In today’s busy world of incessant social media, endless emails and the 9-5 rat race, we are saturated with the stress of psychological overload. Our minds our over-stimulated and as a result, our bodies are paying the price.
Meditation is one of the best ways to combat the effects of daily stress and emotional instability. I like to meditate for a minimum of 25 minutes a day. Typically in the mornings, but even 5 mins of meditation a day can reduce stress and quiet the mind.
The Benefits of Meditation
Simple meditation techniques can produce amazing results for both the body and mind, such as lowering blood pressure, increasing circulation or facilitating increased creativity.
The Science Behind Meditation
Scientists and neuroscientists, through the use of functioning magnetic resonance imaging and cat scans can now demonstrate the effect of meditation on the brain. Cortisol, the stress hormone, can be reduced by simply controlling your breath through the use of mindful meditation. The default network in your brain which is connected to both introspection and concentration slows down activity when meditating. When the mind wanders it tends to concentrate on negative issues thus creating stress but through meditation that function is less active
How to Begin a Meditation Practice
I typically set my alarm for 25 minutes in the morning just before I begin my meditation practice. I sit in a comfortable position with my eyes either open or closed. And I always meditate outdoors. In the beginning you may find that your mind may wander. They key is to invite all of your distraction into your meditation. Do not ignore them, otherwise they will become even louder. Ultimately, all these distractions will cease as you learn to focus your mind.
Some people like using a mantra, some people like using a word. The power of a mantra is that you can’t assign a meaning to it, therefore you can’t associate any thoughts with it as you empty your mind. A simple mantra such as ‘I am’ is helpful to many people when they begin their practice.
Before you begin to meditate, relax your body completely. Then, follow your breath. As you breathe in you will notice that the breath is cool, as you breath out you will notice that your breath is warm. Focus on your breath and bring in your mantra while concentrating on the bridge between your eyes.
The Power of Meditation
Through meditation you actually develop consciousness. In fact, by accessing your own unconscious you gather insight into your conflicts, and find the capacity and resources to meet them.
Whether it is a psychological journey or spiritual journey- the model is the same: the path to consciousness. In our world of artificial images, meditation can awaken you to your own magnificent source and by doing so transform you.