If you think that meditation is exclusively practised by Tibetan monks, you are wrong!
In fact, meditation is practised by healthy, smart and very successful people all over the world.
Because the smartest people out there recognise the powerful benefits that meditation brings to their lives!
What are the most significant benefits of meditation?
- Reduced stress – This is a well-known benefit of regular meditation. As our society is busy and highly stressed, this is the single, most important reason why we should all be meditating!
- Clarity of mind – Meditation helps to quieten your mind, boosting your cognitive function and aiding you in clarifying your thoughts.
- Disease prevention – Researchers at the Harvard Medical School have discovered that so-called ‘disease-fighting genes’ are much more active in long-term practitioners of relaxation methods such as meditation, compared with those who practise no form of relaxation. Meditation helps you to fight off disease.
- Enhanced healing – When you relax, your parasympathetic nervous system switches on. This has been linked to better digestion and heightened immunity. One study showed that just one month of meditation boosted the function of natural ‘killer cells’ in the body. What you should be aiming for is a state of deep relaxation, which you can only achieve through deliberate techniques like meditation or self-hypnosis.
- Calmness – Have you ever noticed that people who meditate seem to be very calm and emotionally balanced? This may have something to do with the fact that these people have learned to observe the thoughts passing through their minds, rather than being ‘taken’ by them. Regular meditation helps you learn how to control your emotions. In a time of crisis, when everyone else is panicking, you will be able to think clearly and come up with a solution to the problem at hand, which is a superior emotional response.
What’s the correct way to meditate?
- Set aside a period of time each day that you can spend by yourself. This could be first thing in the morning or in the evening, whatever works best for your own daily routine.
- Commit to a meditation regime of no longer than 15 minutes a day. This is long enough to get the benefits of relaxation, but it’s not long enough to make it impractical, which would discourage you from incorporating it into your daily routine.
- Sit comfortably upright. You can do this on a cushion, a chair or leaning against a wall. However, you have to sit ‘properly’. You need to keep your spine straight so that you don’t strain to breathe easily and so your neck doesn’t get strained. For this reason, it’s recommended that you sit cross-legged on a meditation cushion, as opposed to just hanging out using any old posture.
- Close your eyes.
- Focus on your next breath. Observe how it enters your nose and then exits your body. Let your mind gently rest on the breath. That’s all you need to do. The correct attitude towards breathing in meditation is to become the breathing. Try to identify with it completely rather than just watching it. You are the breath; the breath is you. All kinds of thoughts will begin to arise naturally, but they are no longer a priority for you now that you are meditating. You may notice tensions in your body – try to work/pass your breath through the tense parts of your body and relax.
- When an emotional state comes upon you while you meditate, just observe it, acknowledge it and let it go. Don’t deny yourself the emotion, but merely examine it, then focus again on your breathing.
- When your time is up, thank yourself for practising meditation and live the rest of your day as you normally would.
There you have it. This is your ‘recipe’ for successful meditation. There really are no excuses for denying yourself this wonderful experience. So what are you waiting for? Go ahead and reap the benefits of meditation, starting today. All you need is 15 minutes!