Nowadays, the twenty-four hours of our days are always full. After we finish our job for the day, we set other work meetings, meet friends, go home and watch television, or exercise. In between these activities, we look at our smartphones, to check emails, social networking sites, or just play games. Not every minute of our life is planned, yet we let no idle moment pass.In this respect, the act of meditation may be seen as a waste of precious time. For those of us who aren’t familiar with meditation, it’s hard for us to actually dedicate time to “do nothing”. Sitting and just staring into space? No thank you. Yet those who meditate daily for about ten to fifteen minutes sleep easier and handle stress better. So what exactly happens when you allot a certain time of your day to it?
CLEAR YOUR MIND AND RELAX
To someone watching a group of people meditating, sitting on their mats with eyes closed, it may seem like a calm endeavor. Images we see online of people meditating have serene expressions that remind you of fresh river water and gentle breeze. Sometimes the procedure includes music, which when you listen to may help you feel sleepy. But meditation is not a single technique – it is a process. On the inside, it is chaotic. The brain hates a vacuum. It needs to fill up the blank with a jumble of ideas and thoughts that you feel you should act upon at the very moment, lest you forget. We don’t completely eradicate thoughts in the time we are practicing; instead, we are viewing them all without reacting, and through this we see our priorities.
WHY WE SHOULD
As we turn our 100% attention to a single area, our minds become calm and peaceful. In its original form thousands of years ago, meditation was meant to help us mere mortals understand the deep mysteries of life. With all the stress induced by the demands of modern life, we can use it for relaxation and stress reduction.
- Your health is improved. It helps manage conditions for illnesses worsened by stress. Immune system functions better, and so pain is decreased.
- You connect better to people. Your level of compassion and empathy rises, which helps boost your social life, which then reduces your loneliness.
- Scientific research proves your brain gets changed for the better. The physiological parts of your brain are tapped, making you have an increased memory and a better attention span. Sometimes signs of developed creativity are also seen.
- You become more perceptive. Your self-control will be developed, enabling you to decrease emotional outbursts, and having the wisdom to look at a situation without becoming too involved.
- You become happier. Positive thoughts are increased. Though you may not be completely impervious to stress and anxiety (is anyone?), you’re more resilient in times of duress.
HOW TO MEDITATE
There are different ways to meditate, but most of them have similar features. First, that your attention is focused on a specific area. You should also use a deep, even-paced breathing technique to slow it down and take in more oxygen. A quiet setting and comfortable position is also a must. Although skilled practitioners may be able to do so anywhere, beginners will feel more comfortable in a peaceful space, possibly with appropriate mats or cushions to make it relaxing.To start meditating on your own, you should follow a few basic steps. You should clear your mind from all distractions by turning your attention to your breathing. Just keep your back straight so as not to fall asleep. Breathe naturally and try to become aware of each inhale and exhale. Whenever you feel distracted, return your focus to your breathing.
Others focus their attention to other body parts, trying to sense the body’s pain, tension or relaxation, while others repeat a mantra. Whichever you decide to focus on, remember to keep going back to it when your mind flies somewhere else. It will not be easy at first, because you will be aware of how busy your mind is. Resist the urge to act on the sudden thoughts that you come up with, and keep track of your point of reference once more.
SEEK HAPPINESS IN THE RIGHT LANE
Ultimately, meditation helps us answer the question of how we can achieve true happiness. This might sound cliché, but we should realize that whatever it is we do in life, the end goal is happiness. Why do we study for school? To get a job. Why do we need a job? To feed our family. Why do we need to provide for our families? So we can live happily. The series of questions go on. Mostly we feel as if we get our happiness from external factors, yet what will make us happy eventually is what is already inside us. A calm and peaceful mindset, focused on the important things in life will lead to a happier life.