Benefits of meditation

So you’ve decided you want to start meditating…  First off, I want to say, “Good for you!”

There are countless (evidence based) benefits to meditating, which include; decreased stress and anxiety, decreased depression, reduced insomnia, lowered blood pressure, reduced heart disease, decreased free radicals, pain reduction, higher levels of brain functioning, improved intelligence, creativity and learning ability, and reduced substance abuse.

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And these are only a few!  Those who meditate regularly make claims of more stable emotions, improved ease at moving through life, better relationships and improved overall well-being. I can attest to the above benefits. I have not experienced one single thing in my life that has brought more profound change to me than meditation. My great hope is that you find it too.

Finding a meditative technique that works for you

Now that you’ve decided to meditate, the next step is learning how – especially how to meditate deeply. I am not a teacher of meditation. And according to the teachers I have encountered, no one truly is. Only you can teach yourself how to become ‘meditative.’ That being said, there are many organizations that will guide you to learn the practice. I highly recommend using an organization to learn, because the technique has not been adulterated (as we humans tend to do as we pass stuff along).

I personally use a mantra based meditation, however there are many different methods. Ask around, google the subject, find what resonates with you.

Practice, practice and more practice

Once you have learned a technique, meditation is like any other new skill. This means that it takes practice, practice and more practice until you will be able to meditate more deeply and effectively.

The first time you pick up a weight to do a bicep curl, your muscle will not be able to handle a heavy load. The muscle is weak and not conditioned to be able to do what you are asking of it. Similarly, our minds are weak and not conditioned to listen to us. So when you first begin meditating, it may seem difficult to quieten your mind.

This is called the ‘monkey mind’ and is a product of our chaotic lives. It is not yet conditioned to listen to you. There’s no reason to worry or be upset by this. As it takes time to lift more and more weight, it takes time for the mind to be trained. The best advice I was given was to never be upset by this, as you are practicing your meditation. Be aware of thoughts passing through your mind, just watch, and always come back to your technique if you realize you have strayed. There is no worry in this. Be an observer.

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As time passes and you continue meditating daily, the chatter will diminish. You will become more ‘meditative’ and it will move from the 20 minutes you sit in meditation to your whole everyday life.

Advice to aid meditation

To help with your meditation here are some helpful tips that were shared with me:

  1. Find a place to meditate every day where you know you will not be disturbed.

  2. Wear comfortable clothes.

  3. Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight (as this helps with upward energy flow).

  4. Designate a time of day when you can sit for at least 24 minutes to meditate. I find for myself that I have an easier time calming myself after the work day is done (in the morning I sometimes cannot stop thinking about what I need to do during the day).

  5. Live a healthy lifestyle by exercising, drinking quality water, eating foods that are right for you, practice yoga etc. A purified physiology helps with meditation.

  6. Tell yourself there is no better place for you to be than right here and right now.

I wish you love and awareness for your journey into meditation and into yourself.

Connect with Expert Dr Kristin Shay. 

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