How to use meditation for your health and wellbeing
What does the word meditation mean? Does it mean to clear your mind or to make it blank like a white peace of paper? The word meditation has been taken for granted many times and many people think that they “cannot meditate”. Now... that statement is not true due to only one reason: EVERYONE CAN MEDITATE! It is just a matter of I want to meditate or I do not. The rest are…well… just excuses.
If you take the time to search Its Tibetan form the word MEDITATION LITERALY MEANS: TO BECOME FAMILIAR WITH! The word familiar, I assume it means for you the same as it means to me… anything or anyone that you have known for enough time that you feel safe and probably comfortable with. When you have a very busy schedule that you get at the end of the day wondering: “wow… I have done so many things today that I cannot even remember all of them” your body (subconscious mind) switches to automatic and does 80 to 95% of the activities for you.
And regardless of the job you are doing or at what level… there are still 24h in the day. It’s just a matter of what activities you choose to do in the 24h that you have.After some time of doing the same activities (over and over) the body adapts to the level of stress/job you are putting it thru and it becomes FAMIAR WITH it. (you with me?) For example: Let’s say that after you wake up, your routine is to go to the bathroom and then to prepare a cup of coffee. If you are someone like me and you “need”/ want your coffee in the morning… you won’t be too excited to hear that you cannot have your coffee anymore starting from today. It’s not really a tragedy if you take the time to think about and still… just the thought of it brings up some emotions in your body which means then that your body (which is not you) has become super familiar with that ritual. Anything that is not known by our Nervous system may represent a threat/ little bit of discomfort. Perhaps you can relate. Meditation then, is that activity (yes it is an activity) in which you sit comfortably with your eyes closed and focus on the present moment. I would like to mention here that it is NO SUCH THING as a “bad” meditation/ meditator. You either do it or you do not!
Why am I saying this? Well… Going back to the meaning of the word meditation: TO BECOME FAMILIAR WITH! How can you be “bad” or “good” at something you are becoming familiar with??? When you sit the body down in a certain position and you are making it DO NOTHING for a longer period of time… usually, you won’t find the right spot or you start scratching without realizing it. Your body is not used to sit in one place and do nothing (nothing is still doing something yes…depending on what you thing about), it is used to move, read emails, write emails, talk on the phone, text on the phone, check on social media every 5 to 10 min and that can be 24/7.
Benefits of meditation
- Reduced stress: Meditation may decrease stress. It also can improve symptoms of stress-related conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and fibromyalgia.
- Improved memory: Better focus through regular meditation may increase memory and mental clarity. These benefits can help fight age-related memory loss and dementia.
- Increased attention: Meditation helps with attention span.
- Enhanced will power: Meditation develops the mental discipline needed to avoid bad habits.
- Better sleep: Meditation can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and improve sleep quality.
- Less pain: Meditation can reduce pain and boost emotion regulation. Together with medical care, this may help treat chronic pain.
- Lower blood pressure: Blood pressure decreases during meditation and over time in people who meditate regularly. This can reduce strain on the heart and blood vessels and help prevent heart disease.
- Less anxiety: Regular meditation helps reduce anxiety and related mental health issues like social anxiety, fears and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.
- Less depression: Meditation can help reduce the occurrence of depression.
- Greater compassion: Meditation can help you better understand yourself, find your best self, and increase positive feelings and actions toward others.
“How to” meditate. First thing you want to do (like in any other activity) you need to clarify the reason WHY? Why do you want to meditate? It can simply be one of the above reasons or maybe one personal reason which only you need to know. In the place you are at this very moment, just look around! Notice everything that surrounds you. Pay attention to the colors, textures, shapes and lines. Then listen to all the sounds and pay close attention to every subtle nuance. Notice the smells, the air temperature and any sensory information you are receiving. Avoid judging what you are perceiving; do not attempt to make any sense of it. Just for the moment… be aware of your breathing… the feeling of your feet touching the floor and bear witness to all that is surrounding you. Allow yourself simply to observe and become a part of the moment.
Congratulations...you've just meditated! :)