May 5, 2020
Mediation is a great way to increase well-being and connect the mind, body, spirit, plus it has a number of health benefits. It can seem intimidating at first but is very simple to do.
Benefits of Meditation
- Reduces stress and anxiety. It decreases blood pressure which helps in the prevention of coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis) and has also been shown to reduce cortisol levels which are elevated when highly stressed, especially over long periods.
- Aids self-awareness as you become more in tune with your body and become more present.
- Encourages a positive attitude as it helps to release negative thought patterns by calming the mind.
- Reduces insomnia. The peace and calm that mediation invokes are helpful for a better night’s sleep.
- Breath – deep breathing focusing on the inhale and exhale
- Mindfulness – listening to the breath, scanning the body for any stiffness or pain, and noticing thoughts then letting them go (music can also be included if it helps. I personally like listening to Tibetan singing bowls while meditating)
- Guided – instructed through each step of the process
- Mantra – repeating a phrase or single word
- Walking – intentionally stepping one foot in front of the other and focusing on each step as it hits the ground (best done somewhere without obstacles for safety and in nature makes for a more pleasant experience)
No one technique is better than the other, it really is a personal preference and what works for you. Guided may be easier for beginners because you are led throughout the session, but as you get more experienced trying the different techniques is fun.
There are lots of resources available to help you get started like free apps to download or books. Even a yoga studio in your area may offer workshops.
Start at 5 minutes and slowly work your way up to longer periods. With all its benefits I encourage you to give it a try.