A Guide To Meditation To Calm The Mind And Body
It's normal to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and anxious at times. In today's fast-paced world, we often struggle to find a moment of peace and quiet, leaving our minds cluttered and exhausted. Fortunately, meditation can provide the space that we need to clear our minds from unnecessary distractions, and bring focus back into our lives. With the simple techniques outlined below, you'll learn how to meditate effectively for a calmer mind, body and ideally a healthier, happier life.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice that involves training the mind to focus on a specific thought, object, or activity to achieve a state of mental clarity and emotional calmness. The goal of meditation is to cultivate awareness, concentration, and inner peace, which have been shown to improve overall well-being. There are different types of meditation techniques, that vary in their approach and purpose, but they all share the common goal of quieting the mind and promoting relaxation. Meditation is not a lack of thinking or a cessation of your thoughts. It allows us space from our thoughts, as we observe the thoughts and emotions come and go completely on their own. We learn to not engage or follow those thoughts, allowing us more time to decide what thoughts we would actually like to engage, and which we would prefer to let go of and reframe in a more productive way.
Meditation is a Practice that Helps the Mind to Focus and Settle in Order to Achieve Mental Calmness, Relaxation, and Inner Peace.
Meditation is a simple yet effective practice for gaining space from your thoughts, as you allow your thoughts to come and go without engaging or following them. This enables us to have more agency over what thoughts we choose to act upon, and which we reframe and let go of. Otherwise, we are constantly subjected to following every desire or thought being completely controlled by our subconscious. Meditation involves finding a quiet and comfortable space, closing your eyes, and focusing on your breath or a specific point of attention such as your body or a mantra/prayer. The only goal is to allow your mind to settle and the thoughts to come and go, ultimately achieving a state of deep relaxation. With regular practice, meditation can help reduce stress, reduce pain, improve focus, increase self-awareness, and promote better sleep. It is generally suggested to begin with short sessions and gradually increase the time as you become more comfortable with the practice. But, there is no right or wrong way to meditate, so listen to your own intuition and what feels right for you personally.
Focus on Your Breath.
One of the most effective and simplistic types of meditation is focusing on the breath. Breathing deeply and slowly (focusing on long exhales) can help you relax, release tension, lessen pain, and improve overall well-being. Once you are in a comfortable space, close your eyes and bring your attention to your breath. Notice how it moves in and out of your body without any need to control it. If you find that your mind starts to wander, gently guide yourself back to focusing on the breath. The breath is a beautiful gift that we are given the moment that we enter this world, and it is with us always. It is the connection between our mind and our body and using the breath one can calm themselves even when they are feeling pain or discomfort. This practice of being aware of thoughts, but not reacting to them, helps cultivate mindfulness and mental clarity. As you continue to meditate regularly, you will likely find it easier to stay focused for longer periods of time.