The benefits of meditation extend beyond a calmer state of mind.
Meditation is the act of focusing your body, mind, and emotion on the present moment by being still and focusing your attention on your breath, a guided meditation, music, or a helpful phrase or mantra. No matter how you choose to meditate, there are important benefits to making meditation a part of your healthy lifestyle.
Meditation has been shown to help:
- reduce depression and anxiety
- lower blood pressure
- support memory and focus
- reduce the perception of pain, especially chronic pain
- improve sleep
- increase creativity and problem-solving
- support other addiction treatments
A great part about meditation is that there is not just one way you can do it, but each individual person can practice it in a way that suits their body and lifestyle best. From sound meditation to walking, there are so many ways to help calm down your mind and body. We’ll walk you through a basic meditation technique but check out this blog post for more techniques.
Basic Meditation Practice
1. Get into a comfortable position
Choose a comfortable position on the ground, in a chair, or even on your bed – just make sure you’ll be able to be completely relaxed while still staying awake. Keep a strong and straight posture to prevent soreness and to stay concentrated.
2. Close your eyes gently
Relax all of your facial muscles and gently close your eyes.
3. Put your thoughts aside
This may seem hard to do but with just a little practice you can control how much influence they have over you. While meditating, if you realize your mind is wandering simply acknowledge the thought, take a deep breath, and let it go. Bring your attention back to your breath to keep your mind calm and clear. Putting your thoughts aside is not about suppressing them but rather being in control of them.
4. Keep Going
The beauty of meditation, just with any skill, is that the more you work at it the easier it becomes. If you keep consciously letting your thoughts go, the peaceful space between them will become longer and longer with time.
Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated or take a long time. Try adding five minutes of meditation to your day. Find a quiet spot, get in a comfortable position and focus on the present: how your body feels, your breathing, the sounds you hear, etc. If your mind wanders, that’s fine! Just gently bring it back to the present.