In today’s world of chaos and personal stress, we all need to relax and inject peace. Meditation gives us this peace and good feeling.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years in different world cultures, and almost all religions have a tradition of using meditation. In the past, meditation was often used for religious purposes. But now, many people believe in it and practice it regardless of any religious or spiritual belief. Meditation is used today as a method of psychotherapy.
What is meditation?
Meditation, introspection, or introspection is the skill of working with the mind. Meditation is a practice in which a person uses a method such as mindfulness or mindfulness on a particular subject, thought, or activity to cultivate attention and awareness and achieve a calm, stable state of mind. The main purpose of meditation is to strengthen the conscious mind and increase awareness to use your mind to understand yourself, better control your mind and body, and access higher intelligence. This ultimately leads to personal growth, increased relaxation, improved quality of life, and interaction with the environment.
Meditation is easier than you think. You can meditate in any place, time, and position. The nature of meditation is awareness. Awareness means being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and dreams. It is an awareness that you are now reading this article and are aware of your work. Most people think that meditation is very difficult, and to do it, we have to stop our thoughts and turn off the sound of our minds. But in principle, there is no need to control thoughts and create special focus. This is a mistake that distracts most of us from meditation. Of course, when we start meditating, different thoughts invade our minds. As time goes on and we practice meditation, the sound of our thoughts decreases. As we forget, one day, this sound hindered our meditation. Remember that it is perfectly normal to hear these sounds, and there is no reason why reflection was not made for you! For example, one of the basic meditation techniques is the breathing technique. As long as you breathe, you can be aware of your breathing. You do not need a specific place or time to live. Therefore, meditation does not depend on a particular time and place. You can pay close attention to your breathing. This is a one-second and effective meditation.
How to meditate?
We cannot block our thoughts and feelings, and in essence, we need our thoughts and feelings in meditation. What matters in meditation is whether you listen to your “mind monkey” or leave it alone. The mind monkey is always wandering, jumping from branch to branch, confusing the mind. To cope with the monkey of the reason that sometimes becomes our boss, we do not need to follow his words and obey him or take the path of the war with him. Through meditation, we try to reconcile with the monkey of our mind. To negotiate, giving “monkeys” to this monkey is not the right thing to do. But the right way is to send it for something.
But how can a monkey be forced to do something?
By leaving the task to the mind’s monkey, you create a win-win situation in which you are both happy. Have a monkey at work, and you will be satisfied with the presidency. In this case, you are the employer and the ape of the working mind; you get rid of it. But never forget the law of slowness and continuity. So first, you have to give the monkey small and short-term tasks. One of the simplest tasks and methods of meditation is awareness of breathing. After the monkey, ask your mind to monitor your breathing. Monkey Mind will welcome this offer. Surely during this time, different thoughts will parade in the background of your mind. But these thoughts do not matter until you lose control of your breathing. You do not even need to concentrate a lot to do this; you can pay attention to one or two inhales and exhales. You can easily enter the world of meditation anytime and anywhere.
Types of meditation
Meditation is done in different ways, many of which have much in common. If you are interested in meditation but do not know where to start, first get acquainted with its basic principles and try different types to find the right option. Other types of meditation include:
Mindfulness Meditation: This is the process by which you must be completely clear with your thoughts, be present at the moment, and not react to what is going on around you.
Transcendental Meditation (TIM): A simple technique in which a person repeats a simple word or sound called a mantra during meditation to concentrate and relax.
Mantra Meditation: Uses a repetitive word, thought, or phrase to avoid distraction and focus on the mantra. One of the most famous mantras is the word “um,” which has no special meaning. But some believe that this sound is derived from the sound of the big bang at the beginning of creation and the beginning of worldly life and somehow summoning the ruling power of this world. In addition to the famous and old mantles, you can use any word or phrase that makes you feel better.
Guided Meditation: A meditation technique in which you create mental images or relaxing situations, or use the help of a teacher or listen to podcasts and audio files.
Vipassana Meditation: An Ancient Indian Form. Vipassana means seeing the real things.
Meta meditation or meditation of love and kindness: It is a meditation that leads good wishes to others.
Chakra Meditation: A set of relaxation techniques focused on creating balance and well-being in the chakras (seven centers of energy and spiritual strength in the body).
Yoga Meditation: An ancient Indian practice where controlled postures and breathing exercises increase flexibility and peace of mind.
The important thing in meditation is that you should never be sensitive to the choice of details or different methods. All kinds of meditation will eventually lead you to awareness and a good mood.
How to do meditation
Those who have not experienced meditation may be confused or frustrated by the different methods and types of meditation. But if you know the basics of meditation, you can easily practice it. To clear the story, do the following simple exercise:
Raise your left hand and pause for a moment. Then pay attention to how you feel. Do you feel heat or cold on your skin? Do you feel pain in your hands? Do you have a special feeling?
Now lower your hand. Do you feel comfortable?
All emotions such as pain, relief, heat, and cold, and even not having any emotion are included in the subject of consciousness. During meditation, you need to communicate with your consciousness. It does not matter if the awareness of feelings and thoughts is positive or negative or even neutral. The above simple exercise is also a kind of meditation that draws your attention to your body and emotions for a moment.
In the following, we will explain one of the official methods of meditation. We assume that you want to do this normally and reap the benefits. So it is a good idea to know and follow the principles of meditation.
