Every day we experience stress and our bodies react in physical, mental and emotional responses. Stress is really an imbalance between the demands we place on ourselves and the resources available to manage them. The amount of stress a person feels is dependent on their attitude and approach to a particular situation. One person may feel extremely stressful about an event while the other person perceives it as a minor aggravation.
However, a prolonged amount of stress can cause physical harm to the body. Meditation affects the body in the opposite direction. It helps to calm your physical state by slowing down your respirations (breathing) and reducing your heart rate.
This practice also enables us to uncover a deeper understanding of our inner being. A daily routine can enlighten and give us inspiration about our true purpose and passion. It provides clarity to create a solid foundation where our thoughts are in alignment with our goals.
Breathing Meditation is one of the most popular forms of meditation and is the perfect technique for beginners due to its simplicity and convenience.
Choose a quiet place to meditate and sit in a comfortable, seated position. The goal is to keep your back straight and your mind focused to prevent any sluggish or sleepy feeling.
If you create a specific ending time, it will be easier to let go and relax into your meditation. If you fall asleep while practicing, the alarm will awaken you and keep you on track.
Begin by taking slow deep breaths and notice the rhythm of your breathing. Relax your shoulders, your jawbone and breathe deeply. You will notice your breathing becomes calm, more regular and shallower. With every breath inhale peace and when you exhale, imagine all your restlessness and negative emotions disappearing.
Let the awareness of your breath keep you anchored in the present moment. As thoughts come up, recognize them, and let them flow. Always direct your attention to your breathing and cultivate a stillness with your body, mind and breath.
Mantra Meditation is a form of meditation where you use a repetitive word or sound to allow yourself to be mindful and slow down the thought process. This is a very powerful meditation technique and a deeply spiritual practice, however, you do not need to be “religious” to experience the gifts this practice offers.
This type of meditation is an ancient practice affecting the body and mind. With its repetitive word vibrations it creates healing responses physically, mentally and spiritually.
You can use any word, phrase or sound, as long as it brings the mind into a state of relaxing and peace. A good mantra to begin with is OM. OM is the most universal sound vibration and is always an excellent and effective mantra to use.
Begin by choosing a quiet room free of distractions. Sit in a comfortable, seated position with your back straight. Begin by taking slow, deep breaths to relax both your body and mind.
Use any word, phrase or sound you will repeat to yourself. The sound or word you choose should be simple and comfortable to repeat.
As you repeat the mantra, focus only on the sound and feel it resonate throughout your body. If you find your thoughts wandering, redirect your attention back to the mantra. You can start this meditation for 5 or 10 minutes and slowly work up to 20 to 30 minutes.
Once you have completed your practice take several minutes to come back to the present and slowly open your eyes. You should feel soothed and relaxed. By doing this meditation consistently, you will slowly see the benefits and eventually master this technique.
A Final Note
Meditation is the easiest way to reduce stress and give you inner peace. The benefits are an improvement in your emotional well-being and overall health. The benefits do not end when you meditation practice is complete, it carries on throughout your day giving you a sense of calmness and serenity.