Meditation will change your life. Whether you are a long time practitioner, or if you are just getting started on incorporating meditation into your routine, you know this is true. Even if you’ve only meditated a few times in your life, you likely already have some idea of the wonders and benefits of this simple but important practice.
Getting into a true and deep meditative state isn’t easy. In fact, even people who have been meditating for years often have difficulty settling in and maintaining the deep focus required to experience meditation’s full benefits. However, there are many things you can do to help you reach this state.
Despite its simplicity, meditation is rarely easy. But, if you are armed with the right strategies and rips, you can experience bigger, more long-lasting, and more noticeable results in your meditation practice.
Read on to learn all about the wonders of meditation and the ways you can make it work better for you:
Benefits of Meditation
If you’re reading this article, it’s likely that you are already aware of the many benefits of meditation. However, reviewing them often lights a fire within us to renew our dedication to our practice.
For a long time, the benefits of meditation were primarily anecdotal. People who meditated reported feelings of calm and focus and a general feeling of wellbeing overall. This alone was enough to encourage others to try the practice themselves.
In more recent years, though, there has been a great deal of actual scientific research on the benefits of meditation. Researchers today conduct studies about meditation using traditional and accepted research methods and publish their findings in peer-reviewed journals.
We are only beginning to understand the powers of meditation through these studies, but the results are impressive. As more research is conducted in the coming years and decades, we will begin to understand the effects of meditation on the human mind at a much deeper and more thorough level.
Although the scientific research on meditation completed so far only scratches the surface of all there is to know about it, scientists have learned a number of wonderful things about it already.
Stress & Anxiety Reducer
One of the main reasons people are drawn to meditation is to reduce stress. In surveys about stress, three out of four Americans reported experiencing at least one symptom of stress in the past month. Meditation is a great way to control and relieve this stress and anxiety without using medications that may have nasty side effects.
A number of studies suggest that meditation can work to defeat stress. One large study with 3,500 participants found that meditation helped to decrease anxiety and depression. Another similar study with 1,300 adult participants also reached similar results.
Emotional Health Promoter
Attitude is everything. People who think positive thoughts more frequently than negative thoughts tend to have a happier and more fulfilling life. This line of thinking is often easier said than done, though.
Studies suggest that mindfulness meditation can be helpful to people seeking to strengthen their overall emotional health. One study compared brain waves and attitudes of people who meditate with others who did not. It found that the first group demonstrated a higher occurrence of positive thinking and optimism, which positively affected their lives in many ways.
These are only a few of the many benefits offered by meditation. At least twenty-two different studies have suggested that meditation can actually help to generate kindness in individuals who practice on a regular basis. Numerous other studies found that people who meditate fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer. Still other research seems to show that meditation practice can result in less pain sensitivity or decreased occurrences of chronic and intermittent pain.
Meditation can lower blood pressure, can help to fight addictions, and can help to reduce age-related memory loss, too. Meditation can change lives for the better – and science is only beginning to scratch the surface in learning the extent of its benefits to humans around the globe.
Tips for Reaching a Meditative State
All of the above benefits are incredible. However, in order to enjoy them, you need to get into an optimum meditative state. This is challenging for every meditator. Our minds are always moving a mile a minute, and thoughts come and go no matter how hard we try to focus on our breath.
There are things you can do before, during, and after your meditation sessions to help make meditating easier for you. You will still face many of the same challenges that you already experience when trying to meditate, but you may find that after implementing these tips that you at least are a few steps ahead of where you were before.
1. Prepare Your Space
You can meditate anywhere and at any time, but if you take a few minutes before you dive in to set up your space, you will already be at an advantage before you even begin.
Choose a quiet, serene location. Make sure it is comfortable for you. Some people meditate while sitting on a cushion, but that is not right for everyone. A chair may be more suitable for your needs. If you experience pain when sitting still for long periods, you might want to consider purchasing some CBD distillate wholesale to help you to manage this obstacle in a healthy and positive way.
Setting a proper temperature is another area of concern. Because you will be sitting still for an extended time period, you may find that you get chilly. Consider wearing a light sweatshirt, a long-sleeved shirt, or a scarf to combat this.
You may also choose to dim the lights, open a window to a pleasant view, or light candles. The rituals you choose are up to you, but if you practice them each time you sit to meditate, they will help you to settle into the right mindset for the practice to follow.
2. Center Yourself
Once your space is prepared, sit and take three to five deep breaths before you even begin to meditate. In doing so, your body and mind will begin to relax. You may be familiar with this amazing connection through yoga practice.
Try to make your breaths long, even, and deep. Your breaths should be soft and comfortable. Don’t force it; simply relax into your breath.
Next, take a few moments to think happy thoughts. You might want to list several things for which you are grateful, or think of your loved ones. Focusing on pleasant thoughts before beginning your meditation session will help prepare your mind for the serenity of the practice.
3. Set an Intention
Setting an intention before you begin can really help you to focus on your meditation practice as well. If you take a moment to say to yourself – silently or out loud – that you intend to spend the next ten, fifteen, thirty, or sixty minutes focused on your breath and your meditation, you signal to your mind that this is what it should be doing.
You may find it helpful to go a step further to dedicate your meditation session to a loved one or to a greater good like world peace. This will only further help you to focus on meditating for however long you plan to do it.
4. Avoid Self-Criticism
Even the most experienced practitioners experience “monkey mind” when they first sit down to meditate. If you are new to the practice of meditation, you are likely very familiar with the concept of being unable to control the constant flow of thoughts into your mind at all times. However, it’s crucial that you don’t beat yourself up over this, and that you don’t criticize yourself too much.
Everyone experiences this issue when meditating. That’s why it’s called a practice. You are trying to focus on your breath, but thoughts will arise. Let them come, and then let them float away.
5. Understand the Process
You must understand that meditation is a process. The end goal is calming the mind. This is something you will be working on for the rest of your life. You will experience progress and you will experience setbacks along the way. You will never be finished; you will likely never achieve complete success.
The practice is the process. The process is the goal. Keep at it. Keep sitting down and keep practicing.
6. End Gently
When your meditation session is complete, it may be tempting to just leap up and get back to your life and tasks. Fight this temptation. Instead, take a few minutes to integrate your experience.
Open your eyes. Sit quietly in stillness for a few moments. Take some deep breaths. Take note of how you feel. This gentle transition will help you to enjoy the benefits of your meditation session and overall practice more deeply.
7. Keep a Journal
When participating in any practice, keeping a journal can be helpful. Writing down your experience, successes, failures, questions, and epiphanies will only enhance your overall meditation experience. It helps to keep a record of your practice and, later, to look back over your entries to see how far you have come.
Further, if you attend group meditation classes or training, a journal is a great place to jot down questions for an experienced teacher as they arise.
Now that you have a list of strategies to help you get into a deeper meditative state more rapidly and effectively, don’t wait! Start implementing them right away. You will be surprised how much of a difference each of these small things makes when it comes to your meditation practice. Again – meditation will change your life, so good luck to you, and happy meditating.
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