What is meditation and how to start meditating?
Meditation is a simple practice available to everyone that can reduce stress, make you more calm and bring clarity. Learning to meditate is easy, and the benefits can come quickly. Here we offer top tips to help you get started on the path to acceptance and joy.
What is the meaning of meditation?
In the practice of meditation, we learn to pay attention to the breath as it comes in and out, and notice when the mind is distracted from this task. This practice of returning to the breath strengthens the muscles of attention and awareness .
When we pay attention to our breathing, we learn to return to the present moment and stay in it – intentionally, without judgment, feeling ourselves here and now.
What are the benefits of this practice? Why has meditation become so popular?
Meditation is not a newfangled phenomenon. This is an old practice, the benefits of which science has only begun to explore in the last few years.
By meditating regularly, you:
- reduce the overall level of stress in the body
- improve focus and concentration
- stabilize your mood – you will be less irritable and happier in the moment
- reduce your reactivity to events and make more informed decisions
- improve the quality of sleep and get rid of insomnia
- reduce high blood pressure
- you will live every day more consciously
- learn to look deeper into the root of your every thought and every belief
- can reduce chronic pain levels
How to start a meditation practice?
First, you need to understand that there is no good or bad practice, and immediately forgive yourself for your imperfection. Let go of all your perfectionism and desire to do perfectly and just watch the process of meditation.
When you close your eyes and follow the instructions in guided meditation, your mind will be easily distracted and thoughts will take your breath away. Get rid of the false expectation that you will immediately catch Zen at the first meditation and sit quietly for the entire 5-10 minutes.
Meditation is very hard and very easy at the same time. In order to succeed in practice, you need to practice. Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and let your mind do its thing.
You need to make efforts to disperse your thoughts and artificially empty the space in your mind. The moment you realize that you are lost in your thoughts, you develop awareness. It is then that you return to the object of concentration – the breath. That’s all you need to do in meditation – bring your attention back to your breath away from distracting thoughts and thus hone your awareness. With practice, the periods between breath withdrawal and awareness will become longer and longer.
How to start meditating – step by step:
- Find a place where you feel calm and quiet. Sit comfortably.
- Set a time limit. It is better to start with a timer for 5-10 minutes.
- Pay attention to your body. Scan its individual parts. Feel your weight and body heat on the surface.
- Feel your breath – every inhale and exhale. Notice where you feel it the most – throat, lungs, diaphragm, stomach?
- Notice when your mind wanders and bring your attention back to your breath.
- Be kind to yourself and your mind. Don’t judge yourself or get hung up on the content of the thoughts you’re lost in. Just get back to practice.
- End the practice with a good intention. When you’re ready, open your eyes and take in the entire space around you. Pay attention to all the sounds that surround you. Pay attention to your thoughts and emotions. Thank yourself for the practice.