Stress and exhaustion can even cause many different medical issues. We can start to feel depressed and in over our heads in all of that chaos. So, what can we do to relax?
Some people find their retreat with their families and loved ones, or alone reading a good book or watching their favorite movie. For others, medications seem to be the only possible solution. There is simply too much pressure and too much obligations on all of us.
Whatever your method is, it is important to find that peaceful place where we can rejuvenate and refill our energy.
For the ones who have tried everything and nothing seems to work, meditation might be the perfect choice. This method has been known and used for a very long time and her beneficial effects have been proven. It is a method where we can connect on deeper level to our mind and thoughts, and be alone with ourselves.
We will present you beginners guide for meditation, where you will find everything you need to know about this relaxation method.
Meditation has been practiced since prehistory and it has eastern origins.
Meditation can be described as a method where we actually train our mind to enter another area of consciousness. There are different varieties of this practice and they are all built for certain reasons. People who want their compassion, their sense of self or love and other feelings to emerge and grow, use meditation.
Meditation is not something invented recently. It has been known for years, and practiced as a part of religious and traditional beliefs. Religions like Buddhism practice meditation as a base for their religious ceremonies, and Buddhist monks find meditation to be their own way of expressing their religious beliefs.
Many centuries after, meditation has become a very popular method of treating many different medical conditions and also psychological conditions. Her beneficial side-effects have been proven by many people, and this is why this practice is becoming increasingly more popular.
Psychologists recommend using meditation for treating anxiety, depression or simply as a way to connect on a higher level with ourselves.
Scientists who conducted series of study cases have concluded that even 20 minutes of meditation daily can be beneficial for our health and our mind.
Meditation is something we use to get back to our core and connect with ourselves on a deeper level. This is why it is ideal to practice meditation early in the morning before work and before any other stressful event. Morning meditation can be practiced in the comfort of our home or outside in the nature.
Whatever your preference might be, it will most definitely help you to cope with your emotions and stress that awaits you further along during the day.
Focused meditation method
This method requires us to concentrate fully on a certain object. This object can be almost anything. Part of your body, an object in your home or a certain visualization. This method is the one where you imagine your “happy place” and concentrate on that image.
For beginners this might not be so easy, since concentration and focusing is hard to achieve. As you advance your power of focus will increase and you will shorten those unfocused moments during your meditation, and you will be able to stay focused much longer.
Breathing is also important. Finding a nice calm place, with no distractions is ideal. The main point of meditation is connecting with our inside thoughts and emotions, so peacefulness is something we need in order to succeed in meditation.
Monitoring meditation method
This method, unlike the above mentioned, doesn’t require our attention to be drawn on a certain object. Instead, we take everything around us in consideration and we don’t exclude anything from this process. We simply connect to our inner self and let our mind relax and go through everything it feels.
If you are in a surroundings where there are sounds like music or something else, these sounds also become a part of meditation process. We become one with our surrounding and we try to find answers to whatever bothers us.
This method includes everything around us. Difference between this and monitoring meditation is that it requires steadiness, calmness and quietness. We become one with ourselves and our thoughts.
Most of deep thoughts and ideas come from this meditating method, since it offers us a way to connect on a higher level of our consciousness.
This method of meditation belongs to Buddhist meditation. It originated in India, and it has been performed by Indian monks as a part of their religious practice.
The way to perform this method of meditation is by sitting down and crossing your legs in a lotus or half-lotus position. Modern day meditation doesn’t even require lotus position, so you can sit comfortably on a chair and practice meditation.
Your back need to be in a straight position and mouth and eyes need to be closed. Of course, the whole point of meditation is that stillness, so no movement is involved during meditation. Your only concern is concentrating on your breathing and thoughts.
Vipassana meditation method
Meaning of the word Vipassana is insight. This word comes from Pali language, and we already get the idea of what is supposed to represent.
There are different ways of practicing Vipassana. One of the ways, shown by meditation teachers, is to concentrate on your breathing for the beginning. This way you can calm your mind and reach a higher level of stillness.
After focusing on your attention, focus is transferred to breathing. Movement of the breath through abdomen and your mouth is something you need to be concentrated on. In many ways meditation is similar to yoga. Cleaning out your body and your mind of everything inside and outside, and becoming one with yourself is the most important thing.
After focusing on your breathing and thoughts, you can slowly implement images in your thoughts. It is common to focus on a primary project and then on a secondary object. This can be done through the power of our mind, by getting in touch with smells, memories, and our desires.
