Meditation is a mental activity that is done in quiet surroundings for the purpose of reflection and deep thought. In other words, you have to think about something when you meditate. Meditation is not saying “uhmmmm” and trying to sit still for a few minutes. It’s not a just an Eastern tradition where you keep your eyes closed while listening to the steady beat of drums. In fact, meditation is similar to reflection which we all do in one form or another. It can be prayerful or focused on solving daily problems; it is a daily mental spring cleaning activity that will leave you feeling refreshed and ready for what the day will bring.
Meditation stands out because it is a controlled setting with quite a number of advantages. For instance, meditation can reduce stress levels, relax you, steady your heart beat, improve your mental focus and physical health, and make you feel happier!
Multiple studies conducted by respected institutions and scientific researchers all point to as many as 76 benefits! These results are mainly based on 20 to 30 minutes of meditation over a short time span (in some cases, as short as two weeks).
If you start meditation today, you can expect the following results in as little as 14 days, provided you follow the right meditation methods:
- Your focus will improve 10%
- Immunity to sickness will be enhanced by as much as 50%
- Depression will decrease by as much as 75%
- You will be less anxious about life and life’s issues by as much as 30%
- You will enjoy more social connections, be more confident, and start to smile more often
Here are some simple steps to get you started:
Start conservatively. The goal is to meditate for 30 minutes daily but if you have never meditated before, ten minutes is a good goal to begin with.
Find you “Zen Den.” Next, find a place where you won’t be disturbed with no distractions.
Decide. Before you start meditating, decide what you want to reflect on. Meditation is not free gliding. It’s best to have a loose agenda to think about so you don’t go all over the place.
Silence or Background Music? Many people like to meditate with music or some kind of relaxing audio in the background. Others prefer complete silence or the sound of their voice. Don’t allow yourself to be trapped into one choice. You can try one background sound on your first day, another on the second day, or even throw in a silent mediation to see what you like best. Eventually, you can settle with your favorite sound or choose to be silent.
RELAX! When you start meditating, try to clear your mind. Listen to the sound in the background and the focus on breathing in and then out. Your mind will start to hear different sounds aside from your breathing and the background sound. It might hear children playing, sound of birds chirping, the distance drum of a passing truck, muted chatter from the next room – different sounds. Take it all in.
Reflect. Then, start to think about whatever it is you have decided to reflect upon. Spend most of the time going over all its angles. Rest. Think about it again but think about how it affects you and others. Rest. Listen to the sounds in the background. Sometimes, ideas will come to mind about how to address the situation or problem. Sometimes, nothing new occurs to you. If this is the case, affirm to yourself that you will find a solution, happiness, relaxation – whatever it is you want at that moment that’s related to your reflection. Go back to listening to the sounds and then slowly open your eyes.
Welcome to your amazing journey of self discovery!