Life is filled with ups and downs and it’s just about how you react to themLa La Anthony
No matter what knocks us down in life, we need to get back and get going. With a new normal after the pandemic, people have learnt to live with complexities, but they have not been able to save themselves from pressures. Neither at home nor at school, have we been taught how to manage stress or frustration and what to do when we are upset or off mood. Nobody has consciously taught us how to handle our negative emotions. We feel jealous, heartbroken, guilt, helpless, lonely, in-adequate but we don’t know what to do. Even if we share it with our friends, colleagues, or loved ones, it doesn’t solve. You have broken up with your girlfriend or boyfriend or you may be feeling stressed because of an exam or interview next day, you are experiencing a hell and suffering due to anxiousness which takes away all your joy and peace. Here this breathing technique called Meditation helps you tremendously.
What is Meditation ?
Meditation is an art of seeing within yourself by focusing attention on your mind and body with an aim to connect with the inner source of energy and attain a stable state of mind. Meditation is a type of brain workout where we are enhancing the power of our brain by focusing on our inner self. It is the most effective way to redirect our thoughts to balance emotions and reduce stress. It has no place boundaries neither does it require any tool or equipment. It is a process of conscious inhale and exhale which is done while sitting with eyes closed. One can follow the following steps.
- Find a quiet place where you can sit comfortably.
- Close your eyes and inhale and exhale slowly with mindfulness so that you can focus specifically on breathing.
- If any thought comes to your mind, try to remove it consciously and focus only on your breathing.
One can start this practice for 5 minutes in the beginning, either in the morning and/or before going to bed. Gradually the time cam be increased to 15-20 minutes or even more. All distractions are needed to be removed from your proximity so as to ensure complete uninterrupted concentration without which the goal remains unattained. Practice of meditation dates back thousands of years but the most recent version of it relates to stress reduction and relaxation resulting in enhanced emotional, mental and physical well- being. To make the most out of this practice, we need to pay attention to the following elements.
- A quiet place: For a beginner to practice meditation, one needs to find a peaceful place which is far from any kind of noise as it may distract you. However, a person who has mastered this skill, may be able to do it anywhere.
- Comfortable position: Meditation can be practiced while sitting or keying down. It requires a comfortable position so that the very purpose of it is served.
- Relaxed breathing: To meditate, we need to inhale and exhale slowly and focus our attention on this process mindfully.
- Focus: There is no use of meditation if you are not able to disconnect with the environment and focus only on inner self. Thoughts keep knocking repeatedly but you need to stop them passing your mind and bring yourself back to the awareness of your breathing.
During the process of Meditation, we experience deep silence and thoughtlessness. It gives us a feeling of stillness which requires continuous effort .Once we are able to concentrate effortlessly , we are able to meditate for on regular basis and then its benefits arise naturally and visibly . Let us see these benefits in brief :
- Reduces stress: Research has shown that meditation, if done regularly and accurately, can help in reducing stress and anxiety and thereby removes consequent ailments like headaches, sleep disorders, high blood pressure, fatigue, etc. Meditation has a power of healing which disconnects from the outer world and connects our consciousness to our mind, body and soul. This helps us in absorbing within ourselves and diverting our mind from negativity and stress.
- Relaxes the body: Meditation, by calming down our mind and body, gives us rest and peace. Its effect is much more than the same amount of sleep because a person may dream while sleeping which may be good or terrifying or stressful, whereas meditation, being a mindful process, keeps our mind away from negative thoughts and therefore relaxes our mind as well as our body.
- Controls anxiety: Anxiety and stress have been a part of humans like and we have to deal with them knowingly or unknowingly, but with meditation, we can learn to accept the cause of anxieties without letting it affect us in any way. This control on ourselves helps in reducing stress and neutralizes the effect of anxiety on our mind. We feel calm, balanced and relaxed.
- Increases attention span: Generally, our thoughts stem from either our past or worrying about the future. On one hand, thinking about past may be a stimulus to depression, thinking about future, on the other hand, can become a cause of stress and anxiety. Meditation pulls us away from such worries and helps us increase focus and improve attention span. A research showed that people regularly practicing meditation performed better in the task requiring visual memory as they had better attention span as compared to those who did not have experience of meditation.
- Enhances self-awareness: When we start looking within ourselves through meditation, we are able to pay attention to our mind and body with greater awareness. We start recognising out thoughts and their patterns. Such conscious efforts help to develop a stronger understanding of yourself which actually helps you grow into a new and better self. This will not only lead to improved self- image but will also work on better social relations.
- Reduces memory loss due to ageing: With age comes loss of memory .Ageing decreases energy level and deteriorates our mental capacity as well . We strengthen our mind and body by exercising and best exercise for mind this meditation . There is a study which shows that meditation increases the size of those parts of our brain that are linked with happiness ability to learn memorise and focus.
- Helps fight addictions: Addiction is a clear sign of poor self-control . It can be of technology , substance , sex or work ,withdrawal of which may lead to physical or psychological symptoms . Meditation can help considerably in developing a mental discipline that will break dependency on any object or habit and boost self-control so that addictive behaviour does not get triggered.
- Improves sleep: Sleep disorder or lack of sleep is a very common problem and is found irrespective of age due to stress issues . Tension does not let you sleep and next day is ruined. A study found that people who meditate are able to get long and sound sleep. Meditation helps in relaxing your body by disconnecting from outer world and places you in a calm state of mind which helps you fall asleep so as to wake up with energy and motivation next day.
- Better immunity: Meditation strengthens our body and makes it resistant to diseases . It calms down the thought waves and instills positivity in mind which is very important for coming out of any kind of illness. When mind is positive, the signals that mind receives are also positive which help us remain healthy and resist diseases.
The actual benefit of meditation will only be observed if it is done regularly in a disciplined way. You are not going to see any benefit if you meditate once in a while. Meditation puts you back in on track. It evokes confidence in yo . It improves your intuitive ability. It gives you the right thought at right time . Benefits of meditation do not stop here. Fruits of meditation are remarkable and radiate peace in the same way as a flower spreads it’s fragrance. It’s not less than an alchemy that brings about realisation of inner as well as outer peace in the world as we develop tolerance and attain the highest state . However , there is no “one best method” to meditate . The best kind of meditation is the one that serves your goal. Statistics have shown that meditation has improved the lifestyles of people suffering from chronic pain and diseases. It is indeed a magnificent technique to reap long-term benefits .So start it today if you have still not tried it and explore it to the best of your interest .