Many people assume that meditation is something out of reach of a busy daily life – or that it is just meant for yogis, spiritual gurus or Buddhist monks; not your average Joe. On the contrary, meditation is fast becoming a staple and necessary activity within the mainstream. Especially for people in cities with limited timeframes, hectic schedules and more claustrophobic surroundings. Stress and anxiety have become such common problems in today’s society (the rapid rise of consumption of prescribed anti-anxiety medication is a strong indicator of this) and studies show that meditation can be a huge assistance in reducing stress by offering a natural path to calmness and clarity. Worth a shot? Finding as little as five or ten minutes a day to meditate can prove to optimise your day mentally and physically beyond many other more time consuming and costly activities. For a busy schedule in a busy street it is at times impossible to find peace. Meditation not only provides a sense of quiet, peaceful solitude; it also delivers space ‘within’ which may otherwise be unachievable.
What is meditation?
It is a practice that requires the opposite of concentration, in order to create a calm mind, and ultimately relax.
Take time out
As an activity exercise generally requires finding the time to either take a class, go out for a run/cycle/hike, go to the gym, which, more often than not, entails taking equipment, travel, clothing, a change of clothing, making time for a post-workout shower, etc. etc. and so can prove to be time consuming. Meditation requires you, just you. If you are unable to find a quiet corner possibly some ear plugs or headphones to play some inspiring sounds. It can also be limited to exactly the time you can spare in the day – be it five minutes or an hour, it is your choice, it is your time.
What does it do for you?
Obviously what anything does for a person is an individual experience and so this isn’t something we can place in a nutshell or summarise. Ideally meditation is a method of practice that can deliver you from your shell and surroundings in order to concentrate on your inner self. It is a clearing and therefore cleansing of the mind, exposing you to a positive emptiness. This method will allow you to “clean the slate” as it were, give you more mental space and capacity to see with more clarity. To experience the benefits of meditation, regular practice is necessary. It takes only a few minutes every day. Once imbibed into the daily routine, meditation can become the best part of your day.
The benefits from practicing meditation:
Meditation delivers your mind into an “alpha state” or reboots in order to promote healing. The mind becomes fresh and cleansed which calms you from within, whenever you feel overwhelmed, unstable, or emotional. When regularly practiced, meditation can help you mentally, spiritually, and physically.
With regular practice meditation can help to:
- Reduce stress
- Increase your sense of well-being
- Increase your sense of connectedness and empathy
- Improve focus
- Improve relationships
- Improve creativity
- Improve memory
- Improve decision making
- Overcome addictions
- Improve cardiovascular health
- Enhance your immune system
- Find peace of mind
- Reduce physical and emotional pain
- Take you towards enlightenment
- Improve concentration
- Encourage a healthy lifestyle
- Increase self-awareness
- Increase happiness
- Increase acceptance
- Manage anxiety and depression
- Lower blood pressure
On reading such a list, it hardly seems a question as to whether “this is for me” anymore but more along the lines of “where do I start”?
Types of meditation and where to begin
There is an extensive list of types of meditation – Qigong or Tai Chi, Mindfulness or Vipassana, Metta or Loving kindness, Heartfulness, Christian Meditation, Transcendental, Mantra Meditation – to name but a few. As a beginner, it is very difficult (and overwhelming) to know where to begin. Don’t be put off by this. Our suggestion would be to read up a little on the basis behind a few types that you feel suit you – here is a great article to give you an insight into the different methods and their meanings.
Once you have a basic understanding of this you can choose to try out a few and see where you fit in. An excellent starting point is to try a few guided meditation sessions or even take a course to find out what suits you. Once you have discovered your place in the realm of meditation you can begin to create your very own individual way to achieve your personal meditative goals. It is an inner journey and you must take your own path and find your own way; that’s the beauty of it. Why not give it a try?
Enrol with us and become a Holistic Therapist
If you’re thinking of getting serious with your stretching habits, we offer a diploma-correspondent course in Yoga which entitles you to teach anywhere in the world! And the perfect compliment to our Yoga Course is our Meditation and Mindfulness Courses. Whatever you choose here with us at The School of Natural Health Sciences, you can be sure that your CV, spectrum of knowledge, and outlook on life will be forever enriched.