Tuesday, October 26, 2021

A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

Finding emotional balance, managing anxiety, and living mindfully are just some benefits you can experience with this simple well-being tool.

Meditation is a proven technique that helps manage emotional upheavals by recognising, accepting and letting go of the feelings that are transient. The word “meditation” means to contemplate and can denote as a devotional exercise of contemplation. Dedicating just a small fraction of meditation practice every day can have a huge impact on your wellbeing, relationships, sleep, focus and productivity.

It is encouraged that one should meditate first thing in the morning as it will help clear out your mind and give a mindful kickstart to your day. However, it can be done any time of the day. 


How to meditate?
  • The first step is to take a couple of deep breaths. 
  • Find/create a quiet spot – try to make this spot your meditation zone. So that whenever you sit there you can take five and meditate.
  • Now close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
  • If you are feeling restless, focus on the rising and falling sensation that breathing creates in your body.
  • Begin to take notice of your breathing rhythm – if its deep/shallow, fast/slow
  • As your breathing calms down, begin to count each breath – one -inhale, two – exhale, once you reach ten, notice how you feeling. 
  • Don not worry or stress if your mind begins to wander – it is normal. Instead of focusing on what not to think, try to notice new thoughts but then let it pass and bring back your attention to your breath.


How to know if it is working?

When you begin your practise at first you may feel uncomfortable – your legs may go off to sleep or cramp up. You may experience feelings of impatience or you may fall asleep.

On the other hand, as you practise everyday you may have a profound experience. However, not all days are the same and trying to achieve the profound experience may get frustrating. 

It is essential to understand that meditation should not cause you to feel unreasonably stressed or physically uncomfortable. However, if you are unable to get comfortable with your breathing rhythm, try reducing your time or change your position – sitting to standing, or standing to walking. 


Different ways of meditation?

Just as there are numerous types and ways of physical exercise, there are different ways to meditate as well. So, there are many ways to meditate.

  • Object specific – The first type of meditation is to concentrate on a specific object or establish a point of focus, with the eyes either opened or closed. Silently repeating prayer or chants. Observing or counting your breaths and noticing bodily sensations are also optional focal points. 
  • Visuals – Visualizing is also a good way to meditate, most beginners often find visual meditation easy to practice. Another variation of meditation is through pictures/imageries. Pick any painting or art of any form to maintain an open-eyes focus. 
  • Breathing techniquesUsing the breath as a point of focus is yet another possibility. Ultimately, however, meditating on the breath just means purely observing the breath as it is, without changing it in any way. 
  • Movement meditation – You can incorporate yoga with mediation. As you move and stretch your body focus on your breathing. Focus on the energy moving with your body.  

Practise meditation as much as you can every day. Set aside a specific time to practise self-care. Although it is recommended to meditate early in the morning but the important thing is that you find what works best for you. 

To establish consistency, meditate at the same time and in the same place every day. Choose a place that is quiet, one that is pleasant, where no one with distract or disturb you. 

Finally, you do not have to meditate for long stretches. In fact begin with as little as you can and then make your way to long sessions of meditation.

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