A Look At Meditation: My Experience and The Benefits of Practicing
In today’s world we are often overwhelmed and overworked, running from the office, trying to relax at home, and being thankful if we are given a chance to work out in between. Needless to say, our days get pretty stressful. Just like everyone else in the world, I’m pretty sure you have read an article somewhere or watched a program on TV about meditation and the benefits of meditating daily. To some, this may seem foreign, others may not see the value, and then, there those who are already on board. I think I fall in the “already on board” category. I truly believe in the power of meditation and the overall life benefits received from practicing meditation daily. It has become a huge part of my way of life.
I started meditating when I was overworked and unhappy. It gave me peace during my day and helped me ease tension and anxiety. Whenever, I meet someone and share with them my struggles about finding myself, realizing my dreams and potential, many always inquire about how I was able to distress during those very stressful times. I always say the same thing––I started practicing yoga and meditating. I could talk more about yoga and the power it has on your body, but in this article, I would like to solely focus on meditation.
Meditation allows you to take time out of your day to find peace, if only for a moment. Imagine taking fifteen minutes to clear your mind and think about absolutely nothing. If you only have a small amount of time to yourself, use it to just breathe. Often, we are so busy catering to other people––our business partners, spouses or children––that we never take enough time for ourselves.
So, what exactly is meditation? Meditation is a state of consciousness where the mind is free of scattered thoughts and visualizations. Essentially, it is the practice of mental hygiene and mental well-being. From this practice, you realize a calm mind, clarity, concentration, relaxation and rejuvenation.
Meditation not only focuses on the mind, it also allows your body to release tension. After I started to get into the routine of meditating, I noticed that my body started to feel a lot more fluid and at ease after I would meditate. Many days I would find myself feeling wound up and tight; this journey allowed my body and my mind to relax.
According to the National Institute of Health, meditation is said to improve blood flow throughout the body. This is very helpful for someone who works in an office or drives for work. Eventually, I noticed that I had more clarity. I was able to focus and really hone in on what I was doing. Ideas for new projects started to flourish. The feeling was great.
After a few weeks of practicing, a lot of my stress started to melt away. What I thought would cloud me forever had soon started to disappear. I was better able to manage my emotions. Things that would once bother me or upset me no longer did. If I felt overwhelmed or found myself in a stressful situation, I would take a minute to just breathe and focus on my breath. Here’s an easy trick that I have for those interested in meditation to try: Start at 30 and count backgrounds, breathing slowly and deeply. This is extremely easy to do for anyone who is unsure about meditation, but would like to try it out. With this method, there isn't a huge time commitment. You can start off with 1 minute every day and then increase your time as you go along.
Another great way to start meditating is to take the 21 Day Meditation Experience by Deepak Chopra and Oprah. This is the primary reason why meditation became a permanent part of my life. Professionals from all industries say that is takes 21 days to form a habit. Here, Oprah and Deepak Chopra encourage people to make meditation a daily habit and include in their daily routine. I started my first 21 day challenge a couple of years ago after looking for an easy way to meditate, but with more structure. I stumbled upon this challenge and got hooked. The new challenge started two weeks later, I signed up and started meditating. This meditation is guided and sets a daily affirmation. For 15 minutes every day you are given two friends to guide you through your journey, helping you to form a lifelong habit.
Meditating is a great way to start your day and end your night. When you wake up in the morning meditating is a great way to kick start your day and your attitude. You are more refreshed and calm, open, and more receptive to ideas. You are able to clearly articulate how you want the rest of your day to go. When you meditate at night, you allow your body to start winding down for the night. Your mind and body start to enter a restful state, which helps for a more deep sleep.
There are many other benefits of meditation. They include stress reduction, increased blood flow, decreased anxiety and depression, and a deeper sleep at bedtime. I really enjoy meditating and encourage all of you to give it a try, even if just once.
By: Rachel M. Roberts