Although the practice of meditation has become so mainstream in the last 10 years, it is still a relatively a new concept along the western front. If you are looking for a quick guide to get started then you’ve come to the right place.
Meditation has so many wonderful benefits that anybody can truly absorb with just a few minutes practice a day, but just how exactly should you adopt something that has been practiced for centuries by the masters?
With our tips in meditation guide you will be as relaxed as a zen monk in no time, but before we reach the practice stage lets just digest some more knowledge on the practice of meditation.
What Exactly is Meditation?
Meditation has been around for over 5000 and has descended from the East. The most common pose of meditation called the ‘Lotus’ position depicts a person sitting on the floor with eyes closed and resting with their hands resting on their knees whilst looking slightly up at an angle.
The descriptive practice of meditation is evidenced in documents well over 3500 years old, in fact meditation is closely related to that of spiritual enlightenment with every worldly religion having their own take on it.
In essense meditation is a journey of discovery to know who you really are, and I don’t mean by your age, sex, occupation or even passions. It’s a pathway to understanding the real you inside – the you before you got ingrained by society and experiences. The identities we give ourselves are all gained purely by the cirumstances of our lives.
If you are of a certain religion or culture it’s purely because of the family you were born into. Also – The way you look is down to the inherited genes from both your parents. The culture you have adopted is also surely down to your environment and the occurances you had when growing up.
Once all of this is stripped away then what you have left is your real identity. Deep down we are nothing more than consciousness. We are not our thoughts, our minds or our bodies. The consciousness is that part of us that is completely aware and responsive to our external surroundings and deep within ourselves.
Meditation really grabs hold of us in the present moment, the only moment that truly exists. Being aware of the present moment helps us to become fully immersed into it and truly enjoy it. We as humans have a natural and inquisitive nature to seek what is out there either in the past or the future, ultimately missing the actual gift of the present environment (yes, pun intended!).
With our tips in meditation we will discuss will help you to connect back to that source consciousness and allow you to step back into who you truly are at your core.
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Proven Meditation Benefits
There are literally hundreds of scientifically proven benefits of meditation. We will discuss eight that we believe are among the very top. If you have meditated before then you can certainly vouch for these benefits. If you haven’t then you owe it to yourself to start. What’s the worst that could happen?
Relaxation – Meditation has the ability to put our bodies into what is called ‘the Alpha State’. A state where you experience the restfulness of deep sleep whilst being fully awake and conscious the entire time. Your brain begins to emit alpha waves instead of beta, which is what you emit when you’re fully awake. The benefits of the alpha state are that of self-healing, whether mental or physical.
Increase In Libido – This is one benefit that you don’t hear too much about but certainly worth pointing out. Whilst meditation itself will not create feelings of a sexual nature due to the act of meditation itself, but it’s deep relaxation technique will certainly do away with any stress you are carrying and make it a lot easier to get into that ‘zone’.
Delay Aging Process – It stands to reason that when we are stressed our body releases certain chemical components and definite change occur. Stress puts a strain on our body that naturally speeds up the aging process. Tackle the stress and you control that speed. Studies show that the stress hormone cortisol can be significantly reduced by practicing meditation.
Curb Addictions – Most of us are addicted to something, be it food, alcohol, tobacco or even fitness. Whatever the addiction, it is essentially nothing more than an escape from something that upsets us. Meditation can help curb addictions by replacing the need for escape with the natural state they are looking for. Once you look inside yourself you no longer need to look elsewhere for that fix with an addiction.
Reduce Blood Pressure – We have already discussed that stress can be significantly reduced by the act of meditation. Meditation is also a powerful effective for helping with mild hypertension since stress is one of the main reasons for high blood pressure. Reduce the stress and you reduce the blood pressure – It’s all balance at the end of the day!
Control Anxiety & Other Emotions – Anxiety and other destructive emotions all originate from the main one of fear. Fear was once a much more useful emotion when we might have been faced with a threat, and as a result would need to fight or flee. In today’s civilizations we tend not to be in as much of a threatening situation as being attacked or being eaten alive by a wild animal. Nevertheless fear is very much alive in most of us on a daily basis in one form or another.
Meditation helps deal with the fear emotion by silencing our overactive monkey minds. Instead of us submitting to our thoughts of fear we start to relate to the silence and peace that appears between these thoughts.
Better Sleep – Eliminate the stress and anxiety can only mean better sleep, right? If you only meditate for 5 minutes a day in the morning and before bed then then you are inducing a natural remedy for insomnia.
Improve Immune System – Meditation is known to increase electrical activity on the brains left side. The left side of the brain controls the right side of the body. It also performs our everyday logical tasks like working out problems etc. It’s the same side of the brain that controls our immune system. Stimulating this part of the brain strengthens our immune system to produce more of the body’s infection fighting cells.
