In recent times, meditation has been said to be able to improve mental well-being.
Practiced by cultures all over the world for thousands of years, meditation is a technique of relaxation by altering your state of consciousness.
But why has it become more relevant than ever?
Working from home brings many benefits. The lack of commute, the flexibility of taking a judgement-free break in the middle of the day, the ability to wake up right before work starts, the list goes on.
But as with all things, pros always come with cons. The lack of moving from one location to another has us working overtime without even realizing it. The absence of social interaction takes its toll on us, even if it means we don’t have to see that annoying guy every day now.
Coupled with external factors exacerbated by COVID-19, the importance of mental wellness has been thrust into the spotlight.
So how exactly does meditation help?
How does it help?
Meditation has no uniform consensus on what it is. In fact, meditation is rather contradictory in that it supposedly trains you to be able to relax….by concentrating and focusing on something.
As it gained popularity, some studies have been conducted on its effects, to varying results.
When you meditate, electroencephalography (EEG) activity decreases significantly in the brain, increasing your blood flow in your brain and acting as a form of recharging.
Regardless of how much it is backed by science, however, one thing that meditation does is to give you time with yourself. In our busy lives and our endless clamour for all things materialistic, getting caught up in life and feeling stressed is a constant, not a phase.
So, is it important that we take some time every now and then to evaluate ourselves and our situation? Absolutely.
What are the actual benefits?
Advocates of meditation usually mention stress relief, sleep improvements, improved emotional health etc.
And I’d say that meditation can really help with that to a certain extent.
If nothing, sitting down to meditate for half an hour or so every week gives us the opportunity to work through some of the issues that we have deprioritized and allows us to take stock of our lives.
Whether you achieve some sort of enlightenment or uncover your true spiritual path is another story, but setting aside time to be self-aware and to evaluate your life is never a bad thing.
Spending time to think about issues and working through the backlog of thoughts that have been shelved is always a good step towards figuring issues out.
As these thoughts and issues are worked through, the path becomes clearer and there is more control over how our lives will turn out.
And when we feel like we have more control, the less anxiety and stress we feel, which does indeed boost our emotional health and improve our mental wellness.
How do you meditate?
So, how do you start to meditate?
Contrary to popular belief, meditation is more than just sitting there and closing your eyes to sleep.
In all, there are 9 forms of meditation that have gained popularity over the years.
And due to their ease and effectiveness, 2 of these have gained widespread adoption.
As its name suggests, concentrative meditation involves…concentration. This method centers around directing all your energy and attention to a specific object in your mind.
An image, a word, a thought. Anything that you can focus on and shut out the world.
If done correctly, it will allow you to experience a “wholeness” of what you are focusing on. Your senses heightened, it brings calmness and a heightened state of self-awareness.
The objective of mindfulness meditation is to target your own issues. It aims to make you aware and accepting of yourself.
Concentrating on issues such as depression, anxiety, and loss, this practice results in awareness and involvement of the present moment. The idea is to observe and be aware of your inner thoughts, emotions, and bodily sensations on a heightened level.
Learn to Meditate!
With that considered. Here is a simple and straightforward step to how you should start meditating!
- Find a comfortable area! Get a cushion, chair, or whatever you prefer.
- You’ll need a timer. You could download a meditation app to help you with that.
- Take a seat. Keep your posture straight!
- You can either close or open your eyes.
- Look slightly downwards.
- Focus on your breath!
- Clear your mind.
- When your mind wanders, bring your attention back by focusing on
- Repeat the cycle until your time is up!
For some, meditation may come across as mundane and pointless, but it only feels that way at the start.
Meditation draws attention away from the issues and problems of everyday life. The benefits and calmness you get from meditation is gained through habit and constant practice.
And considering that it basically involves sitting down and doing nothing, it’s much easier than imagined to start practicing!
- Meditate for 15 minutes a day (if possible).
- Start small. Given the pace of our lives, it’s not the easiest thing in the world to sit down and do nothing for extended periods.
- Practice clearing your mind. The mind is an intricate thing and it’s normal that it will wander. Keeping a clear mind for relaxation takes practice and effort, so don’t be disheartened if you can’t keep it up for long periods at the start!
Practice with Our Sharers!
Of course, learning to meditate is as easy as setting aside 15 minutes every other day and sitting down. But for those who are keen to explore more about the world of meditation and its benefits, speak to some of our Sharers who are sharing about meditation and their journey!
Download the Kalpha app and start improving your mental well-being through meditation!
Have any questions or feedback? Contact us firstname.lastname@example.org!