If you’ve heard about meditation before you might be thinking of a group of bald-headed monks sitting inside a temple deep within a mountain in Asia. Other images that come to mind is sitting ona yoga mat in the garden of your dreams or perhaps below a big, blossoming tree while facing a sunset. Well, yes, many people do meditate to these beautiful scenes, but the reality is that meditation is not limited to these scenarios. You can meditate in the comfort of your very own home just as easily and effectively!
You can meditate while doing your house chores: it’s quite simple, instead of letting your mind drift off to think about the mundanities of everyday life, focus on the task you’re doing. If you’re listening to music while you clean or work, focus on how the rhythm of the songs affect your movements. How the surfaces you’re touching feel, the temperature of the rooms, the movements of your body and the smells of the detergents you use or areas you cleaning.
While Working Out, Meditation can help you focus:many people actually have trouble working out for longer periods of time because their thoughts overwhelm them and they become desperate to finish. Many listen to music and are able to distract themselves by singing. You might also want to try focusing on the body parts you’re using while you work out. Think of how they move, what you wish them to look like in the long run, the goal you’re trying to accomplish by working out, imagine the movement of the muscles underneath your skin and focus on what you’re feeling. If you’re using a machine or any type of accessory think of how the surfaces of these objects feel, notice how the temperature of your body rises and your sweat.
Listen to Music: listening to music is one of the easiest methods to try at home. Pick your favorite song or album and listen to it carefully, think about the lyrics and what they mean, the images the song brings to your mind. Think about how listening to this song makes you feel emotionally or even imagine yourself singing the song somewhere.
As you can see, meditation can be achieved by many ways and it doesn’t always require that you stand still in the same spot. Feel free to try these methods and find one that best works for you!
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Meditation is an amazing way to release stress from your daily life and connect with yourself and your needs. However, it can be a bit daunting (and, ironically, stressful) if you’re a beginner. Meditation promises many benefits for those who practice it regularly and many times the expectation of these great benefits can cause beginners to get anxious about whether or not they’ll succeed. Hopefully, these tips for successful meditation will ease the nervousness during your first few attempts at meditation.
- Search for Silence: there’s many methods of meditation and not all of them involve silence, but it’s important that you find a spot in your house, office or wherever in which you’re sure you won’t be disturbed by anyone or any outside noise. You can also try to join a meditation group where it’s more likely that you won’t be disturbed while you meditate.
- Don’t react just Acknowledge: it’s expected that during your first meditation sessions a million thoughts will come to your head, but never react to any of them.
- Time: the first time you sit down to meditate, you might feel that those five or ten minutes you were meditating felt like a lifetime. This is why you should start off with maybe 2-5 minutes, and increase the time as you see fit. You might even perpetually stay meditating for 5 minutes daily.
- Comfort: look for a position that is comfortable, but not so much that it would make you fall asleep. Your comfort is important so that you don’t get distracted by any body parts hurting, but it’s also important that you don’t get so comfortable that you doze off!
- Variety: as mentioned before, there are many types of meditation methods, make sure you try a different type once you’ve mastered one. You might find that not all methods give the same results or are as effective for you.
- Lower your Expectations: if you expect some big revelation after each meditation session, you will be heavily disappointed. However, if you have no expectations, the long-term results of your practice will sneak up on you and surprise you. Don’t meditate expecting immediate results.
Remember that practice makes perfect. At first you might not even be able to understand what you’re doing, but with time and repetition, you will improve and find out what suits you best.
And clear your junk in your mind.
Be patient and experiment with your senses!
Anxiety and many of its variants (panic attacks, social anxiety, etc.) affect many of us and in some cases it can hinder our daily lives. There’s many prescription drugs that help people with serious anxiety issues, however, you might want to try these remedies to further help your anxiety or to have natural alternatives.
- Teas: tea is a lovely drink many enjoy but there are also a variety of herbs that help relax your nervous system such as chamomile, linden and green tea.
Exercise:being physically active helps you release endorphins which in turn, make you feel more active, energetic and happier. Through exercise you may also release pent-up energy from emotions.
Improve your Diet: there’s many supplements and essential vitamins that, when taken regularly, have been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and stress levels greatly. To name a few: Omega-3 acids, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, Lysine, Vitamin B-12, Magnesium and many others.
Cut down on the Caffeine: coffee, sodas, energy drinks and any other drinks containing caffeine should be cut down to a minimum perhaps two cups a day or less.
Laugh: it takes our brains less than 10 seconds to reduce Cortisol levels when laughing (Cortisol is aka the stress hormone). It’s also been proven that the brain releases dopamine almost instantly after laughing. So watch funny videos, look up for a prank or try to remember a funny event when you’re in need of a quick fix for sudden anxiety.
Sleep: make sure you’re getting enough sleep. Most adults need 8 hours of sleep whereas teen agers might need up to 10 hours. Each person is different, therefore, find out what’s the optimal amount of sleep you need to feel well-rested and refreshed.
Relax: there’s many relaxation techniques and practices you can choose from to help yourself relax. You can try mindfulness, meditation, yoga, guided relaxation, going to a spa for a massage or using massage machines and many others.
Seek help: do you have someone to talk to about your anxiety or insecurities? A family member, partner or friend? It’s always good to have someone you can trust and talk to about your anxiety, it’s also good to have a professional you can talk to and that helps you monitor your symptoms, improvement and gives you tools to further control your anxiety.
If you’re trying to meditate and you’re finding it hard to do so, it may be because your body is not used to the quiet and peaceful state that you reach through meditation. You might also be struggling with thoughts about whether or not you’re doing it right and other insecurities. The first thing you need to do is to accept these thoughts and stop caring whether or not you’re meditating the ‘right way’. The first rule of meditation club is that there’s no right way. The second rule is that you set your own rules. Basically, do what feels natural to you, what makes you comfortable.
The purpose of meditation is to allow you to reach a quiet and peaceful state of mind. If you’re bickering inside your head over ‘how wrong you’re doing this’ or ‘how ridiculous you must look right now!’ you’re not doing yourself a favor, instead you’re perpetuating a stressed state of mind. When these thoughts come to your head simply accept them, I find it useful to reply with “maybe, maybe not” and continue focusing on the type of meditation you’re practicing at the moment.
For example, if you’re doing Om meditation for the first time and you’re thinking “I look like one of those Asian dudes on the movies…” acknowledge that thought and don’t reprimand yourself for having it. Instead of reacting to the thought, continue chanting your “Oms”.
If you’re unsure of what reacting to the thought means here’s an example:
Imagine that, once again, you’re trying ‘Om’ meditation and you’re thinking about what would happen if someone walked in on you chanting “Om”. Reacting would consist on answering to yourself by thinking next “They’d probably laugh at me” or “Oh gosh, I’d be so embarrassed”. Reacting to a distracting thought results in another distracting thought.
The key of successful meditation lies on not reacting to your thoughts! If you react, a train of thoughts will follow and you will soon realize you’ve become overwhelmed, you’ll give up and maybe stop trying to meditate all together. It is expected that the first few times you sit down, thoughts will come to you from all different directions, just remember: don’t react. Eventually you will notice that the thoughts become less frequent and you will be able to reach a quiet and peaceful state of mind more easily.
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