What is meditation?
Meditation is an umbrella term for a set of techniques that aim to focus the mind, to train attention and awareness, and to create a clear and calm mental state. The aim of meditation is usually to improve psychological wellbeing. While meditation is often involved in many religious practices, it is something that can be practiced by anyone and everyone to improve their mental wellbeing. The most common meditation technique used is mindfulness. Mindfulness is all about focusing intensely on the present moment, being aware of what you are feeling, thinking, and sensing, and accepting this without interpretation or judgement. Hence why it helps to make you a more aware, open, and accepting person.
What are the benefits of meditation?
There are many benefits to meditation, both physical and psychological. Here are a few examples of the many ways including meditation in you life can benefit you:
- Better stress management skills
- Improved attention ability
- Improved emotional wellbeing and decreased negative emotions
- Better memory
- Increased self awareness
- More patience and tolerance
- Increased imagination and creativity
- Relief from headaches
- Management of symptoms of anxiety and depression
- Improved sleep and management of sleep disorders
- Decreased blood pressure
- Less pain
- Better immunity
How can I get started with meditation?
Starting meditation may seem a bit intimidating if you have never tried it before. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Set a time – start off small by doing sessions of 5 to 10 minutes a day, and slowly work your way up to longer sessions.
- Make sure you are comfortable – find a place and a position you are comfortable in. This may be sitting on the couch, sitting cross legged on the floor, or lying on your bed.
- Focus on what you are feeling – acknowledge any thoughts or feelings you are having without any internal judgement. Don’t try to suppress any thoughts or feelings you may be having.
- Minimise expectations – don’t set expectations for what you are going to feel like or be like during or after a meditation session. Just enjoy each session for what it is, you will start noticing the benefits in time.
Use an app – there are many websites and apps out there that can help guide your meditation, this is extremely helpful for beginners. A good one to start out with is headspace (https://www.headspace.com), but there are plenty of other apps and websites out there as well.