Is the daily stress or the problems you have at work or at home getting to you, affecting your life, health and happiness? If so, then it is about time to consider some meditation exercises.
Here are the basic things you need to know!
Why Should I Consider Meditation Exercises?
You are probably asking yourself whether meditation exercises really work and whether their benefits are really substantial. The answer is simple: YES.
Meditating presents a wide range of advantages, from a better health, a better mood and a better sleep to more energy, vitality and focus, less stress, less frustration and less worries. It sounds appealing, right?
So, in case you have been feeling anxious, depressed or weak lately, in case you are having sleep and concentration problems or if you simply want to gain those desirable feelings of well-being, calmness and happiness, you should start considering meditation exercises.
Let us walk you through the basics in our new mindful guide on how to meditate.
What Do I Need in Order to Start Meditation Exercises?
If you decided that you should give meditating a try, then the first thing you need is determination. It is not like meditation exercises require certain tools or complicated techniques – basically, you just need a little willpower and desire, in order to benefit from meditation.
And, of course, you need a bit of time to allocate to your meditation sessions – 2 - 20 minutes every other day is ideal.
But there is one rule, when thinking about starting to meditate. And that rule is that... knowing that you are not going to be great when you first start. So relax and don't put to much pressure on yourself. Just remember, the more you do it the better you will be. You just have to relax. Relaxation and repetition is the key to meditation.
Let’s start from the beginning with mindfulness meditation.
In mindfulness meditation, we’re learning how to pay attention to the breath as it goes in and out, and notice when the mind wanders from this task. This practice of returning to the breath builds the muscles of attention and mindfulness.
When we pay attention to our breath, we are learning how to return to, and remain in, the present moment—to anchor ourselves in the here and now on purpose, without judgement.
The idea behind mindfulness seems simple—the practice takes patience. Indeed, renowned meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg recounts that her first experience with meditation showed her how quickly the mind gets caught up in other tasks. “I thought, okay, what will it be, like, 800 breaths before my mind starts to wander? And to my absolute amazement, it was one breath, and I’d be gone,” says Salzberg.
How To Meditate
Meditation is simpler (and harder) than most people think. Read these steps, make sure you’re somewhere where you can relax into this process, set a timer, and give it a shot:
1) Take a seat Find place to sit that feels calm and quiet to you.
2) Set a time limit If you’re just beginning, it can help to choose a short time, such as five or 10 minutes.
3) Notice your body You can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor, you can sit loosely cross-legged, you can kneel—all are fine. Just make sure you are stable and in a position you can stay in for a while.
4) Feel your breath Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes in and as it goes out.
5) Notice when your mind has wandered Inevitably, your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places. When you get around to noticing that your mind has wandered—in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes—simply return your attention to the breath.
6) Be kind to your wandering mind Don’t judge yourself or obsess over the content of the thoughts you find yourself lost in. Just come back.
7) Close with kindness When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze (if your eyes are closed, open them). Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. Notice how your body feels right now. Notice your thoughts and emotions.
That’s it! That’s the practice. You go away, you come back, and you try to do it as kindly as possible.
Are there Different Types of Meditation Exercises?
There is a great range of meditation exercises, no doubt about that. What you should do, as a beginner, is to try a few of them out and find the one that suits you best. Once you find the one that suits you begin doing it everyday. You can start out with 1 minute and work your way up.
But which are these different types of exercises? You can choose from visualization exercises (when you are picturing positive, beautiful elements, places or moments), concentration exercises (when you are trying to focus on your body’s sensations and stimulants) breathing exercises (which are used in all types of meditation, as an essential premise) and many more, including specific meditation exercises that regard a better sleep, better appetite, less stress and other problems that need to be eliminated from your daily life.
Personally, I change mine up from day to day. I like variety.
Remember that if you want good results, you need to continue with your meditation exercises and try to improve yourself on a daily basis – this is how you will achieve that positive, well-being feelings of focus, better connections with others, less stress and anxiety, that you are looking for. Good luck!
You are Stronger Than Failure,
I Believe In YOU!