No, it’s not just for hippies and Buddhist people, it’s an activity that everyone should learn to practice, because it brings your body and well-being so many beneficial necessities.
Meditation sounds like a simple way to reduce stress, aging and improve your happiness and concentration, but it’s actually a lot more difficult to master than it sounds. It requires full stillness, a completely cleared mind and synchronized breathing patterns. For many men, this can be easily obtained because their brains are wired differently than a woman’s. Women have this undeniable ability to keep their mind running, every day, all day. Men are able to shut their brains off if needed, which is why as a woman, I personally find meditation difficult.
Many people don’t realize that simple meditation can actually be as helpful to the mind, body and soul as practicing yoga. Many studies have found that the daily practice of meditation can help improve brain functioning, metabolism for weight loss, immune systems, attention span, happiness, acceptance, cardiovascular health, a good night’s sleep, and life appreciation. It has been also found to reduce aging and stress, common causes of many other disabilities and diseases.
In my personal life, I have found that practicing healthy physical habits, such as eating healthy, running, lifting weights, has correlated with the happiness I have with my body and life. But not everything is about the physical. Your mental health should be a priority as well, so you can lead a confident lifestyle, without the worries, stress, anxiety and self-consciousness.
Below I have written a few steps you should take if you’re a meditation beginner like myself. I still have days where I struggle to get comfortable, but even if I am one with my body for 30 seconds, that’s a huge step for my mental health.
Find a zen area, a place where no one will interrupt you and you can play some tranquil music.
Get comfortable. The biggest thing for my personal meditation is not being able to move for a long period of time.
Get yourself in a position that won’t cramp you up or make you feel antsy. Lying down works best for me!
If you’d like, play some meditation music. This is not for everyone, but I found that it helps me relax. Go to Youtube for a calming meditation video, with nature sounds or waves crashing. I have also found that various guided meditation videos help me immensely. Guided meditation is a great way to focus on the words of the narrator, while subconsciously clearing your mind. I use the app Simple Habit, which has short meditation practices and sends me daily reminders.
For beginners, time your meditation. I find it more simple to ease into meditating when I know it won’t be for an hour. It’s also easier when you’re alone. You can choose the duration, music, location without distractions when you meditate alone. I found it the most effective when I started my meditation at only four-minutes long. It forced me to relax faster and it made me appreciate this short amount of tranquility time.
Once you feel comfortable meditating, add more time! My brother can meditate for an hour without stopping, I’m just not there yet. There are also many groups of people that practice meditation, as well as yoga, just ask around! I am definitely not a meditation queen, but I do try to practice it when I am feeling anxiety or stressed about something. It’s definitely a step-by-step process, but once you have it mastered, it can really enlighten your life and brighten your day!