By Sarah Shaw
Meditation has started to become more mainstream and utilized as a fantastic addition to ones personal care routine within western culture, but it has been an enduring practice used for thousands of years all over the world. There are several forms of meditation that one can choose to learn. Some of the more common meditation practices include Mindfulness meditation, Concentration meditation and Transcendental meditation, just to name a few. However our purpose here is to discuss the benefits of meditation to beginners and a few easy steps to take in order to gain more focus and achieve a solid meditative foundation in which to build upon.
Medical professionals are finally starting to recognize the benefits of adding meditation to ones health and wellness routine. Some of the major benefits of meditation include,increased immune function, decreased pain and inflammation, decreased depression, decreased anxiety, reduction of stress and so much more. There are countless benefits to meditating with new ones being recognized all the time. Overall, the benefits of meditation and its simplicity make it a great addition to anyone’s personal care routine.
During the beginning phases many individuals often find it difficult to attain the focus required for effective meditation. However using these five easy tips during each session can greatly improve your results.
The first is finding a comfortable, quite space where you will not be disturbed for the duration of your meditation.
The second is becoming present in the moment. Take a few deep breaths, take in your surroundings, and get into a comfortable position that leaves no strain on any areas of the body.
The third is to close your eyes and begin to focus on your breath, breathing as deeply as you can, using your diaphragm; in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly. (Many suggest a count of four when inhaling, holding for a count of 2, and exhaling for a count of 6, but I suggest doing what feels comfortable to you and your body).
The fourth is feeling your body. While maintaining your position, breathing and spatial awareness, try focusing on what your body is doing, how it is reacting. This will help you to gain additional focus and remain in the moment.
The fifth is to take your time and practice. If you can only remain focused for a minute, then meditate for a minute and build on that. After several attempts, you should be able to add more time into each session effortlessly. There really is no wrong way to do it, as long as your are putting in the time, remember that the only bad meditation is no meditation at all. So be patient with yourself and keep practicing, because as long as you are doing it you will see the benefits and begin to improve.
As a recap when beginning, remember to:
1. Find a Comfortable, Quite and Distraction Free Area
2. Become Present in the Moment
3. Close your Eyes and Focus on your Breath
4. Listen/ Feel your body
Additionally, finding specified time during ones busy day can also be a challenge when one begins to implement meditation into their daily routine, However, remember that when starting out you do not need to push yourself into hours of meditation. Simply taking 5 to 10 minutes a day to sit in silence is a great start to developing an effective meditative practice; its very similar to strength training, meaning the more repetition the stronger one becomes. Therefore, all it takes is a bit of determination, and consistency, paired with the five easy tips for meditative success discussed above, and you will be well on your way to developing your own solid meditative practice.
For the beginning meditator, finding a certain level of focus can be challenging, but like with most things, practice makes perfect and the benefits truly are amazing and can make a dramatic difference in ones health and wellness. There is no good reason not to start.