Meditation 101

The fast-paced lifestyle, electronics in our pockets and our offices, and problems that weren’t around twenty years ago can take a toll on our minds. Have you ever heard someone say that they can’t hear their own thoughts? It turns out it’s not just an expression.

This is where meditation comes into play. While it is shrouded in unnecessary mysticism, it is quite easy to do, and there are numerous benefits. Here is the rundown on the basics of meditation.

A Quiet Place

First of all, it is impossible to meditate at a party or a subway – there is simply too much noise to deal with our issues. So, the first thing we need to do when we meditate is to find a nice and quiet location. It could be your room, a park, or really any place where you will be left to your own devices for a set period of time. If you can’t find a quiet place, make it yourself – light some incense, draw the curtains and sit down.

Music

Music is optional, though it is worth considering if you are in a noisy area. You don’t need to hear the neighbors fighting or the construction work done outside. As for the type of music, forget Megadeth and play something instrumental. There are many artists with this type of music to choose from. My favorites are Enigma, Era, and Enya, in that order. I would like to underline that music is not needed for meditation, it all happens inside.

Breathing

There is a myriad of exercise types and goals, but they all have one thing in common – proper breathing. When meditating, inhale slowly through your nose and exhale, again, slowly, through your mouth. Focus on your breathing even if your thoughts wander off. It will help keep you calm and in check.

Focus

If you can clear your mind, great. If not – no worries. This is not the purpose of meditation, but a welcome side-effect. By focusing on something, whether it is your breathing, a fictional place, or an object in front of you, your mind becomes more adjusted to the option of drowning out the noise. This is what it’s all about. If you learn how to drown out the outside noise and stimuli, you can do so even in situations where you need to think quickly.

Commit

There is no exercise regimen that you can do once or twice and reap the benefits, and meditation is no different. If you truly want to see the benefits of this mental exercise, you need to do it daily for an extended period of time. Try it out for two weeks, or maybe more.

Benefits

Why do we meditate? First of all, meditation improves our focus. Hyperactive individuals who can’t sit still benefit the most from meditation, though its advantages are not lost on others. Secondly, you will learn to calm yourself during stressful situations. This is essential, as it helps you deal with crises without losing your head. Looking like a mystic monk doesn’t hurt, either.

 

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