Meditation is something that everyone should include in their life. It is a known stress reliever, and has been shown to reduce the amount of cortisol that we produce. Cortisol, a stress hormone, has been shown to contribute to a host of chronic illnesses. Due to our modern lifestyle most people have elevated cortisol levels. Anyone with any type of chronic illness; or who has excess stress, anxiety, or depression will greatly benefit from starting a meditation practice. I will provide you with a simple guide to learning meditation that will get you started on forming a daily practice!
What are the Benefits of Meditation?
1. It lowers blood pressure.
2. It reduces stress.
3. It reduces anxiety.
4. It reduces depression.
5. It increases your energy level.
6. It increases your immune function.
7. It strengthens your memory.
8. It increases your feeling of well-being.
9. It helps to energize your chakras.
So How Can I Start a Meditation Practice?
Starting a meditation practice can sometimes be difficult, especially if you have never done it before. Meditation is not as common in the western hemisphere as it is in the eastern hemisphere, so for many people the concept of it is foreign. It just takes focus and a small time commitment. The key is to start with just a few minutes a day and work your way up. A good meditation technique that beginners can start is listed below:
1. Sit or lie down comfortably.
2. Close your eyes.
3. Breathe naturally.
Focus on your breath and how your body moves which each inhalation and exhalation. Notice how your entire body moves as you breathe. Do not control your breath, just focus your attention on your breath.
Start off with this technique for just five minutes a day, and over time slowly increase the amount of time you spend meditating. Once you become comfortable with the meditation technique for beginners you can start experimenting with other techniques.
Other Meditation Techniques to Try:
1. Concentration meditation is a type of meditation practice that involves focusing on one object of choice. Examples of this include: counting breaths, repeating a single word, staring at a candle flame, or listening to repetitive noises. This type of meditation is good if you are a beginner, because if your mind starts to wander you can just shift your focus back to your object of choice.
2. Mindfulness meditation is a type of meditation practice that involves focusing on wandering thoughts as they enter your mind. Mindfulness meditation is a little bit more difficult than concentration meditation, since there is nothing for you to focus on while you meditate. Once you become proficient in concentration meditation, mindfulness meditation should be much easier.
The best way to figure out which meditation practice is right for you is to simply experiment with different techniques! The key is to find what works for you, since everyone meditates differently. I believe that everyone can benefit from a daily meditation practice. This guide to learning meditation can help to eliminate your stress, anxiety, and depression; manage your chronic illnesses, and also help you to enjoy a greater sense of happiness and well-being!