Meditation Techniques for Beginners and the Benefits
Meditation is a practice used to silence the mind and find inner peace. You can train yourself in awareness and gain a healthier perspective. This practice allows you to be very mindful and observe how you think and feel in a non judgemental way, so you can understand yourself better. It is a simple practice that anybody can do. Learning how to meditate is easy and the benefits will come quickly.
“Meditation is a training of our attention, It allows us to step out of distracted thought, and helps us arrive in the present moment in a balanced and clear way.” – Tara Brach, Ph.D. Clinical Psychology
The Benefits of Meditation
The practice of meditation has many benefits that will help you in your day to day life. It doesn’t matter if you have been meditating for a long time or if you are new to it, there are always benefits to meditation. A study conducted by Chelsa, Calati and Serretti showed that in just eight weeks of meditation, people started to experience improved cognitive functioning.
Meditation helps lower the incidences of stress. So you will only feel a low-level of stress when it is necessary. The less stressed you are the more calm and kind you will be to yourself and those around you. Meditation decreases anxiety and depression. In a study done by Mahav Goyal that was published by JAMA, there were 47 trials done with over 3,500 participants. This study proved that meditation is as effective as antidepressants. It was shown to improve your concentration, productivity, creativity, and mindfulness.
There have been numerous studies showing that there are many health benefits from doing meditation. It helps you to reduce personal intake of alcohol and other substances and increases cravings for healthier foods. Regular practice has also been shown to reduced blood pressure, and reduce suffering in patients of various types of chronic pain, and cancer patients.
Meditation allows us to have a deeper understanding of our inner self and helps us to become really in tune with that inner self. We gain a better understanding of our life, present moment awareness and concentration increase, making it easier to stay present in the moment and be less absorbed by the mind and endless thinking. By being more focused on the present, we become less bothered by insignificant events and circumstances that were once a large hindrance to being at peace. The ego that once ruled your mind with ideas about “me” and “my story” fade into the background, and you cease to identify with them, making it easier to empathize with others and feel a more genuine connection to people.
Meditation does require practice, so ensure you set a time and a place where everyday you can meditate and not be disturbed. First thing in the morning or in the late evening are the best times to meditate. All you need to do is sit somewhere with a straight back, don’t lay down as you might fall asleep. You can sit in any position you want as long as your back is straight. Now observe your breath, allow thoughts to drift out of your mind, do not force them out, this will only create more thought.
You can meditate for as long as you want, 30-60 minutes is ideal but if you are just starting out try 15-30 minutes. Listening to basic guided meditations can be very helpful, especially when your mind is used to endlessly wandering. If you are doing a guided meditation do your best to listen, without thinking or judgement, if you are doing a silent meditation stay focused on your breath as much as possible.
After you meditate your sense of self awareness will be heightened and you will experience more general positive feelings. As you continue your meditation practice, you will realise the powerful effects this practice has on you.