Meditation and mindfulness practices are not just about sitting in an upright position chanting 'om' or sitting in silence for hours on end. Meditation and mindfulness is about creating conscious awareness in the body, the mind and the spirit and bringing them into alignment so that we can step into stillness and create space within ourselves for clarity, truth and peace. To this end there are many techniques to achieve this, across many disciplines from psychology to yoga, with many proven health and mental benefits, such as:
Yes, you read that right! Studies have shown that the regular practice of meditation can slow the aging process. People who meditate usually live longer than those of people who have never tried meditation, because during meditation we are releasing excess stress from the body which is the biggest culprit in early aging and ill health.
Meditation is a powerful and natural treatment for people who suffer from depression and anxiety as it calms the nervous system, especially the parasympathetic nervous system which controls our fight or flight response. Meditation and mindfulness can bring your mental processes to a place where they begin to perceive and receive joy and transmute the negative thoughts, emotions and concerns that bog us down.
By stepping into a regular practice of meditation and/or mindfulness it will improve your health by strengthening your immune system, reducing your blood pressure, and lowering cholesterol levels. Once we free our bodies of stress, they can get on with living life and embracing all that it has to offer.
If you’re one of those people who has trouble sleeping at night, meditation might be the solution you’ve been looking for! Meditation dramatically improves the quality of your sleep, and it is one of the most powerful natural treatments for insomnia. Combined with a moving practice such as yoga you will begin to have more restful and fulfilling sleep.
If you want to be more joyful then meditate! People who meditate are less stressed, healthier, sleep better, and have a more positive outlook on life. Simply put, meditation makes you a happier person! When we are happier we allow joy to fill all of our senses and our minds and more and more we begin to exude it.
Things to Know Before Starting;
One of the most important elements of meditation is focusing on your practice. It will help you free your mind from distractions that might disrupt your meditation. Try focusing your attention on a specific object,like a candle flame, an image, a mantra, or your breathing. But don't force it, start small with ten seconds, then thirty and keep adding on to it. Even ten seconds of focused meditation can manifest miracles.
it is also important to have a quiet environment, especially if you are a beginner. Make sure wherever you’re meditating is quiet and peaceful. Eliminate distractions such as your cell phone, television, or radio and allow the sounds of the house and outside to draw you deeper into practice rather than distract you. Unless it is your cat or dog and then I've no advice for you! Whatever is going on, just try to be comfortable so that you can get the most out of your meditation. You should also be wearing comfortable clothes. Eventually as you become more skilled, you can meditate while walking, running, cycling, even washing the dishes.
Bring mindulness to each and everyday and you will find yourself developing resiliance to the ups and downs of life and compassion to yourself and others.