Choose a quiet place or a place you like to start. It is better to set this place for your special meditation. But if this is not possible, any quiet place is fine. Try to wear comfortable and clean clothes so that you do not focus on them while meditating.
The formal sitting position in meditation is sitting in the lotus position, in which each foot is placed on the opposite thigh. The lotus position is the ancient yoga asana. Suppose you can’t sit in the full lotus position. In general, any kind of sitting that does not distract you will be appropriate. You have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people.
There are several modes of meditation that you can choose from. The most common mudra is sticking the thumb and pointing at each other, which boosts mental function and concentration and helps deal with anger, sadness, and grief.
Close your eyes slowly, just like when you want to sleep. Do not press on your eyelids.
Meditation is an opportunity to be in front of yourself, live in the moment, and understand emotions.
Now you need to relax your body. Start with the head and relax your facial muscles in order. Then relax your neck and shoulders and release any tension you feel in your body. Release your lower limb after settling. Keep your spine straight. Bend the neck slightly forward so that the weight of the head falls on it. In this way, let your limbs relax one after the other and release the tension.
The aware mind of your body and then listen to your feelings and thoughts while your body is at rest and aware of them. Let your feelings and ideas flow. Do not try to filter them. Awareness of negative emotions is as important as positive emotions. Be aware of this for a moment.
You can now spread your consciousness outside your body. Pay attention to your surroundings for a few moments and listen to the sounds.
Now expand your awareness. Feel the space around and above. All the phenomena around us happened in this space, changed it, and finally returned to this space. Like clouds that form in an area, they remain in it and then disappear in the same state.
In the next step, go beyond the clouds and be aware of the unlimited space in all directions.
Finally, open your eyes gently. Be present at the moment, take a deep breath and let your mind rest for a few moments.
In general, when you want to meditate without an introduction, follow these steps:
Sit on the floor or in a chair. Keep your body steady and your spine straight.
Close your eyes.
Breathe naturally, and do not try to control your breathing. With each breath, oxygen enters the lungs through the nose, and with each exhalation, it is exhaled through the mouth.
Focus on your breathing and notice the movement of your body with each inhales and exhale. Observe the chest, shoulders, and abdomen movement without attempting to interfere with or control breathing. In the meantime, do not fight the thoughts that come to your mind, and if you lose focus because of it, return your attention to your breathing.
It is recommended to use audio files in which you will be guided step by step through meditation. It is best to start your meditation practice from 2 to 5 minutes for best results and habit and increase it over time.
After meditation, you should experience a feeling of lightness and relaxation. But if this does not happen to you in the first sessions, do not rush and do not judge. Instead, divert your thinking to good things in life.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is the process of training the mind to focus and change the direction of thoughts. The increase in people realizing the beneficial effects of meditation has made it even more popular. Many studies have been done to prove and find the benefits of meditation, the results of which have shown the following benefits:
Reduce stress: Mental and physical stress increases the level of the stress hormone or cortisol. Elevated hormone cortisol levels cause destructive side effects such as the secretion of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. These effects can cause sleep disturbances and increase depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, fatigue, and dizziness. In an 8-week study, mindfulness meditation was able to reduce the inflammatory stress response.
Anxiety Control: Following the reduction of stress through meditation, anxiety also decreases. A meta-analysis of about 1,300 adults showed that meditation might reduce anxiety. The higher the level of fear in people, the greater the effect of meditation. One study found that eight weeks of mindfulness meditation helped reduce anxiety symptoms in people with generalized anxiety disorder and increased response to stress and coping with anxiety. Another study of 47 people with chronic pain found that completing an 8-week meditation program significantly improved depression, anxiety, and pain.
In addition, some research suggests that a variety of mindfulness and meditation exercises may reduce anxiety levels. For example, yoga helps reduce anxiety. Yoga may help reduce stress due to the combination of meditation exercises and physical activity.
Pain control: Your perception of pain is related to your mental state. In stressful situations, the pain may be felt more than at other times. Some research shows that using meditation in your daily routine can help control pain. A review of 38 studies in this area showed that mindfulness meditation could reduce pain, improve quality of life, and reduce depressive symptoms in people with chronic pain. People who meditate cope with less pain than people who do not.
Lowering blood pressure: High blood pressure over time causes the heart to try harder to pump blood, resulting in poor performance. A meta-analysis of 12 studies involving about 1,000 participants found that meditation helps lower blood pressure. Meditation was more effective for older volunteers and those with higher blood pressure before the survey.
Meditation seems to control blood pressure by calming the nerve signals that coordinate heart function, the tension in blood vessels, and the reaction or escape that raises awareness in stressful situations.
Improving Emotional Health: Some types of meditation can increase our positive feelings and actions towards ourselves and others. Meta meditation or love and kindness creates thoughts and feelings of compassion towards oneself. Through these exercises, people learn to spread this kindness and forgiveness outside of themselves and share it among their friends, acquaintances, and enemies.
Increase concentration: Meditation is like lifting weights for engagement and helps increase strength and endurance. One study found that people who listened to meditation podcasts increased their attention while doing work. Another similar study found that people who meditate performed better in visual tasks and received more attention than those who did not. Daily meditation can be helpful, even for a short time. One study found that eight weeks of meditation for 13 minutes a day increased attention and memory.
In addition to the above, meditation helps reduce depression, improve sleep by increasing serotonin (melatonin precursor) and melatonin (sleep hormone), lower heart rate, and more. It has also been reported that people have been able to eliminate destructive thoughts, including suicide, by turning to meditation.