While meditation is one of the most popular self-care techniques today, it’s not something to be regarded as a ‘trend’ or ‘fitness craze.’ This practice has existed thousands of years ago, and is widely used across countries, cultures, and religions.
But what does it really mean to meditate? Is it a practice to allow one’s mind to contemplate or daydream, or is it a technique to clear your mind of any thoughts that don’t bring joy and pleasure? Today, we’ll discuss what meditation really means, how it should be practised, and what you can gain from practising such self-care technique.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a wellness practice that allows our minds to reach a state of awareness that is different from the normal conscious state. It gives us the ability to fathom our thought processes more clearly and to experience ‘the centre of consciousness within.’ While some people use meditation for their spiritual practices, this self-care technique is not solely tied to religion. Meditation is a science that follows certain principles and procedures and yields verified results.
Meditation can be practised in several ways, but the two primary forms of it are:
- Concentrative meditation – This form of meditation requires you to focus on a specific thought or object while clearing your mind of everything else around you. The purpose of concentrative meditation is to allow you to reach a higher state of consciousness while paying attention only to what your mind requires you to focus on.
- Mindfulness meditation – This type of meditation often targets a wide range of issues such as depression, anxiety, and the like. The goal of mindfulness meditation is to allow you to become aware and open of what’s currently taking place, without interpretation or judgment.
The Basics of Meditating
While meditating takes up a wide range of forms and practices, it’s best to learn the basics of meditation while you’re starting out with it:
- Find a quiet spot – One of the main goals of meditation is to free your mind from noise and unnecessary distractions. So find a spot where there are no external factors that can ruin your focus. If you want to play music, make sure it’s relaxing and repetitive.
- Find a relaxing position – To keep your focus throughout the meditation process, find a comfortable position where you can sit for several minutes.
- Don’t push yourself to the limit – As a beginner, you don’t want to push yourself to your limit. Start with shorter sessions that last up to a maximum of ten minutes.
- Pay attention to your thoughts – The goal of meditation is not to free your mind of any thoughts. Instead, it aims to bring your focus back to your breath whenever your mind starts to wander. When you feel like your thoughts are starting to drift, simply shift your focus to deep breathing.
Effects of Meditation
Several studies suggest that meditation can yield better outcomes for your mind and mental wellbeing. Some of these results are:
- Reduced stress – According to a study, mindfulness meditation reduced cortisol release, a hormone responsible for stress.
- Controlled anxiety – A study found that meditation helped controlled the anxiety of nearly 1,300 adults.
- Better mental health – According to a study, over 3,500 adults found that mindfulness meditation helped ease their depression.
If you’re curious to know how meditation can help with your mental and emotional health, don’t hesitate to contact us here. If you’re suffering from or have been diagnosed with specific mental health conditions, a hypnotherapist can incorporate our services into your meditation practices, including online hypnotherapy, hypnosis for depression, hypnotherapy for anger, hypnotherapy for PTSD and Quit Weed Hypnosis for substance abuse.