Connect with us

Life

Meditation for Beginners: How It Works and Where to Start

Published

on

meditation for beginners
Image Credit: Pixabay

Meditation was first developed in India many years ago (around 5000-3500 BCE). It took quite some time to become popular in the western world, but today, it is celebrated as a therapeutic tool to ease stress, anxiety, depression, and addictions. In the past years, it has also become recognized as helping to improve mental performance, and consequently became a multi-billion dollar business. If you’ve never tried it, you may be wondering how something so simple as sitting with your eyes closed could deliver such incredible benefits.

How meditation works

Meditation is about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective over one’s thoughts. Many think that meditating is about trying to achieve a zen state of mind, but that’s not the point. Observing one’s thoughts, and then letting go of them so that eventually you may start to better understand them, is the real goal of each meditation practice.

There are different techniques to go through this mental process. Some focus on the breath and bodily sensation, others make you visualize an object, and others help you to channel your thoughts towards acts of love and kindness.

A typical meditation session involves you sitting on a chair or cross-legged on the floor with your eyes closed. Once you assume a comfortable position and focus on your breath, you should start noticing your thoughts. At this point, according to what type of technique you’re using, you will try to let those thoughts go away by focusing on something else (this could be your breath or a mental image you created).

With time and practice, you may be able to reach a state of mind where very few thoughts (or none) are present. Despite the simplicity of this process, meditating for more than ten minutes is extremely tough for most. Many people that try meditation get discouraged by the fact that “they can’t stop thinking.” In fact, it has been proven that people spend most of their days being anything but mindful and peaceful.

In a 2010 study, Harvard researchers asked more than 2000 adults about their thoughts and actions at random moments throughout their day via an iPhone app. People’s minds wandered 47% of the time, and mind wandering often triggered unhappiness, the scientists reported.

They also observed that spending time observing our thoughts without getting stuck on them, may help to better understand oneself, and possibly being able to reduce the number of negative thoughts one experiences.

“The mind is definitely something that can be transformed, and meditation is a means to transform it.” – Dalai Lama

What science says about meditation

People have practiced meditation for thousands of years, but scientists have studied its effects for only a dozen. In the past few years, many studies have been published about the neurological benefits of meditation, proving it to improve brain function in many different ways.

Meditation’s benefits range from preserving the aging brain, to improving happiness by reducing the activity of the brain’s “me center” (monkey mind). A more recent study has even proven that meditation is as powerful as antidepressants in treating depression, anxiety, and pain. Many more studies are being conducted every day on meditation, and we can expect to gain a lot more insight in the near future.

Can anyone meditate?

Millions of people are practicing mindfulness meditation every day with great results, but there are also as many people that have tried meditating and didn’t like it or didn’t manage to be consistent with their practice. The most important part of developing a meditation practice is consistency. You don’t have to meditate every single day, but the benefits are tied to regular, consistent practice.

Some studies claim that some benefits of meditation such as improved mood, decreased stress and decreased blood pressure, can be felt after a single session. Some other benefits like increased focus and decreased anxiety may be experienced after a few weeks and others take longer to develop.

Some people claim that as little as five minutes of meditation per day can make miracles, but research shows that a regular practice associated with benefits involves 10-20 minutes of meditation at least three times per week.

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.” – Mother Teresa

What’s the best way to begin a meditation practice?

A good place to start for aspiring mediators is Headspace. Andy Puddicombe, a former English student in sport science, dropped his studies to travel to Asia and trained as a Buddhist monk. He created Headspace with the goal of helping millions of people to live a more mindful life. Over 30 million people have downloaded and use headspace. This is due to his simplicity and its beautiful design and animations.

Do you meditate? If so, what’s your favorite aspect of it? Share your thoughts below!

Davide Alfonsi is a London celebrity personal trainer, high-performance coach, author, and mindfulness coach. Davide teaches busy professionals, CEOs and executives to perform at the highest standards through exercise, nutrition and mindfulness. He is the author of the book “Stress-Free In Seven Simple Steps” and along with his career, he helped hundreds of busy people to achieve life-changing transformations. To know more about Davide and his company head over to his website www.ki-force.com or his Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/kiforcetraining.

Advertisement
2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. kidfrompu

    Aug 10, 2019 at 7:55 pm

    it sure helped me to create some distance between me and my thoughts,useful tool

  2. Priyannka Gupta

    Jul 24, 2019 at 3:07 am

    Nice article! Meditation is a way to change our lives for the better. We all should practice meditation regularly to see it’s wonders.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Life

Do Not Let Fear Beat You: 6 Ways to Boost Your Courage Right Now

Published

on

how to overcome your fears
Image Credit: Unsplash

The most important purpose of fear, which is to help us stay safe, has served humankind faithfully ever since the first people roamed the Earth. It represents our fight-or-flight response to dangerous situations, heightening our awareness and sharpening our senses in moments when it matters the most. This is why, contrary to widespread perception, fear isn’t necessarily a bad thing. (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

8 Life Changing Benefits of Journaling Daily

Published

on

benefits of journaling daily
Image Credit: Unsplash

The majority of people write every single day without even noticing. Are you one of them? Do you chat with your loved ones using your smartphone or reply to emails sent by colleagues at the workplace? Do you write to potential customers regularly? Writing is one aspect of life that cannot be easily eliminated. (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

Here’s What You Should Do When You’re Overloaded With Work

Published

on

how to deal with too much work
Image Credit: Unsplash

You’ve been busy all your life. Every day, you show up to work in haste with a big to-do list in your hand. You want to write that business proposal, make those phone calls, engage with your employees, and attend that business conference in Paris. So, you begin to feel tired, exhausted even. In fact, you begin to lose interest in your career—because you’re always overloaded with too much work. (more…)

Continue Reading

Life

3 Ways You Can Help Your Children Develop Good Learning Habits

Published

on

how to help kids develop good habits
Image Credit: Unsplash

There are a million publications out there on how to raise kids successfully. The truth is, there is no one way that works. But there are a few things that you can do that will give your kids the best possible chance of achieving success—whatever “success” ends up meaning to them. (more…)

Continue Reading

Trending