good for you.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years and is known for its numerous benefits for the mind and body. Despite its ancient roots, meditation has become increasingly popular in recent years, with more and more people turning to this practice to manage stress, improve focus, and enhance overall wellbeing.
History of Meditation
The origins of meditation can be traced back to ancient India, where it was initially used as a spiritual practice. Over time, the practice of meditation spread to other parts of the world, including China, Japan, and Korea. Today, meditation is practiced by people of all cultures and religions, and its benefits have been supported by scientific research.
Anyone Can Meditate
When I was introduced to mediation as a teenager, it was brought to me as something peaceful, something out of the life of a celibate monk. The painted picture for meditation pushed for having a calm mind, clean space, openness to ideas, no thoughts. While this may be the case for many, as a teenager, all I saw was one more boring thing. One of the great things about meditation is that it is accessible to everyone. You don’t have to be a stereotypical meditator, sitting cross-legged on a cushion with your eyes closed. In fact, there are many different types of meditation, including mindfulness meditation, loving-kindness meditation, and body scan meditation, among others. This means that you can find a style of meditation that works for you and fits into your lifestyle. The problem has been that you have most likely not been explained the end goal of meditation.
Meditation is All About Controlling Your Thoughts
At its core, meditation is all about learning to control your thoughts and channel your focus in a productive way. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to sit down and close your eyes to meditate. You can practice meditation while walking, doing yoga, or even cleaning your house. The key is to focus your attention on the present moment and let go of distracting thoughts.
Benefits of Meditation
So, what are the benefits of meditation? Here are just a few:
- Reduces stress: Meditation has been shown to reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in the body, leading to feelings of relaxation and calmness.
- Improves focus: Regular meditation practice can help improve your ability to focus and concentrate, leading to increased productivity and better overall performance.
- Enhances self-awareness: Through meditation, you can develop a greater understanding of your thoughts and emotions, leading to increased self-awareness and self-acceptance.
- Improves sleep: Meditation has been shown to improve the quality of sleep, helping to reduce insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Tips for Getting Started with Meditation
If you’re interested in trying meditation, here are some tips to help you get started:
- Start small: You don’t have to meditate for an hour a day to see the benefits. Start with just a few minutes each day and gradually increase the length of your sessions as you become more comfortable. I know people who turn off their phones, sit down and just people watch for 15 minutes. This helps them focus and be present in their current life.
- Find a quiet space: While you can practice meditation anywhere, it’s helpful to find a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed. If you need quiet to be able to concentrate then yes, you need to find a quiet place. I for example find indoor complete silence quite loud in my mind, so I prefer to sit outside with natural quietness.
- Use a guided meditation: There are many apps and resources available that offer guided meditations, which can be helpful for beginners.
- Be patient: Meditation is a practice that takes time and patience. Don’t expect immediate results, but rather focus on the process and enjoy the experience. Furthermore, there is no checklist or completion rate to mediation, its just another thing you want to be able to build up a habit of to improve your day. Just like taking a bigger breathe, stretching or yawning out loud.
Meditation is a simple yet powerful practice that can have a positive impact on your life. Whether you’re looking to reduce stress, improve focus, or enhance overall wellbeing, meditation is a tool that can help you achieve your goals. Remember, anyone can meditate, and there are many different ways to practice this ancient art. So why not give it a try and see how it can benefit you?