Sure, you know that exercise can help contribute to an overall healthy life, but have you considered ways to benefit your mental well-being that go beyond the physical? Well, that’s where meditation comes in!
What is mediation? This practice has been around for thousands of years and is still talked about in social media posts and books alike. The fact is, there are quite a few benefits of meditation, and we think it’s something worth adding to your list of self-care activities. Want to learn more? Read on to get the details and learn how to meditate.
WHAT IS MEDITATION?
Like we said, meditation is a practice that’s been around for thousands of years. The Mayo Clinic explains that meditation is known as a form of mind-body complementary medicine. The purpose of meditation is to create a deep state of relaxation and a calm mind. What does it entail, exactly? Meditation involves focusing your attention on the present moment, pushing aside the thoughts, emotions, and worries that may otherwise be on your mind. Focusing on the moment at hand can result in an enhanced physical and emotional well-being, per the Mayo Clinic.
5 BENEFITS OF MEDITATION TO KNOW
As you can imagine, there’s a reason this practice has been done for so long. There are quite a few benefits of meditation, and we’re here to share five of them, courtesy of the Mayo Clinic.
1. Self-awareness. Since meditation involves you being in the present moment, it helps individuals be more self-aware of their emotions.
2. Stress. As we mentioned above, meditation is meant to create a state of relaxation, reducing stress in the process. It is both a way to manage stress and a way to step back and look at a stressful situation with a fresh perspective.
3. Creativity. Taking a mental break can help give you the reboot you need to re-spark creativity when you’ve hit a roadblock.
4. Sleep. Find yourself falling victim to sleepless nights? Meditating before bed has been studied to promote better sleeping habits.
5. Tension headaches. Because of its influence on stress, meditation can also help relieve tension headaches.
HOW TO MEDITATE
Now that you’re familiar with some of the most common benefits of meditation, you’re likely wondering how to meditate. While there is more than one way to meditate, one of the easiest and most effective options for beginners is known as guided mediation, which is a form of mediation guided by a teacher. Here’s what to do, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Step #1. Find a guide or teacher. There are many options when it comes to finding an instructor for guided mediation, including finding classes online and using meditation apps. Of course, it’s important to find someone who is experienced.
Step #2. Focus on the present. All forms of meditation are centered around being in the present moment, also known as mindfulness. Your instructor will tell you to visualize images and places. They will have you focus on as many senses as possible, such as smells, sights, sounds, and textures to be in the current moment.
Step #3. Stay in-tune with their voice. During your guided mediation session, it’s important to make sure your mind doesn’t wander or drift. Focus solely on the voice of the person guiding you.
Step #4. Open your eyes. Don’t open your eyes until your guide says to do so. Once they say you can, whether it has been five minutes or longer, you should feel refreshed and renewed.
WHAT TO DO AFTER MEDITATION
When you’ve finished meditating, don’t rush back to your busy life—if you can help it. Take more time for yourself and relax. You want to stay in your meditative state while you can.
Next up: Want to learn another way to wind down and manage stress? Here are 10 Yoga Poses to De-Stress with This Weekend. (Pro-tip: Yoga and meditation are often paired together!)