Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

meditation

Meditation is something we all have heard of yet often write off with claims that we are too restless to meditate. If that is the case, you could benefit immensely from meditating on a daily basis. The benefits are far reaching and there are several different types and chances to find a style that suits you!

Benefits of Meditation
  • Raises Mood
    • In several studies, daily meditation can reduce depression, anxiety and stress over time. It can also lessen the symptoms of panic disorders according to the American Journal of Psychiatry. Through this, meditation fosters a positive life-outlook.
  • Strengthens Your Relationship with Yourself
    • Taking a few minutes each day to sit and practice mindfulness allows you to develop a relationship with yourself on a deeper level. You learn to control self-deprecating thoughts and negative emotions.
  • Improves Focus
    • Sitting in silence with intention drastically improves your attention span in other parts of your life. According to a study by the Psychonomic Society, “suggest that mindfulness training may improve attention-related behavioral responses by enhancing functioning of specific subcomponents of attention.”
    • Meditating can even assist in management of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, according to the Clinical Neurophysiology Journal.
  • Better Sleep
    • Individuals who regularly meditate fall and stay asleep longer and faster than their non-meditating counterparts.
  • And Much, Much More

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Where to Start

Thankfully, there are many simple ways to begin meditating. I found that it was easiest to start with guided meditations. They gave me an idea of where my headspace needed to be during the process. I found the app Insight Timer’s“Learn How to Meditate in Seven Days” program extremely helpful.

If apps aren’t you’re thing, then reference this step-by-step guide:

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Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods.

Types of Meditation

Worldwide, there are countless ways to practice meditation. Here are a few of the better-known methods.

Guided Visualization/Imagery

This practice allows the individual to actively visualize and travel to specific places, times and sensations to relax and focus on the mind-body connection.

Transcendental Meditation

This type of meditation is only offered by extremely well-trained teachers. Therefore, knowledge of it is limited in order to maintain authenticity.

According to the TM website, it is “a simple, natural, effortless technique practiced 20 minutes each day while sitting comfortably with the eyes closed.” Anyone who practices TM, will sing its benefits. Jerry Seinfeld often discusses TM, stating that it is “…like a phone charger for your mind.”

Mindfulness

This is the most basic type of meditation. You simply sit and focus on your breath. If your mind starts running through your to-do list, gently return to focusing on the breath.

If you’ve never tried meditation, go ahead and give it a go! You don’t need to clear your mind of all thoughts but simply focus your attention on one thing. It may seem intimidating but once your begin practicing, you will almost immediately notice the plethora of benefits.

Cover image via It’s Nice That


Also published on Medium.