Getting into meditation is not as easy as it may seem. Sitting still, for one, comes with practice and discipline. As does the ability to bring your mind into the present. But the benefits of meditation are really fascinating. They go beyond the home or office. Even a few minutes can help restore some calm to your body and mind when stress and tension creep in.
Anyone who says they don’t have time to meditate or can’t sit still for 10 minutes are the people who need it most. I fall into this category. So I have to implement a schedule that I must adhere to or I’ll fall off and go back to square one. It’s the results, what I get from meditation, that keep me disciplined.
The Benefits of Meditation
I was 34 years old the first time I meditated. It was never for me; I didn’t need it in my life. It was the eve of a really important meeting with a client at work. The level of stress and anxiety that coursed through my body was at a level I’d never experienced before. My wife could tell something was amiss. She’s a yoga instructor who has incorporated meditation into her daily life for years, so she suggested I give it a shot.
Sometimes a slow down is all we need to get through a busy day. The benefits of meditation can help you get there.
A few years later and I look at that night as a turning point in my life. She led me through a 10-minute meditation session that evening, and another the following morning. The meeting went very well. The client was happy. I was happy. Meditation found its place in my daily spiritual practice.
These days, meditation is mostly used to relieve stress and calm the mind and body. But its roots are so much deeper than that. Thousands of years ago, meditation was used as a way to get in touch with and understand the deeper meaning of the sacred and mystical forces of life.
By clearing the mind and getting rid of the barrage of information we consume throughout a normal day, we can achieve a state of tranquility. Meditation, if you will, is like a form of practiced medication. Both the physical and emotional benefits of meditation are elements of your life you won’t want to do without once you set your sights on maintaining a daily practice.
How to Meditate
Meditation can be hard to start on your own. That’s why we would recommend a guide to help you through the early stages. Rather than making a monetary investment right up front, visit YouTube. There are a wide range of videos made for beginners. There are also a variety of apps that you can download for free.
Even just a few minutes of meditation a day can have immediate positive effects on your mind and body.
Find a comfortable place to sit somewhere in your house. This could be on the floor, a rug, the couch, or your yoga mat. Choose a five-minute video to start with. Even just a few minutes of meditation a day can have immediate positive effects on your mind and body. Build on that until you get to 10 minutes then 20. Eventually you will become your own spiritual guide as you become more experienced and disciplined.
When to Meditate
There’s no such thing as the right time to meditate. You may enjoy meditating in the morning. It’s a good way to start the day. Ten minutes followed by a healthy breakfast is a solid foundation and helps create a good headspace for what lay ahead.
You may like to meditate in mid-afternoon to help reset. My wife, for example, is a devout mid-afternoon meditator because it helps clear her mind and focus on the rest of the day.
Before bed is another great time with the result being a sounder sleep. Rid your mind of the day’s events both good and bad and still yourself in the present moment. There doesn’t have to be one time a day that you meditate. You may enjoy multiple sessions.
Benefits of Meditation for the Mind
I’ve always had trouble sitting still. It’s not that I have a terribly turbulent life, but the feeling of calm so many of us aspire to have simply eludes me most of the time. Meditation has replaced many things in my life that I once used to achieve little moments of clarity and understanding.
Meditation can help you clear your mind and allow you to focus by reducing stress, which is probably the most common reason folks try it in the first place.
You see, the brain is a processor; of thoughts, information, opinions, you name it. As intelligent beings it’s very natural for us to receive and regurgitate. In today’s world, it’s getting harder and harder to shut it off. This is where meditation becomes a huge benefit for the mind.
Meditation can help you clear your mind and allow you to focus by reducing stress, which is probably the most common reason folks try it in the first place. Meditation can help you sleep by reducing the amount of harmful chemicals you produce as a cause of stress. When the mind is relaxed, it’s at its best.
Benefits of Meditation for the Body
Meditation can reduce blood pressure and fatigue while at the same time promoting emotional health and confidence. When you feel rested you have the energy to exercise, which leads to the release of endorphins that trigger positive feelings in the body. We also have a tendency to eat poorly when we’re stressed. Some of us gain weight by snacking on junk food while others lose it with their appetites. Most importantly, a healthy body is a relaxed body. Meditation can rid your body of tension as well as any massage or medication.
Elements to Incorporate
Some people like to incorporate additional elements into their daily meditation practices. If you’re like me and have trouble sitting still, consider yoga. The moves are made to enhance both the physical and mental aspects of your being. It’s what I would describe as an outlet for nervous energy and an inlet for intense focus. For me, this flow creates a sense of peace within me that I can’t replicate elsewhere.
You could also bring in a musical instrument like the titanium gong. You’d be surprised to find how the harmonic vibrations can help clear your mind and recenter your attention. Sometimes my wife and I sit together with our gong and play. Our experiences are different, but we achieve the same result.
When I can, I play my guitar. Sitting there with my eyes closed, I can follow the musical notes as they dance away into the ether. I forget what’s happened until that moment and don’t think about what I have to do the rest of the day. I’m in the present.
Even science has proven that meditation is good for the mind and body. Life is happening so fast these days and without meditation, I wouldn’t know how to stay in the present moment. My mind would be stretched so far into the past and the future that my ability to focus would be severely limited. I’ve been there before and I don’t like it. But the more I practice, the more clear my mind is throughout the day. My imagination has increased, as has my creativity and my tolerance for, well… life.