Meditation has been part of the Indian culture for thousands of years. The practice has been adopted and adapted by other cultures and religions. In the 20th century, the Western world investigated the benefits of meditation. They found and proved scientifically what the Eastern cultures had known for years – namely that the physical, psychological, and spiritual benefits were immense.
You do not need any special equipment – you can meditate in the comfort of your own room. It can be self-taught, or you can get a master to train you. Getting into the habit can be quite a task, but once you have mastered it, meditation will be like your sugar high – you cannot do without it!
Find a time when you will not be distracted by phone calls, visitors, and urgent emails. It can be the last thing you do before hitting the sack or the first thing you do in the morning. The duration can be between 5 to 25 minutes, the longer the better. Build up the duration slowly until you find a comfortable limit.
Sit in a darkened room and light some candles or incense.
Make sure you sit cross-legged on a comfortable mat in some loose-fitting clothes. Do not sit after a heavy meal as it will make you drowsy.
Your shoulders should be relaxed. The back, neck, and head should be aligned. Ensure your jaw is not clenched.
Breathe in and out deeply, gently falling into a rhythm. Focus on a point, image or mantra.
Let go of your nagging thoughts or your to-do list. It is a good habit to keep a to-do list and update it during the day as it frees up your mind.
Everyone experiences stress, regardless of whether you are young or old, studying or working. As you make meditation a regular practice, over time, your cortisol levels fall. This has immense physical benefits to your body. Stress-induced diseases such as high blood pressure, obesity, and headaches can be managed through meditation.
Stress can easily lead to tempers flaring. Managing stress will eventually lessen the frequency of you losing your cool. Anger targets the liver and in the long run, problems with the liver will cause your body to be dysfunctional. Meditation rewires the brain and you learn to respond rather than to react.
Meditation increases your level of concentration by training the mind to be attentive to one thing for a certain amount of time. As you learn to keep your mind in one place, it gets easier to focus during meetings, in the classroom, while playing a sport, and in any environment that needs your utmost concentration. Studies show that students who meditate regularly perform better than their peers who do not.
As mentioned above, meditating regularly will help you manage stress and keep you calm in certain situations. Meditation brings about positivity which helps you connect better with people. This is beneficial for your relationships with your spouse, peers, family members, and colleagues.
You learn to see the bigger picture in many situations. You also learn to let go of things you cannot change. Creativity is enhanced and you learn to think outside the box. The mind becomes sharper, and your foresight will be keener.
You have nothing to lose by trying to meditate. Instead, you will gain immensely. Persistence is key. The benefits of this personal time and space will start showing gradually. They may not be obvious at first, but your body and mind will thank you for it.
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