Here’s your beginner’s guide to meditation
Meditation has almost become a buzzword lately in the health and wellness space. If you have never meditated before or you’re a beginner to meditation, you might not know how to start and which meditation technique to use. To help you get your feet wet today, we are going to explain how you can meditate for the first time.
Before that, let’s dive into what meditation can do for you
A study published in the journal Mindfulness supports the belief that meditation can have a long-lasting influence on human cognition, including how we conceive new ideas. Irrespective of the scientific data to support its benefits, meditation has become the ‘it thing!’. From celebs and motivational speakers – everyone is going gaga about it.
Meditation is an exercise for your mind. Apart from enhancing your grey cells, meditation has many more benefits, such as:
- Meditation promotes the relaxation response, which may reduce symptoms of stress
- It increases your overall happiness
- It enhances your ability to be mindful
- Meditation promotes better sleep quality
- It can decrease the feeling of loneliness, sadness, and depression
- Meditation primarily relaxes your brain to get rid of stress, and therefore it can improve your focus and concentration
- Because meditation can reduce stress levels, it translates to less anxiety
- Some forms of medication can also lead to improved emotional health
- Meditation can also improve physical health by reducing strain on your heart. Overtime, practicing meditation can decrease blood pressure.
- Last but not least, it makes you happier
Now that you know why you should meditate. Let’s look at how to meditate.
Steps of meditation
Meditation is simple. Follow these steps:
Step 1: Sit down comfortably. It can either be on the floor with legs crossed or on the chair in a quiet room. You can also use a yoga mat or meditation cushion.
Step 2: Set a time limit. If you’re a beginner, it can help to choose a short time, such as five or ten minutes.
Step 3: Now, close your eyes or soften your gaze. You can use an eye mask to shut out all the light and sight.
Step 4: Breath. Take longer and deeper breaths.
Step 5: Focus. Try to bring your attention to breathing and what happens to your body – air moving through the nose, raising chest and belly. Don’t change anything, just notice.
Step 6: Be kind to the wandering mind. Keep experiencing every breath fully, without trying to control it. When you notice your thoughts wandering away, gently bring them back to your breath. Do this until your timer goes off.
Step 7: When the time has passed, lift your gaze or open your eyes. Take a moment and notice how your body feels at this moment.
That’s it! That’s the practice. Now let’s take a look at the dos and don’ts of meditation.
Do’s and don’ts of meditation
Grand master Akshar tells HealthShots, “Meditation is a wonderful journey, but still we need to be careful what we should do and what we should avoid.”
Do’s of meditation
1. Easy meditation technique
If you’re a beginner, don’t go with advanced techniques of meditation. Go with easy and simple techniques. Such as swaas dhyan, which is about concentrating on your own breathing.
2. Be in a positive surrounding
Try to choose a positive place for meditation. Don’t fret if you can’t find the perfect spot or setting. Just sit wherever and if you hear a noise while meditating, then you can just notice it and for a moment, make it the focus of your meditation.
3. Have positive thoughts
“Meditation is a power that depends on your thoughts therefore you need to work on your thinking,” says Grand Master Akshar. Meditation is all about letting go of stressful or worrisome thoughts, so try to shift your mind into a more positive place.
Don’ts of meditation
1. Avoid advance techniques
“It’s not that advanced meditation techniques will not help you but it’s kind of an adventure that can trouble your journey of meditation,” says Grand Master Akshar. So don’t try to push yourself into advanced techniques immediately especially if you’re a beginner.
2. Don’t do it alone
For beginners, it’s advisable to practice meditation in a group, because doing it alone can be quite discouraging and hard. Meditation requires a lot of concentration and effort, so it is better if you do it with others who have been practicing it for some time, so they can guide you.