This vision doesn’t have to be detailed. You can also note everything you feel around you. For example, if you hear a certain sound simply imagine or note that in your memory. this way you can implement those objects in your thoughts and create a full image.
This method of meditation requires you to simply relax and think of nothing. Or better said, think of everything that comes to your mind. Just let your thoughts wonder freely and without any restrictions.
This is probably the best method for beginners since they can experiment with meditation without strict rules. This method can even be performed during activities like walking, eating and others. It is only important to know that when you get distracted by your surroundings, you should put this aside and continue with your practice.
It might be hard at the beginning but with daily performance, your thoughts will come to peace more easily and your focus will be stronger.
This method of meditation belongs to Hindu meditation. During this meditation method, you will use mantra or a word that doesn’t have to have any meaning. It is simply used for deeper concentration and focus during meditation.
Position during this meditation method is again sitting with straight back and eyes closed. While you do this, you should repeat your mantra during meditation in your mind and silently. You can ever whisper it to get to the desired concentration level.
This is another Hindu meditation method. Yoga meditation can be divided into third eye meditation, chakra meditation, gazing meditation, kundalini meditation, kriya yoga, sound meditation, pranayama and tantra. All of them have a very rich tradition and have been practiced for centuries.
Some include music like nada yoga, and others like kriya yoga offer you a chance to connect with your inner emotions, especially if you are an emotional person.
Taoist meditation comes from china. It has been practiced during Lao Tzu’s reign. Like yoga meditation, this method has many different variations. Some of them are emptiness meditation, breathing meditation, neiguan.
This meditation method provides connection with our inner self and the nature. Unlike other meditation methods, these ones are a little bit harder to conquer. So, for beginners it might be a challenge.
Now that you have learned meditation methods, here is a list of things you need to know about meditation if you are a beginner.
Practice yoga in the morning. This is important because our minds are well rested in the morning and we can fully let go and enjoy our thoughts. We can even go back to our dreams and examine their meanings. Meditation in the morning is also beneficial because we can prepare ourselves for the day ahead of us. They usually bring stress and exhausting activities (mentally or physically) so it is good to practice our calmness and stillness we can later apply.
You don’t need anything. One of the best things about meditation is that you don’t need anything to practice it. All you need is a nice place to sit (your floor, yoga mat, a chair) and you can begin. Close your eyes and calm yourself until you reach the point of desired calmness.
Choosing a perfect meditation method. After we have listed few examples of meditation methods, you can look through them and choose the one you find to be perfect for you. If you are not sure about your choice, you can always ask for advice from meditation teachers or simply join a class where you will be guided through the whole process. After you learn the basis of meditation, you can practice it freely in the comfort of your home.
Follow your breathing. For starters follow your breathing like you would in a yoga class. If you are not familiar with breathing techniques simply concentrate on inhaling and exhaling. Try to breathe from your abdomen and not from your lungs. This way your breaths will be deeper and you will relax your body more. Just like you would do to calm yourself in any other situation. Breathing is important for our focus, and we can’t concentrate if our breaths are shallow and short.
Pick a mantra. Mantra or a word you use during meditation can be any word of your choice. It doesn’t have to be a meaningful word. You can even choose mantra’s like om or any other syllable. You need to repeat this mantra during meditation process to achieve a certain level of concentration and focus. Some meditation methods don’t include mantra, but others find it to be extremely helpful, especially for beginners.
Music and sounds. Beginners might also find music and other sounds in the background very helpful during meditation. Soft sounds of the sea, the forest or certain animals can induce our concentration and improve it over time. This way we can get to a peaceful place easier by simply connecting with the background sounds and letting our thoughts take us to higher level of consciousness.
Using essential oils or candles can also be helpful. Smelling our favorite scent or a scent which reminds us of some place or someone. Scents can help us visualize things we can’t otherwise. It is best to use essential oils or scented candles. They will create a nice surrounding around you, so you can fully commit to your meditation.
Don’t think about perfection. Meditation is not something you should practice to perfection. You should concentrate on your breathing and your thoughts and with time you will master the practice of meditation to a higher level. Until that time, keep yourself informed and seek professional help if necessary.
This last note is important because you will not achieve anything if you don’t commit. Practice your meditation daily, early in the morning when you know you can find time and don’t quit too soon.
You will be amazed by the benefits that meditation provides not only for your health but for your mind too. You will develop a more positive view of the world, and you won’t feel so alone anymore because you will finally get close to the most important person, and that person is you.