6 Reasons to Meditate (And How to Get Started)

by STEVE BLOOM

 

Meditation is a discipline to silence the mind and get you into a deeper state of awareness. This deep, calming experience clears the mind of all the noise we experience in our heads. It creates peace even when the outside world is in disarray. Once the mind is clear, restful feelings and focused thoughts arrive.

Through meditation we can relax our minds to improve our mental health. There are also many physical benefits to meditation.

1. Improved concentration

Meditation clears the mind of useless chatter. This improves memory and other mind functions. As you meditate, the regions of the brain which increase in activity are the same used in attentiveness and decision-making.

2. Better health

Meditation is a great way to reduce stress. Studies show that meditation increases energy levels. Many addicts use meditation to help them overcome powerful addictions. It is effective at lowering blood pressure and even strengthens the immune system.

3. Self exploration

Regularly meditating can be a great way to get better self-awareness. When you clear the mind, you’ll have more focus which you can use on yourself. This can result in more personal growth or a better understanding of your body at another level.

4. Improves mood

Meditation makes your mood much better since it has been shown to decrease irritability. There is a recent study on Marines heading to Iraq that showed their moods increasing significantly through meditation compared to those who didn’t meditate.

5. Feelings of rejuvenation

While meditating, blood flow to the brain becomes better. This relaxes the muscles which is one of the reasons stress levels come down. This also results in a quick rejuvenation since it can create a metabolic state of rest far deeper than sleep.

6. Relaxation

To sum up all of the other points, meditation is relaxing. Regularly meditating can increase feelings of well being. Not only that, but meditation has been shown to increase alpha brain wave activity which is a source of relaxation. This can even make it easier to sleep at night.

How to Get Started

1. The right environment

Find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Turn off any electronics including cell phones so that nothing will interrupt you. Many people feel that they don’t have enough time to meditate, but all you really need is about fifteen minutes. Some people like using candles, incense or playing a meditation CD. It really comes down to personal preference.

2. Get into position

Sit on the floor, a cushion or a chair. It doesn’t matter as long as you are comfortable. Make sure your back is straight. It isn’t necessary to get into a lotus posture for this. Don’t lie down since you’ll risk falling asleep. Avoid eating any meals beforehand since that can make you feel drowsy.

3. Breathe slowly and deeply

Relax and take a few deep breathes. Close your eyes and continue taking deeper breaths. Start inhaling through your nose and exhaling through the mouth. Let this all come naturally. There’s no rush so take your time.

4. Be aware

As you’re breathing, you’ll feel more relaxed. This is the time to clear your mind. Focus all your attention on your breathing. Your attention will drift from time to time. This is the chatter in your mind. To clear this, bring your attention back to your breathing. Some people also overcome chatter with a mantra such as reciting the word “aum”. Others visualize a calming place or stare into a candle flame.

5. Silence your mind

After you’ve focused your mind on either your breathing, mantra or place, you want to focus it on nothing at all. This clears your mind completely. Clearing your mind completely requires a lot of discipline.

Just keep practicing and it will eventually come to you.

Meditation takes practice so you’ll need to do it every day. Over time you’ll be able to better control your thoughts or even stop them altogether. Since our mind is used to the complication and noise thoughts provide, it could take some time. However, once you learn how to silence your mind, you’ll realize that you no longer have to be held back by them.

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Comments

  1. I guess I do just need to practice but I’ve always been detered from meditating because whenever I’ve tried, I either fall asleep or my mind just wanders. My joke is that I can’t get outside of my head.

    • It’s not easy at first and it does take practice. If you keep at it, you’ll eventually get to a good point where it works.

  2. I like it! More information can be found at buddhanet.net. They have several articles on various types of meditation and several audio files for guided meditation.

  3. I meditate an hour a day with holosync at least sometimes a hour and a half. If I do my ho’oponopono 2 hours with an hour of prayer, I know get a life, huh or join a monistary. The only thing it does is get me out of my head and I feel relieved from all the thought. No fireworks or anything just release from thinking. Which is worth it, now that I think about it.

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