Meditation is nothing new, but in recent years a boat load of studies have shown that it can dramatically improve ones health when practiced regularly.
Traditionally meditation has always been associated with spirituality, which may be why a lot of people have steered clear from it. But with new data and research, we can see that meditation is similar to exercising, dieting and counselling in the way that it promotes well-being and rejuvenation.
The meditation methods and techniques which excite me are those which are based upon scientific study.
What does meditation do for the mind, brain and the body?
Studies have shown that meditation drastically reduces erratic brain waves and behaviour after 20-25 minutes of practice. Doing this once or twice per day is very healthy for our levels of stress, relaxation and calm.
If you use meditation frequently, you’ll notice that over time your focus, awareness and actions begin to improve.
Why is this?
Meditation has always been about “decluttering” the mind and focusing on positivity. It’s a skill, and as with any skill it can be enhanced and progressed.
The body begins to get used to the idea of focusing, shutting out distractions and “mental baggage” from our lives and consciousness. In fact, you begin to notice your thoughts a WHOLE lot more!
This is wildly important, since our thoughts are what govern our feelings, emotions, actions and results…
I’ve always taught the importance of learning to watch your thoughts, see them as something you can choose to engage with or let pass by. Therefore, the practice of meditation vastly develops ones abilities to become more consciously aware of their thoughts.
Also, I should mention this doesn’t only occur whilst in a meditative state. If you’ve been practicing meditation even just for a few days, you’ll begin to notice your thoughts more and more throughout your day to day activities.
Meditation is ultimately about upgrading your sense of awareness, or to put it more correctly, “shifting you into awareness more often!”
Our subconscious mind is always at work, forcing our bodies to carry out numerous habits on autopilot. It’s incredibly hard to break those habitual patterns UNTIL we become aware of them. The more you practice meditation, the more “aware” you’ll become of anything and everything you do including thoughts, actions and “emotions”.
What kind of impact do you think that will have on your life?
I can tell you, the answer to the above question will depend on your state of mind. Once at the state of awareness, you have the choice to either continue living life through habits OR to change things up so that you can improve your circumstances in any way you choose.
Most people choose the latter, as to be honest, once you get to this state of consciousness it’s kind of irreversible…
It can be a very sobering moment for those who’ve been living their day-to-day lives mostly on autopilot, as they realise they’ve allowed themselves to be completely overruled and run by habits.
Habits aren’t a bad thing by the way. In fact I teach how to create habits! But of course, habits are only positive when they’re life enhancing instead of life-limiting…
So, what meditation methods do I recommend?
From reading all of the above, you’ll notice that I love the scientific and research based approach to meditation. It’s all about improving your focus, awareness and stress levels.
A great meditation technique is to sit or lay down in a comfortable position. Close your eyes gently and breathe deeply from the diaphragm. You should feel your belly swelling on your in breath, and then contracting on your out breath but “slowly”…
Continue this breathing cycle for about 30 seconds.
You’ll either already have thoughts popping into your mind, OR you’ll begin to get them pretty soon at this point. This meditation is all about developing your sense of awareness, but it will also promote relaxation, calm and stress-relief all-in-one!
As thoughts come into your mind, let them. Let them BE there, but do NOT engage with them. Think of it this way, imagine you were standing at a bus stop alone. People come and join you at the bus stop, and as buses come and go, people get on and off the passing buses. You don’t have to interact with every person you see, they are simply coming and going.
Now relate this to your mind. The “people” are the thoughts in your mind, let them come and go without interacting with them. You can acknowledge that they’re there, but that’s all you need to do. Don’t become emotionally entangled with them, they will pass.
If you continue to put your awareness on thoughts but do NOT engage with them, they will just come and go until eventually thoughts cease to exist. When you get to that stage, you will be in a deep state of relaxation, calm and awareness.
Practicing this type of meditation twice per day for 10-25 minutes is VERY effective for developing focus, conscious awareness and stress-relief…
When you have finished the meditation, be sure to give yourself a few minutes to reflect on how peaceful you feel. Don’t rush up and then begin acting out habitual patterns again instantly, give yourself time!
Also, you should always practice meditation with minimal distractions around you. This means turning off your phone or switching it to silent. Take the home phone off the hook, and tell anyone in the house that you wish not to be disturbed for half an hour.
There is ALWAYS time in everyones lifestyle for meditation. Get up half an hour earlier to meditate in the morning, you’ll find that the meditation session rejuvenates you MORE than a good nights sleep in some cases…
I promise you if you practice this type of meditation once to twice per day for at least a week or more you will start to feel some incredible benefits.
If you’ve ever wanted to really change the way you think, you HAVE to become consciously aware of the thoughts you’re having. Meditation is the best method for improving focus and awareness, so in the interest of self-improvement it’s a MUST!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this blog post 🙂
Please like, share and comment on it below as I always love to hear your thoughts.