Are too many thoughts cluttering your mind? Do you feel overwhelmed, and cannot make up your mind? Are you living your life unconsciously?
Meditation and Mindfulness go hand in hand as they are practices of centering your mind by becoming aware and present in the moment.
In order to be focused and live a life with purpose, learning to master the mind is key by telling your mind to be calm to induce harmony. This is what meditation allows.
When we quiet our minds, only then can we decipher the subtle inner voice of our soul, the internal guidance system, which will lead to your happiness.
In addition to the spiritual connection that meditation provides, the calming effect has an incredible impact on the physical body. Meditation and mindfulness have been proven in studies to enhance health and well-being.
One example is assisting those with depression, which has dramatically increased due to our daily societal pressures.
Benefits of Meditation:
- Meditation can reduce fear, stress and other health complications
- Gain clarity, divine guidance and inspiration
- Allows you to be focused in the present
- Receive internal insights about current situations
- Ward off diseases as this government funded study concludes
A study from Blue Cross Blue Shield discovered the diagnoses of major depression have risen dramatically by 33 percent since 2013. This rate is rising even faster among millennials (up 47 percent) and adolescents (up 47 percent for boys and 65 percent for girls).
Sara W. Lazar of Harvard University and her colleagues did a participant study that resulted in mindfulness training reducing the size of the amygdala, a region in the brain involved in fear processing. The participants also showed the most difference in lowered stress levels over the course of training.
More research and studies are being conducted due to the rise of popularity in meditation and its proven effects that cannot be denied. The results could allow the medical community to finally embrace this practice as part of health and body healing, prevention and overall balance.
The practice of meditation and mindfulness allows for our bodies to be a strong healthy antenna of receiving Universal guidance and a deeper connection to our soul. As a 3 part being of mind, body and soul, it is blissful consciousness and divine balance.
"In recent years, there has been a 'sharp spike' in studies looking at the effects of various mindfulness approaches -- such as whether they can help treat health conditions as diverse as chronic pain, heart disease, memory problems, anxiety, depression and addiction."
UMASS Medical School's Center for Mindfulness
If meditation is so beneficial, why is it so difficult?
Despite the proven results, people still struggle with practicing mediation and mindfulness.
Their perception of the process of meditation may be skewed from previous failed attempts, the time it may take and its overall effectiveness for their particular situation.
Fundamentally, it could be something as simple as not grounding properly. As with any self improvement experiences, such as going to the gym, eating healthy, and relaxing activities, it takes commitment.
Some popular difficulties in getting started are:
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Two main reasons where most people do not begin practicing meditation is not knowing exactly how to meditate and their expectations of what is suppose to happen when they do.
To be honest, there is no right or wrong way to meditate.
This can leave eager learners feeling lost and therefore frustrated before they begin. Each soul has a preferred way of connecting and it may feel, sound or appear completely different than the next person.
The whole idea is to just begin to figure out what works best for you. Some feel better sitting with the legs crossed but there are other forms of silencing the mind such as yoga, drawing art, journaling and reading.
By silencing the mind, your soul will begin to peak through. Be open minded with your expectations. Your soul may present itself in a voice, a feeling, a nudge or even an idea.
By creating space in your mind, the soul can begin to fill it up with direction, guidance and inspiration. As you continue to practice, the more you will be able to hold the awareness and focus for longer period of times.
Be realistic with yourself even if it means starting with 1 minute. No one can run a marathon on the first day of training.
A new government survey shows that the number of Americans practicing the "mindfulness" techniques has surged in the past few years.
5 Simple Ways to Center Yourself - Easy for Beginners
So, how do you go about meditating?
Do you need to sit with your legs crossed and chant ‘OM’? If that helps you, then yes. You do not have to sit still and keep your mind blank. In fact, the major key is to concentrate on one thing only.
Take a walk
You always have some time to walk either in the mornings or in the evenings. Get yourself out there, take deep breaths, inhale and exhale, letting go of all worries and stress. You can concentrate on your breathing or you can just look at the birds, the flowers, or the trees. Whatever gets your attention, just be aware.
Perhaps you are concentrating on your walk, how the ground feels, or how your shoes look like. The key here is to stay focused enough for just a couple of minutes. With a little practice, you can learn to shut out the world and just be focused on yourself. At last you can learn to have peace within you, even if it is just for a few minutes a day. Enjoy your walk, and once you reach home, thank yourself and your body. It will greatly appreciate it.
Listen to Music
Put your headset on, listen to one great song you love, but make sure it’s at least four minutes long. When you listen to it, try to concentrate on either the lyrics or just listen to the music. When you are listening to the lyrics, listen to the singer’s voice, notice the different reflexes in the voice, listen intently, and you may even get goosebumps or have some tears in your eyes.
If you are just listening to the music, hear where the drums or guitars are kicking in, or if it is panned to the right or left. You will all of a sudden notice all these little nuances that you usually do not hear while listening to a song.
Another great way is to listen to Solfeggio Frequencies to center yourself.
Yikes you say, but yes, you have to do them anyway, why not incorporate some time into a meditation technique?
Let’s see, you could be doing your dishes, cook or tidy up a room. Whatever choice you make, be sure to concentrate and be fully aware of what you are doing. If you are washing the dishes by hand, feel how you are cleaning the plates, feel the warm water, the sponge, and feel the texture.
If you are tidying up a room, think of the object you are holding, think how it feels, look at the colors. The key here is to concentrate on the task itself.
Surround yourself with Mother Earth
Mother Earth has amazing beaches, mountains, trails, and lakes! Find a spot and just sit outside on your patio or backyard. The essence is to get away from the noise, the everyday chatter.
Make sure to unplug away from your digital devices. Just sit there for a few moments, and listen to the breeze go through the trees. Or if you are at the beach, listen to the waves crashing to shore or watch the pelicans. If you are in your backyard, can you hear the crickets?
Whatever you do, just take a few minutes to concentrate on one thing only.
If you still are having problems to hush your brain chatter, then don’t panic. You can always use this tried and true method:
This is a traditional yet easy way to get yourself into a meditative state. In guided meditation, something outside of us assists us to reach an altered state of consciousness and move closer to our spiritual core.
This assistance may come from teachers, music, a mantra, a chant or a technique such as brainwave synchronizations, which induces a meditative state by slowing the brainwave patterns of the listener.
Connecting with your soul can help you on your journey of finding your passion and expanding your consciousness and is best done through quiet contemplation, prayer or meditation. Even though there are plenty of reasons why we do not do it, there are a lot more benefits that outweigh the excuses.
Why not try something a different approach and see what works best for you. There is no wrong or right way to meditate. The idea is to just be aware of your present moment and allow space for inner divine guidance to come through in any form.