Meditation, like anything else in the world, is widely misunderstood. When you picture someone meditating you probably see a person sitting cross-legged with their arms and hands resting across their knees doing an “ohm” sound repeatedly right? Unfortunately, that is a misconception that often leads people to stray away from practicing this tool of achieving peace due to how cheesy it sounds. In this article, I am going to show you what meditation really is, the benefits to it, and how to actually start meditating.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is a tool that is used to control the mind to achieve different states and goals. These states and goals are often determined by the practicer and they can range from peacefulness/calm to feeling love and happiness. Since there are over 20 different forms of meditation, it would be extremely difficult to cover over them all in this article so there is one specific type of meditation that we will focus on: mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness meditation is used to achieve a state of the mind that is completely aware in the moment. With mindfulness, the practicer can achieve ultimate focus in whatever task they need to do and the best thing about it is that you can do it anywhere at any time. This is done by taking a step back mentally and focusing only on the present moment. Don’t think about what you need to do later or about the past, instead you need to put all of your attention on the now. For example, let’s say you’re sweeping the floor and want to practice mindfulness. Instead of thinking about the other chores that you need to do later or about something that happened last night, you focus completely on sweeping. Focus on how the broom feels like under your control, the sounds that you hear when the bristles glide across the floor, and the dust that you are gathering. This would lead to you being able to zone in on the task that you are performing and complete it to achieve great results.
In Summary: Mindfulness meditation is about focusing on the present.
There are an abundance of benefits that you can attain if you choose to start meditating. The first one out of the four that we will be discussing is enhanced self-awareness. When you meditate, the main thing that you are doing is looking within yourself. This leads to you being able to learn more about who you really are subconsciously through your thoughts. As you analyze how you think, you can start to learn the pattern of your thoughts, how long they are present within you, along with how they emotionally affect you. Spending time internally reflecting will soon result in enhanced self-awareness. This awareness is important because it leads us to the next benefit, the ability to control emotions better. If you know more about who you are and what affects you emotionally, then the only next logical step is to have the ability to control your emotions. You see, thoughts are the only thing in this world that can directly affect our emotional state because of how much power we give it. Just to prove this, think about something that has really devastated you in the past, really focus hard on it. Don’t you feel worse? That’s because you give your thoughts enough power to affect you emotionally instead of letting them be what they really are: thoughts. There’s no doubt that 90% of what you think are hypothetical situations that may never happen and that are not true. The other 10% of what you think has already happened or is something that you need to do in the future. With mindfulness meditation, you learn how to separate the emotional element from 100% of your thoughts which provides you with emotional freedom. You will be able to create a barrier between yourself and what you think which will then lead to reduced stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety are two emotions that are infesting the minds of people all over the world making their quality of life worse, heck maybe you are one of those people too. Well if you are able to control your emotions by creating a barrier through the usage of meditation then you would more than likely be able to reduce your anxiety and stress. Just imagine how better you would feel if you didn’t feel that constant nagging in the back of your mind that causes that dreadful feeling in the pit of your stomach when you try to do something. Wouldn’t you feel free? This freedom may lead to better focus. If you are less stressed out it’s plausible that you can focus better. Whether that focus is used in social situations when talking to people, working, doing chores or whatever else you do, there is no doubt that an improvement within the focus aspect will be achieved. If you need scientific proof to back these benefits then of course the sources will be linked at the bottom of the article.
In Summary: Some benefits of meditation are: enhanced self-awareness, the ability to control emotions better, reduced stress and anxiety, and better focus.
How to start meditating.
To start meditating it’s fairly simple. All you need to do is close your eyes and focus on your breathing. You can be lying down, or sitting up, all that matters is that you focus on your in breathe and your out breath. How does it feel in your lungs and in your body? Simultaneously you could also observe your thoughts. When observing them, make sure to not feel any emotions towards them, be idle and observe. There are also guided meditations that you can follow on youtube or through apps which will be covered in my next article: “Meditation Apps to Try.”
Links to Scientific proof: