10 Things You Might Not Know About Meditation
We’ve all been told a number of times about how meditation is good for us, but it extends way deeper than just making us feel “relaxed”. The truth is you can experience a variety of direct and indirect benefits from mediation, and in this article, we outline some of those you might not know about:
As opposed to you physically trying to quiet your mind, through meditation, your mind will do it all by itself. If you attempt to tame your thoughts, they will just multiply instead.
There aren’t any strict rules that state your mediation session should last at least 30 minutes. While a daily formal practice is highly recommended, you can still meditate whilst waiting for a friend or standing in a queue. Try and incorporate mediation into your working day that works best for you.
As we mentioned earlier on, meditation does a lot more than just provide relaxation. One of these is a stronger immune system. Stress and anxiety is hugely detrimental to our immune system and makes us vulnerable to contracting illness. By creating a regular meditation practice, you can reduce the amount of stress-related chemicals in your body.
While some people may be put off by the mysterious stigma attached with mediation, it actually couldn’t be any easier. In Zen meditation, you sit quietly and follow your breathing as it goes in and out. Simple, right? However, your mind will wander at certain points, so it’s important to stay focused on your breathing.
When we meditate, we become more capable of controlling our thoughts. An important part of meditation is being able to notice your thoughts without judging or getting caught up in them. This helps us develop a greater understanding of ourselves and improve our internal dialogue.
Contrary to what you may have been told, there isn’t an age limit on who can meditate. Whether you’re 80 years old or eight years old, it doesn’t matter – there are very few limitations. Even if you don’t class yourself as a “spiritual” person, many people meditate regardless because of its vast health benefits.
The first image which tends to pop into our heads when the word meditation is used is someone sitting on the floor cross-legged. Whilst the lotus position is the most effective way to staying focused, you can actually meditate in any position – whether it’s standing, sitting in a chair or lying down. Whatever body position you do choose, make sure you’re feeling comfortable and relaxed.
The daily routine of life can cause our minds to form creative blocks, making it very difficult to escape certain thought patterns. However by meditating, it can be like pressing the reset button. When we take a step back from these patterns, it helps us see the bigger picture.
We build our self-confidence on the stories we have about ourselves, so similar to how meditation helps us develop self-acceptance, it also has a positive effect on our self-esteem. When negative feelings or emotions crop up during meditation, we practice just simply noticing their presence instead of engaging them. Over time, this helps us deal with negative internal dialogue outside of meditation.
There are numerous techniques for meditation that have been created throughout the years. According to ancient Hindu text, there are 112 ways to meditate! In some practices, you focus on breathing and in others you focus on a mantra. Make sure to experiment with a couple of meditation techniques to find the one which best suits you.
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About Matt Lawson Matt Lawson is a UK based sports journalist who covers all the latest football (soccer) news and matches for the Press Association. A keen Newcastle United fan, Matt is usually found either watching or playing the beautiful game.