You may be meditating, daily, and not even realise!
Meditation. Something a whole lot of us think very little about. Interestingly enough, you may not even realise your entering into a type of meditative state at certain points throughout the day. Ever catch yourself staring at a beautiful evening sky, barely contemplating anything at all? How about driving along in the car by yourself, humming along to some song and thinking of something and nothing? That’s a close cousin to mediation. Ever received a massage and felt the worrisome thoughts seep from your mind and your muscles ease as they leave? Or those moments in the morning or evening when you’re standing under a hot shower, breathing the steam in deeply and de-stressing as the water revives you. These moments are actually very important for our mental health, and they’re kinda sorta, actually pretty much meditation.
“The thing about meditation is: You become more and more you.” – David Lynch
What is it exactly?
People have varied opinions of the correct definition of meditation, but really what it comes down to is a state of thoughtless awareness.
A state of thoughtless awareness? You marvel. Well, how can we have awareness without thoughts? You ask. Ah! Well, that would be a tough one to answer. Although, I tend to lean towards a description similar to that of peaceful daydreaming. Blissfully unaware of all worries and surroundings, finding yourself momentarily in another world, running away with your thoughts. Yet, it’s not that at all. Let’s say it’s like daydreaming, except instead of floating away, you become grounded. In fact, the most grounded you will ever be in your life.
“The more regularly and the more deeply you meditate, the sooner you will find yourself acting always from a centre of inner peace.” – J. Donalds Walters
During a meditative session, you feel your connection to the ground strengthening. It’s almost a physical sensation, though not one of being weighed down or stuck, but one of support. As if you’re getting re-affirmed that the ground is there to uphold you, keep you level and balanced.
In those meditative moments, your brain releases the stress that your flurry of thoughts have been creating. This state produces an inner peace which transfers into your regular state. This newfound peacefulness enables you to deal with yourself, and react to your environment in an efficient manner, bringing harmony to your mentality.
What it’s not
Many people think that in order to meditate, you have to concentrate. This is not the case. The only thing you are focusing on, if you must, is your breathing. A lot of people have trouble letting go and calming down. By starting off focusing on deep breathing, you help regulate the functions of your internal organs. With a steadier heartbeat and profound respiring, you facilitate an environment which enables your mind to be set free.
There is no forcing a meditative state, neither is any mental effort required. You relax into it, not persevere through it.
Meditation never equates to loss of control, in fact, it’s actually a tool for acquiring better control over ourselves and our temperaments.
A popular ideal of what it looks like to be meditating, is somebody sitting in the famous lotus position. You can meditate in any position. Posture or exercises does not equate to authentic meditation.
A number of researchers, along with Dr. Hassed C (Physician – Author of Meditation In General Practice) find meditation to be the most effective stress reducer in the world. The overall result is a better quality of life, which is the aim of all healthy habits. The effects of meditation cause a measurable reduction of stress hormones produced by the body such as catecholamines. When this occurs, the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system is increased.
So much can be told on the subject, but the beautiful thing about it, is how simple it really is. All meditation comes down to is being. Being 100% present in the moment, as nature intended, in which our instincts can thrive and our true selves can shine through.
You can learn to meditate
The School of Natural Health Sciences offers an in-depth online meditation course where you can learn all you need to know to become a pro-meditator. Improve your quality of life and enrol today. Namasté.