The benefits of meditation: A starters guide
Today, I would like to tell you about the value of mediation.
I meditate regularly, twenty minutes a day, and this could be in the morning or in the evening, depending on my needs.
During my morning meditation, I usually do the sitting lotus position. In this way, I'm giving daily stress a minimum amount of chance to rear its ugly head. At night I don't meditate in a seated position, but lying down. This is an excellent technique for me to let go of the daily events and transcend into a deep relaxed feeling.
I teach these meditation techniques to those who visit my practice, and they too experience the positive effects of the power of meditation.
Why is meditating beneficial?
Meditating for half an hour per day is the equivalent of six hours of sleep. But meditation does even more than that. It's been scientifically proven that workers who meditate have a higher tolerance to frustration, a better working environment, more cheerful and optimistic mood, and higher levels of energy. It also reduces stress and fatigue. Even if you engage in meditation for just a few minutes a day, it has positive effects on your health and your happiness.
What happens to your body when you meditate?
When we meditate we immediately let go of all of our stress and anger, and we transcend into ultimate relaxation. Our breathing and heartbeat slows down, our blood pressure lowers, and our muscles start relaxing. The amount of lactic acid in the blood decreases and skin resistance increases. During meditation, our oxygen consumption decreases within a mere few minutes. Because of this, our brain functions better and we get into a mental state in which an absolute sense of wellbeing overwhelms us.
Positive effects of meditation:
- Meditation gives you a peaceful sensation.
- You let go of stress and add perspective to your life.
- You connect, as it were, with your deeper self.
- It reduces the stress hormones in your body, lowers your blood pressure and allows your body to recover.
Tip to practice to meditate:
- You can either sit or lie down, depending on your personal preference.
- Or, you could choose the lotus position, in which you place your left foot on your right leg and your right foot on your left leg. Then, it's all about rest and concentration, so choose a place that is quiet.
- Make sure to put your head in line with your back so that your spine is straight, follow your breath, be yourself and be aware of the air that is flowing into your lungs.
Notice how your belly emerges. Breathe in and breathe out as quietly as you can.
Don't change your breathing.
- If you become distracted, try to find that quiet place once again whereby you are focusing on your breath.
And the key to success?
Don't think of anything, let go of your thoughts.
How on earth does one do this?
Admittedly, it is a very difficult process. In the beginning, your mind will be flooded with thoughts, but with time and practice, you will learn to quiet your mind.
The art of meditation is to gradually decrease your thoughts - let them come and go and keep concentrating on your breath. You could, for example, picture your thoughts as little clouds in a bright blue sky. Observe the clouds and let them float quietly by.
With practice, you will be able to observe your thoughts, and extinguish mental activity during meditation, if only for a few minutes.
My advice to those who wish to start meditating?
Try it for just five minutes each day, and you'll slowly start to notice huge changes.
I wish you great peace of mind.
Sincerely, Lieve Plasch
- Lic. Psychology.