What exercise is for the body, meditation is for mind/soul. Just the way exercise is necessary no matter what age group you are in, same way meditation is vital for all, especially in today’s scenario when everyday hustle takes a lot out of us and makes us empty from within.
Meditation is not like any other fad creeping up recently; it is an ancient practice that has been performed from thousands of years ago.
Earlier, the practice used to be considered religious. The after-effects of meditation were experienced mostly by the spiritual masters, and the benefits were associated more with the spiritual accomplishments or enlightenment.
Today, meditation is mostly used to reduce stress, release tension and anxiety, and enhance focus and concentration. Only a few minutes of a regular meditation regime can help to replenish your lost energies, inner peace and calm.
It is the most inexpensive, simple yet powerful technique, where the benefits are not confined only towards the mental health but the physical health improves too. It brings happiness and overall well-being.
With the advent of this pandemic last year, one of the many damages that it has done to humanity, it has really taken a toll on the mental health of people across the globe.
It was a situation of one of its kind and created circumstances that were never before.
Putting all businesses at stake, it literally brought some forced cultural changes wherein people are working from home and kids stopped going to school.
With the economy across the globe taking a dip, it badly affected the finances of thousands of people out there.
‘Stress’ in such a moment is inevitable.
What is meditation??
Today, many health coaches and healers are teaching meditation and mindfulness techniques online to help people be at ease.
But, when people are on their own to start up with some meditation routines for themselves, they feel overwhelmed.
It is a journey within, a process wherein you get a chance to talk to your inner self, connect with your unconscious self/mind.
Becoming aware of it and redirecting your attention via focused thought to:
- gain/shift to a new perspective
- to tap the untapped potential
- to enhance focus
- to get mental clarity, emotional stability and physical benefits.
The mind is super powerful. Though our body has its own healing mechanism, however, the mind controls the belief system and due to some mental blocks, it doesn’t let the body use that power.
With consistent meditation, a person is able to let go of those mental blocks, attains a new perspective, strengthening the belief system and get the faith back in all its powers. Meditation is a tool that helps in positive reinforcement.
It is the soulful experience that gives you immense joy once you get comfortable with it.
It is a skill that can be learned or mastered with consistent practice as you do it for learning any other skill.
The more you do it, the better you be at it and become more vigilant of the impacts and benefits.
How to do it??
Prepare yourself mentally to sit still for some time at a distraction free quiet place.
Get yourself a comfortable spot to sit on. You can either sit on a chair, on the couch or on a mat on the floor.
Simply keep your legs in the comfortable position hanging down from the chair, or sit in the sukhasana (easy pose), padmasana (Lotus pose) or vajrasana (diamond pose). Keep your hands on your lap, palms upward. You can sit in Gyana Mudra too.
Keeping your back erected, close your eyes and begin to focus behind your eyelids or at the eyebrow center.
Make sure to keep your face lifted at 20 degrees for a better experience (actually, it aids in reaching the meditative state early). If you are a complete beginner, you can start with 10-15 minutes and gradually increase the time to as long as one hour.
You can start with deep breathing, try to witness every breath that is coming in through the nostrils, making its way down to the chest, expanding your lungs and to the stomach, then on its way out, becoming hotter, extricating the negative energy out of the body.
If, during the process, your mind wanders (which certainly would happen), and you experience different thoughts coming in, drifting off your concentration, simply start counting backwards from 100 to 1.
Don’t try to stop or judge your thoughts or get irritated; it will spoil the whole experience. The moment you realize that you drifted away, forgive yourself, bring your attention back to that moment and continue.
After finishing the counts, you might reach into the semi-sleep state or the meditative state. You can either stop there and enjoy the calm that moment gives you or if you want to make your experience more efficacious, you can start ‘visualizing.’
Meditation and Visualization – A perfect mix
‘Visualization’ is a technique wherein you focus on any likely event, person, disease or a particular goal that you want to achieve.
After you reach your meditative state, visualize that one thing/problem holding your attention and see the desired outcome turning into a reality. Keep visualizing it every day.
You need to visualize as vividly as you can, try to focus on every detail of it, and it will help you to achieve that goal shortly.
How does it work??
Visualization instigates positive feelings like optimism and confidence in a person, as when you visualize something every day, your brain starts believing that you have already done that thing and thereby eradicates the insecurities associated with that task and makes you think you can do it.
The process is scientifically termed as neuroplasticity.
You can get rid of a daunting thought, going away and leaving you forever, or you can heal an ailment or achieve some goal with a regular practice of meditation combined with visualization.
P.S. Try to sit at the same place every day for mediation as your mind starts associating that place as a place of meditation and can quickly take you to your meditative/ alpha state.
How to end it??
When you are coming close to end your meditation, don’t be in a hurry to open up your eyes immediately. Take your time and prepare your mind at the count of five to slowly open the eyes and along with it, say mentally to yourself that I am feeling better than before.
The more you become regular at it, the more you reach profound levels.
To witness any visible results, practice it for at least two months.
Remember, Meditation is all about getting a hold of a new and healthy perspective and not about becoming a new ‘You.’ A tremendous positive shift can be seen in your behavior and brain efficiency with the long-term practice of meditation.
It might feel a little difficult at the beginning, but with consistent practice, you will feel comfortable and would start enjoying the happy and serene stillness that it brings along.
I can bet you will then start craving for your daily dose of positivity and joyfulness.
Please share your views with me on this in the comment section.