I am so excited to write that I have been officially meditating for over seven years now. And maybe even unofficially for many years before that, I just didn’t realize it was meditation. I believe this practice of going inward has been pivotal in my many transformations and in understanding who I really am. In essence, discovering my inner beauty!
Despite the misconceptions, meditating is quite simple and does not necessarily require a specific level of spiritual enlightenment in order to practice or incorporate it into your life. Over the last 10 years, meditation and mindfulness has re-entered the mainstream once again (“re-entered” because the concept itself was born aeons ago!) and it is frequently featured in the media, incorporated into the medical and scientific communities, taught in leading schools and universities and even adopted by blue-chip corporations around the world.
Besides the obvious purpose of inner reflection, meditation has literally hundreds of benefits (and still counting) for the body, the mind, emotional/mental state and more. What’s great is that there are plenty of credible studies out there to give us logical, rational types the results of regular meditation practice as backed by science.
Here are some of the big ones:
Those people who regularly meditate have higher energy levels, stronger immunity and are physically unwell much less often, have enhanced clarity of mind and creativity, as well as better ability to learn and retain information.
- Anti- Aging
Studies have shown that meditation has a “detox” effect and removes toxins and free radicals from the body, reverses “aging” on the DNA level, while cellular regeneration is much faster and therefore the body may heal itself from disorder and disease and maintain a youthful nature.
Regular meditation stimulates your happy chemicals in the brain responsible for feeling joyful and happy, also it helps to keep your brain chemicals and hormones balanced for emotional stability and brings about a more compassionate, non-judgmental state of being.
Those who regularly meditate feel more self-confident and develop stronger feelings of self-love and appreciation (in all the good ways), their skin radiates and glows, are less likely to find ways to put themselves down or to be “depressed”, and potentially evolve into a “love magnet”- attracting others to them through their amazing vibes!
There are many ways to meditate. It is not really a destination, it is a journey in which you will discover more of yourself and what it means to be “you”. One of the main purposes of meditation is learning how to focus the mind. When you have incredibly sharp focus you then have the ability to control your thoughts and therefore what you are choosing to create in your world around you (I will write another blog post on this soon). Remember, learning how to ride a bike when you were little didn’t happen over night. It takes practice, dedication and then the rest will follow.
Here are five simple, easy techniques to get you on the way. Start off with a 5 minute practice in a comfortable sitting position then eventually work your way to 30 minutes or more. And in a matter of weeks you’ll be meditating like a pro.
1. Breathing In Breathe Out
Close your eyes. Bring your attention completely to your breath, making each breath long and deep. Feel your breath coming in through your nose and out through your mouth. If you feel yourself drifting off, refocus and bring your full attention back to your breath once again.
2. Stare at a Candle Light
Light a candle and place it around a meter in front of you on the ground with the room lights off. Relax your body in a sitting position (straight back) and simply stare at the flickering flame along with slow deep breaths. If you find your thoughts wondering just bring your attention back to the candle light.
3. Visualize a Beautiful Scene
There are many ways to approach this technique. To start with you can close your eyes while in sitting position and imagine a beautiful scene of nature that you enjoy and feel comfortable being in such as the beach, the mountain, the countryside, etc. You can imagine and visualize the details of the scenery, the sounds, the smells, and emotionally how are you feeling, what you are wearing, what you are doing there…it’s amazing how real this experience can be! When you visualize you are using the same part of the brain where memories are stored so everyone can do this, no excuses.
4. Hum or Chant Mantras
Vibrations from humming or the chanting of mantras (such as Ohm) can also get you into a deeper subconscious state. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and hum through the rhythm of the breath (inhale first then hum on the exhalation making it slow and long). Keep repeating until done with your session and notice the wonderful “lightness” in your body and mind afterwards.
5. Dance to Music with Positive Vibes
Another not so conventional way to get into a meditative state is to dance like you’ve never danced before! Make sure you are in an area in which you have some space around you to move freely, play some music that makes you feel good and has positive language and messages (instrumental music is even better) then let yourself go with the rhythm and beat without any constructed dance moves. Just go with the flow. It’s incredibly liberating and can be so much fun! It’s like being a child again.
Find the technique that works for you and dedicate a few minutes of your day to your meditation practice. Stick with it for a few weeks (discipline!) and you will notice results that may blow your mind. Remember, enjoy this part of your day to be with yourself… and have fun with it!