Maintaining health and wellness in these times can be complicated. The tensions generated in the family and at work can sometimes affect the quality of life.
Many people get used to living with headaches and fatigue especially if you work 60-70 hours a week as an IT specialist, or essays writer, in general professions that require stress and involvement in the monitor; without knowing it, they suffer the effects of stress. Fortunately, some tools can help you maintain your well-being and happiness. Do you know what meditation is and what its benefits are?
Meditation is a practice that is done to direct our thoughts towards ourselves. Although there are several techniques to meditate as the so-called mindfulness meditation or mindfulness, all are based on the person’s awareness in the moment, silence and stillness.
Although there is more information about this practice every day, there is still a lack of knowledge about its multiple benefits. For example, some people think that meditation is a passive technique that only serves to calm the mind and relax the body. But this is not so.
In fact, did you know that the effects of meditation extend beyond the meditative activity? Those who practice at least 30 minutes a day manifest cognitive and psychological benefits such as emotional integration, self-awareness, compassion and introspection.
But the benefits don’t stop there. Meditation can increase your self-esteem, sense of well-being, and zest for life. Making meditation a habit can help you be happier. Plus, you don’t need to invest money to start practicing it! (1)
4 benefits of meditation
- Mindfulness helps reduce stress
In 2011, Sara Lazar, demonstrated that mindfulness effectively reduced stress. We know that a certain amount of stress is beneficial to respond to the challenges of everyday life.
However, when the problem is too big or the stress is maintained for a long time, it can become very exhausting and affect your health. Then symptoms such as depression, anxiety or high blood pressure appear. A few meditation sessions will help you lead a calmer life.
- It makes you feel good about your body
When for any reason you do not feel good about your body, the level of anxiety increases. Practicing mindfulness can decrease the act of “judging.” This is because it is only about observing emotions which can decrease your brain’s emotional response to anxiety and distress.
- Increases your empathy and happiness
Contrary to popular belief, happiness is not about personal achievement and receiving. Research shows that true happiness comes from giving and practicing compassion. When we help others, life acquires meaning and purpose; you feel responsible not only for your own well-being but also for your neighbor and the environment.
In this sense, a study showed that loving-kindness meditation helps people better identify their purpose in life, feel more social support, and feel healthy. Loving-kindness meditation promotes acceptance, compassion, and forgiveness and increases positive emotions.
Positive emotions and positive thinking help you build resources for your whole life such as: love from family, strengthening bonds of friendship and greater satisfaction in your work.
- Improves concentration and memory
In a world where information is constantly growing (Internet, social networks), it is easy to feel that your attention is lost. Precisely this is one of the main benefits of meditating, and it improves your concentration and memory.
Meditation requires a strong focus of attention on a sound, idea, object or activity. This skill can be transferred to other contexts: for example, work, studies, among others.
With all these benefits, it is worth to start meditating right away. Here are some tips for you to make an incursion into this ancient discipline.
Tips to start meditating
1. Prepare yourself to meditate.
- Take care of your diet before meditating. Eating a menu composed of light foods is advisable before meditating. This will prevent digestion-related processes from interfering with your attention span and preventing you from focusing your mind.
- Choose the time that works best for you. Choose the time of day when you can really meditate. Don’t go by what works for other people. Nor by myths like “the best time to meditate is in the morning.” If meditating in the morning is difficult for you because of the rush to get to work, do it in the evening when you return.
- Create a personal space for your practice. Although it is not essential, being in a quiet, comfortable place to meditate will help. So find a private, quiet space for this purpose. When you find it, clean it and clear it. Add a dim light and close it with a door or curtain. Also, prepare it with resources that help you meditate such as music or incense.
2. Start your meditation
- Guided meditation. Guided meditation will make it easier for you to start meditating. You can focus on relaxing and meditating while an expert helps you capture specific mental images through breathing exercises or mantras. You can find the right guided meditation guide for you in apps, podcasts, videos or sign up for group classes.
- You can draw a smile. Meditating may seem like a serious activity, but it doesn’t have to be to the point that it prevents you from enjoying it. So let yourself go, relax and put a slight smile on your face as you meditate.
- Stay focused. Focusing the mind, reflecting and experiencing the present, that is meditating. To achieve this, you must pay attention to your breathing. You will see that it is very useful because it allows you to focus your attention. Concentrate on how your belly rises and falls when this happens. Just let your body breathe.
3. End your meditation
How to end? Choose a way to end your meditation session, but don’t choose an abrupt or loud signal. Consider a timer with a soft alarm. Once it goes off, give yourself time to process your experience and do any necessary stretches.
How can you make meditation a habit? To experience the benefits of this discipline, regular practice is necessary.
Include it in your daily routine. Practice makes perfect. If you want to make progress in this discipline, you must be consistent in your daily practice. A good strategy is to plan so that relaxation can fit into a daily routine.
Start with something easy. In meditation, the journey is as important as the destination. If you are a beginner, take your practice slowly and build it up progressively over time. That is, start with short 2-minute sessions. Once you feel comfortable, increase your practice to 5 minutes. Then to 10 minutes and extend the time without forcing yourself.
Remember to keep practicing even if the positive effects are small. Meditation is a continuous process of release and opening. For this reason, patience and tenacity play an important role in obtaining results. Don’t get discouraged. Keep practicing even if the positive effects are small. (2)
So what are you waiting for? Start concentrating and enjoy greater mental and emotional well-being!