Lets Get You Started
OK – You’ve reached this far! If meditation is new to you then you might feel slightly overwhelmed with the endless amounts of information out there on the subject and to try and remember everything you have read about.
To make things easier we have put together 10 great tips to get you started. By the end you will have much better understanding of the personal effect meditation has on you as well as be in a much more evolved place than where you currently are. The more you practice it the more it will become a daily habit for you and the quicker you will begin to experience the personal benefits.
There’s no right or wrong way of what happens to do during your meditation session. It’s a totally personal experience for each and every one of us, and that’s OK. Just accept what experience happens to you during the sessions. Meditation is life changing. I can vouch for that, but don’t take my word for it – Try it now for yourself TODAY!
You will not regret it! Here is a helpful guide to get you started.
Start Small – Nobody is asking you to meditate for an hour long each time. In fact when first starting out, not even for 20 minutes. Instead start small with 5 minute sessions. A feeling of restlessness may take place in the first sessions – this is normal as your body and mind are simply not used to the practice. You will naturally begin to become a lot more patient with your sessions as time goes on. Once you have mastered 5 minutes, then slowly increase gradually a by a minute here until you can comfortably and easily reach 10 mins.
Remove Your Distractions – Try and find a personal space where you will perform your daily meditation sessions. I normally choose a room with the door closed, just choose somewhere you fell comfortable. Make sure you turn off your phone and other distractions which might interrupt your session. This is your time, nobody else’s!
Never Force – Forcing your mind to stop thinking is not the aim of meditation. Instead notice when your mind wanders and then bring it back and concentrate on your breathing or a mantra (a positive word or statement) if you prefer. The idea is to have something to focus on. If the mind wanders again, it’s fine. Just bring it back each time to your chosen focus.
Comfort is Key – There is no ideal way for you to meditate. The famous lotus position that everybody knows about works so well because it’s designed to stop you falling asleep. Meditation is so relaxing that it can easily drop you off into deep sleep if you are lying down. Choose what works for you, either the lotus position, sitting on your favorite chair, eve a park bench. Even lie down if you are not feeling tired. There are no set rules – You dictate what works for you!
Open Or Closed – Most people tend to close their eyes during meditation as they find it helps them to be less distracted on what’s going on around them. You could also try leaving your eyes open to then focus on something externally. Light a candle and concentrate on the flame; or look out of the window and concentrate on the tree branch moving in the wind – the choice is entirely yours!
Don’t Label – You mind will naturally present things to you whilst in a meditation session. Try not to be judgmental with what comes in. Instead just accept and observe any thoughts.. Don’t label any of them – simply see them come and go like clouds passing in the sky.
Create A Routine – Try if you can to keep your meditation sessions at the same time of day. Just after you wake up is a great time as your mind is still in that relaxed state which makes it easier than trying to start it during mid day when everything else is going on. Before your sleep is also a good time to do it as it sets you mind on the path to restlessness. Or do both – again, do what works for you!
Time It – In the beginning stages keep a timer to stick to your 5 minutes sessions. When first starting out 5 minutes can seem like an eternity, but try to resist the urge to look at the timer as this will only distract your mind with something else. Instead. just let it all go and know that the countdown will reach zero…Be patient with it and try not to rush anything.
Try Guided Meditations – There are an abundant amount of meditation apps available out there to choose from. If you find that you are struggling to set the path on your own, then these apps can definitely help. Once you are comfortable and advanced enough with the instructions on the app then you will be ready to go at it alone.
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Take It With You – Once your meditation session is over you will feel a natural sense of calm. Try not to then rush into your daily routine but instead ease slowly into it. Try to take this awareness with you for the rest of the day. You can tap into this feeling whenever you want just by trying to find the quietness in between the madness that occurs to you in the day.
You now have an underlying understanding on exactly what meditation is and can give to you. The best way to start anything of a long journey is to pace it and the most efficient way is day by day. If you need an exact detailed description of how to meditate, then the internet is you portal to the vast methods that exist. Understand that this is ultimately your path and you can dictate your own method of what works for you.
Alternatively there are numerous meditation apps or books that can be downloaded to your smartphone. I promise you that if you meditate for just a few minutes everyday you will begin to feel the benefits almost immediately. Any new action in your life requires patience so go easy with it.
You might well have some better days than others, and that’s fine. Understand that there is no template outcome for you.
This is entirely your journey and only you, so make it a good one!
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I hope you enjoyed this article and if you have any questions about this topic or just want to leave your own personal review, please leave a comment below.