Meditation is an ancient practice that is experiencing great popularity in the West in the last decade, because there are many benefits for mental and emotional well-being and is very useful in these times.
Whether it is to calm the mind, to find oneself or to reduce anxiety or stress, more and more people are interested in introducing this practice into their daily lives, improving their quality of life.
But meditating is not always easy, especially at the beginning, as it requires discipline and practice for perfection. And as much as it may not seem physically demanding, it also requires effort. Nothing is free in this life, but if you know how much meditation can bring to your life, you will most likely feel the need to begin to familiarize yourself with its techniques.
The benefits of meditation
In recent years, research on this practice has shown that meditation is effective in improving people’s mental health. What are these benefits? What is the use of meditating? Meditation benefits us for various reasons:
- Mitigates the effects of stress
- Positively affects the immune system
- Improves attention and concentration
- Useful for empathizing with others
- Increases pain tolerance
- Improves memory and cognitive functions
- Encourages the emergence of positive thoughts
You can learn more about these benefits in our article: “Benefits of Meditation Backed by Science”
The 7 Steps to Learning to Meditate
The key to developing the habit of meditation is finding the perfect time for you and the type of meditation and posture that fits you. In the beginning you can experiment with the different types of meditation and the correct posture to find the necessary comfort and the ideal state of mind to carry out this practice.
But you must know that to overcome the resistances that you may sometimes encounter during the meditative process, continuing with the practice is what really makes you better. If you want to know how to meditate correctly, follow these steps that I indicate below.
1. Wear comfortable clothes
The first thing you should do to meditate and be in the here and now is to wear comfortable clothes. Taking off your shoes and choosing a wide garment is the best alternative to feel ready to meditate . Forget about tight clothes and take off your watch or other accessories that may be annoying.
2. Find a quiet place
It is necessary to find a place that allows you to be relaxed and without interruptions or interference. It can be the room of your house, the seashore or your garden … Any place is good if it allows you to be comfortable and focused, totally immersed in the activity you are about to undertake.
3. Sit correctly
To meditate you must sit correctly, that is, on the floor with your back straight, but without tension , breathing deeply and keeping your shoulders and arms relaxed. Some people prefer to sit in a chair or on their knees instead of the classic posture, and there is also lying down meditation. Whatever position you adopt, your back should always be straight and your body, especially your shoulders and arms, should be relaxed.
4. Focus on an object
Focus on an object or on the breath (with your eyes closed) when you start meditative practice . Later on, you can do other types of meditation, such as “body scanning” or sound meditation.
5. Accept the thoughts that come up and move on
It is common for different thoughts to arise during the practice of meditation: our personal problems, the discomfort of the moment, or the insecurity of whether we are doing the meditation well or not (something that usually happens when we are initiated into this practice). But this is something normal and, therefore, we must accept it .
Meditation focuses on the idea that psychological well-being is a state that emerges from the acceptance of thoughts, emotions and bodily sensations without trying to eliminate or modify them, simply observing them in a non-judgmental way. Therefore, when these thoughts appear, one simply has to accept them and then refocus attention on the object , the breath, the sound or the body sensation.
6. Increase your meditation time progressively
When you start meditating, you should start slowly and then increase the time . It is ideal to start with the meditation of one minute, to progressively reach 20 or 30 minutes a day that will help you to improve your well-being. Take a look at this video to find out what the one-minute meditation is:
7. Add it to your daily routine
After reading the previous steps, you are now ready to make meditation a healthy habit . With the practice you will become a great meditator, which will help you achieve the benefits of this ancient practice.
The practice of meditation is something very easy to incorporate into our habits of life as a way to gain in well-being and capacity to manage stress.
Moreover, today there are ways to make this activity even more accessible. The Meyo application, for example, is the perfect pocket personal trainer to learn to meditate and progress day by day. It is a program available for smartphones and tablets that provides all the instructions and guidelines needed to perform Mindfulness meditation whenever and wherever you want.
It is a very interesting proposal in which the millennial practice of guided meditation meets the potential of new technologies to learn quickly, effectively and without time constraints.
Psychology and meditation: Mindfulness exercises
In recent years, meditation has become part of psychological therapy (for example, thanks to Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy or MBCT), but it has also begun to be implemented in organizations, schools or sports.
And the fact is that, from psychology, many professionals have realized the benefits of meditation, and specifically mindfulness , for mental health, interpersonal relationships, creativity or optimal performance, whether in sport, school or work.
- If you want to start practicing mindfulness, we suggest you read the following article: “5 mindfulness exercises to improve your emotional well-being”