If you're like most people, you probably think of meditation as something that's only for "spiritual" people. Or maybe you've tried it before but found it too difficult to focus or just didn't "get it." This usually happens due to a big misunderstanding about meditation and how it all works.
Some people think it’s new-age magic, but the truth is that meditation has been around for thousands of years. Regardless of your culture, if you believe in it, meditation can work for you to heal your mind, body, and soul. Meditation is a potent tool for anyone who wants to improve their health and wellbeing.
Types of Meditation
There are several types of meditation, including mindfulness, loving-kindness, visualization, body scan, and breath awareness. However, the basic premise is always the same. You want to focus and quieten the mind. Your mind will quieten when you focus on a particular object, such as a flame or your breath, or a mantra or affirmation.
The Benefits of Meditation
The benefits of meditation are vast. Meditation reduces stress and anxiety, improves sleep, increases focus and concentration, and even boosts your immune system. Many people even see improvements in depression and other mental health conditions. For this reason, many certified counselors recommend meditation as part of effective treatment.
Getting Started with Meditation
If you're new to meditation, starting with some guided meditations can be helpful. Many great resources are available online or on apps like Insight Timer and Headspace. You can also search YouTube and find a lot of examples.
Once you feel more normal doing it, you can experiment with different techniques and find what works best for you. Remember, how you choose to meditate is unique to you. The main thing is to be positive during the experience and to be patient, consistent, and open-minded. Don’t allow anything to block you from this valuable tool to improve your life and heal your mind, body, and spirit.
If you're ready to try meditation, here are a few tips to get you started:
- Sit or lie down comfortably, supporting your spine. You don't need to be in a particular yoga pose or anything like that. Just ensure you're comfortable and won't be distracted by your surroundings.
- Take cleansing breaths – in and out – with your eyes shut. This will help you to relax and clear your mind.
- Begin to focus on your breath. Pay attention to the way it feels as you inhale and exhale.
- If your mind starts to wander, simply redirect your focus back to your breath. Don't worry if this often happens at first. It's normal.
- Continue meditating for 5-10 minutes or longer if you like. You can do this once or twice a day, or even several times if you have the time.
Meditation is a simple but powerful tool anyone can use to improve their health and wellbeing. Having said that, the only way to find out if meditation can heal your mind is to try it.