Everyone feels stuck in their professional and personal lives nowadays. We all have adopted a lifestyle that is deprived of healthy habits. In long term, this affects our physical as well as mental health.
From kids to people in their 40’s everyone is burdened with either their own dreams or personal & social responsibilities. I feel people are so lost in running after materialistic needs that they have completely forgotten about their mental peace and inner calm.
If you have heard stories from your grandparents you must have noticed people in old eras had one very important task included in their routine and it was meditation.
You can never realize the value of mediation until you start practicing it. I won’t say it is easy; it’s actually tough to bring it in as your habit. But once you start practicing, you are going to love how your state of mind takes a mild shift and slowly calms you down.
Meditation is one of the most effective ways to find inner peace, relax, and cope with stress.
A Quick Step-wise Guide for Beginners
1. Choose a quiet place during early morning or evening during the sunset. I personally prefer mornings as it feels so refreshing to experience mild sun rays while you’re meditating. You can also plug in some soft music to avoid distraction. You’ll find many options for music on YouTube, choose what calms you.
2. As a beginner you can just start off with a sitting position that is comfortable for you, you can choose to sit with your legs crossed and place your hands either on your knees or laps. Ideal posture is to keep your palms one on top of the other and keep them close to your navel in such a position that your thumbs are aligned straight with your nose. In the beginning, you don’t need to be this specific and you can choose whatever feels best to your body.
3. Once you’re in a comfortable position just try to focus on the breathing with your eyes closed. Throughout the meditation you should not fidget or move, this is the hardest part but with practice, this will get easier.
4. Breathe as you normally do from your nose into your belly without any forceful long inhales and exhales. The most important thing to keep in mind is that when we breathe unconsciously we breathe into the chest (which humans do when they’re in a firefight like situation); breathing into belly sends relaxation signals to the mind. Ever seen a baby breathing, you will notice how the belly visibly moves.
5. Keep breathing. In the beginning, your mind will stray away and you will become aware of your thoughts. But don’t worry all you need to do is observe your thoughts, acknowledge them and label them as hearing, seeing, remembering, or smelling. Suppose you are having a thought about past, rather than going deeper into thinking label this thought as remembering. Simply say in your mind “remembering, remembering, remembering….” And try to bring your focus back to breathing. You can categorize your thoughts as anything you want as long as it makes sense to you. Slowly you will realize this is how you should make your mind still instead of consciously forcing yourself to stop thinking.
6. If you’re distracted by some physical or outside force for example if your foot suddenly feels numb, try to stay calm. Then while keeping your breath, slowly move your hand towards the feet and label the movement as “moving, moving, moving…” and pinch your feet to let go of numbness. Ensure that this movement happens slowly and you maintain your breath rather than getting irritated immediately.
7. If you feel this labeling thing is too much, you can simply pronounce OM exhaling and inhaling. Once you’re done rub your palms against each other and keep them on your face for few seconds and then open your eyes to a fresh start.
As a beginner, try to meditate for 10 minutes; don’t think that 10 minutes cannot bring any change in your life. “Something is better than nothing.” Once you master these 10 minutes you can go up to half an hour as well. And it feels so good while meditating that you won’t realize how fast time passes by but then again initially it is going to be a little tough but certainly not impossible.
People have this myth that during meditation you don’t have to think about anything. But the truth is meditation is all about practicing the art of staying calm in all situations. This means that even if you’re thinking too much while meditating you should not feel affected by those thoughts, you should have faith in yourself to kill the negative force. Eventually, you will learn to control your thoughts.
Meditation brings astonishing results on the physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual aspects of our being. I won’t say you will master the art of keeping calm but certainly, meditation will bring positive energy in your life.
Let’s have a quick look at the benefits of adopting meditation in your life:
• Meditation reduces stress, strengthens the immune system, and helps to regulate many of the body’s systems.
• During meditation, the breath slows blood pressure and metabolic rate decreases, and circulation and detoxification of the blood increase.
• Mediation also controls anxiety. It diminishes symptoms of anxiety disorders, such as phobias, social anxiety, paranoid thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and panic attacks.
• Some forms of meditation can improve depression and create a more positive outlook on life.
• It helps to build the ability to redirect and maintain attention. Meditation improves your focus, attention, and ability to work under stress.
• Meditation develops mental discipline and willpower. It also helps you avoid triggers for unwanted impulses which further aid you to recover from addictions and redirect other unwanted habits.
I really hope after reading the above benefits you feel motivated to take up meditation in your daily routine. Go on guys and see yourself the miracle those 10 minutes of meditation can bring into your lives.