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How To Meditate For A Calmer Mind And Body

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.

How To Meditate For Beginners

A Starter Guide To Meditation

Meditation is an ancient practice that can bring about a sense of peace and relaxation to the mind and body. This guide will provide the basics for new meditators, so that you can begin to experience the calming benefits of meditation for yourself today!

Prepare:

Before beginning, make sure you have a comfortable place to sit or lie down. It’s important that your posture is relaxed, but also in a position in which the body is supported with a blanket or cushion if needed. It is not required that you be sitting upright in a cross legged position. Do what feels best in your body to start. You can also set the mood by diffusing an essential oil, lighting a candle, or taking some time outdoors and sitting in nature. Whatever you desire to create an environment that best supports your own personal relaxation.

Set an Intention:

A great way to strengthen your meditation practice is by setting an intention (or purpose in mind) before beginning. Start by thinking of what you are desiring most in your life at the moment. For example, you may want to feel more connected to your body, let go of intrusive thoughts, find clarity about a situation in your life, or foster courage to take action. Next, word the desired outcome as if it has already occurred. In the above example of wanting to feel more connected to your body, a potential intention would be, "I feel connected to my own body and mind". Take a few breaths and create an intention that feels right for you. Focus on that intention as you begin your meditation practice, and at the end of practice repeat the intention.

Relax Your Body:

Settling into your meditation posture (however that looks for you), start closing the eyes or softening the gaze. Mentally relax any tension you are holding in your body. As you allow your body to begin to relax, focus your attention on your breath. Feeling the gentle expansion and contraction of your belly like a balloon filling with air, as you take each breath in and each breath out. See if you can follow an entire breath from the start of the inhale all the way through your exhale. Doing this for even just a few minutes will begin to bring a sense of calm and relaxation to both your body and mind.

Focus on your Breath:

As your body becomes more relaxed, keep focusing on your breath and the sensation of the breath moving throughout your body. The coolness of the breath as it flows in, and the warmth of the breath as it flows out. The gentle wave of the breath moving through your body without any effort or control on your part. Rather than trying to control or alter your breath, simply observe the natural flow of each in-breath and out-breath. Each time your mind wanders away from your breath, gently bring yourself back to your breath. Allow yourself the permission to let everything else go.

Practice Gentle Acceptance:

It’s important to become comfortable with your meditation practice and to allow yourself to be in all of the ways that you are without judgement, embarrassment or shame. As you observe your breath, gently accept whatever thoughts and emotions come up and watch as they pass through your mind. Do not try to stop thinking, as this is impossible. Meditation is not a lack of thinking. It is just a space from constantly following our thoughts, allowing us the time to choose which thoughts to follow and engage in.

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