- 1 Meditation is an ancient art of self-discovery that can allow you to tap into your natural sense of empathy, improve focus and concentration, and reduce stress (to name just a few benefits).
- 2 If you think mindfulness or meditation could help you, start with a few minutes.
- 3 You don’t have to be perfect.
- 4 Be comfortable before you begin.
- 5 Use natural sounds if you need them to stay focused and present.
- 6 Go outside.
- 7 There are multiple types of meditation.
- 8 There are multiple ways to meditate, but the important thing is that it helps you live more in the moment and reduce stress.
Meditation is an ancient art of self-discovery that can allow you to tap into your natural sense of empathy, improve focus and concentration, and reduce stress (to name just a few benefits).
Though the term ‘meditation’ is commonly used to describe this practice, there are many different types of meditation. Some traditions involve silent reflection, while others focus on a mantra that you repeat either out loud or in your head.
These differences can also be broken down into two subcategories: concentrative meditation and mindfulness meditation. The former involves focusing on one thing—such as your breath—to the exclusion of anything else. Mindfulness meditation requires that you pay attention to whatever comes up in your awareness, whether those are sensations in your body, sounds in your environment, or thoughts that arise in your mind.
If you think mindfulness or meditation could help you, start with a few minutes.
If you think mindfulness or meditation could be a useful tool for you to improve concentration, we encourage you to give it a try. Try just a few minutes of practice at first. You can start with as little as five minutes, and slowly increase the amount of time that it takes. Five minutes may not seem like much, but even in small doses meditation can have positive effects on your health and wellbeing. It doesn’t matter if you only do it for a few minutes — those few minutes will benefit you in other ways throughout your day, especially if they are done regularly over time.
Meditation doesn’t have to be rigid or formal (it is generally not helpful to be strict with yourself), and it doesn’t require any special equipment or settings; all you need is yourself!
You don’t have to be perfect.
The first thing to understand about meditation is that there’s no such thing as “the perfect meditator,” or even “perfect meditation.” It’s an ongoing practice, and your mind will wander. Sometimes you’ll be incredibly present; other times, not so much. The key to making meditation work for you is simply to keep at it: make a habit of silencing the noise in your brain and focusing on each breath. Over time, this will automatically become easier because you’ve created new habits that are easier than the old ones.A reader who practices these ideas will begin to reap the rewards of a calmer mind.
Be comfortable before you begin.
You may have noticed that the body is a major part of meditation.
If you’re uncomfortable, you’ll never be able to achieve focus and stillness.
The first thing to do before meditating is to make sure you are comfortable.
Make sure that you are warm enough; if not, put on another layer of clothing or throw on a blanket.
Make sure that your back and neck are straight, which will help keep your mind focused.
Next, check in with yourself physically — make sure that you don’t need anything like food or drink before you begin.
Finally, take care of any bodily needs such as going to the bathroom.
Use natural sounds if you need them to stay focused and present.
“Many people find it helpful to listen to a guided meditation, or even natural sounds like the ocean or birdsong. If you are one of those people, there is no shame in taking advantage of this resource,” says Kestenbaum. “Meditation is meant to help you feel more focused and present—and if a recording helps you do that better than trying to focus on your own breath, then go for it.”
In fact, some studies have shown that listening to nature sounds can actually decrease stress levels and increase relaxation. If nature sounds aren’t your thing, other options include meditation music and even city sounds.
Taking your meditation outside (or at least to a window with a view) can be an excellent way to center yourself and focus on the present. Natural sounds tend to have a calming effect—so if you’re near a babbling brook or ocean waves, use them as the soundtrack for your session!
If you’re struggling with concentrating, remember that meditating doesn’t have to be perfect. You don’t need to worry about whether you’re doing it right or not—you just need to be present in the moment. If you find yourself constantly thinking of the past or future, keep bringing your attention back to your breath and the sound of nature around you. The point is not perfection; it’s relaxation.
And finally, if all else fails, there’s no shame in using guided meditations! Guided meditations are great for beginners who are finding it hard to get into a rhythm and could also help pros who are hitting a wall in their own practice. There are plenty of apps out there (such as HeadSpace) that will walk you through each step of mindfulness meditation, keeping you focused on deep breathing and being present in the now.
There are multiple types of meditation.
It’s important to know that there are many different forms of meditation, each with its own advantages and benefits. For example, mindfulness meditation is simple and easy to learn, but it can be repetitive and focus less on the specific technique you’re using than it does on learning to simply be mindful in your daily life. Loving-kindness meditation involves thinking about someone else, such as a close friend or family member, while reciting a mantra that expresses compassion toward that person. This is basically the same thing as mindfulness meditation except you’re doing it toward a specified person instead of just being mindful in general. Mantra meditations are more time-consuming because they involve chanting an incantation before every sitting session (one round), but they can help you tap into a spiritual energy that calms the mind and connects us with universal love.
In the end, finding your favorite type of meditation is all about trying out new things until something works for you—and don’t be afraid to experiment!
There are multiple ways to meditate, but the important thing is that it helps you live more in the moment and reduce stress.
In today’s fast-paced society, everyone could use a little more mindfulness. Meditation is one of the best ways to slow down and live in the moment. It also reduces anxiety, which is a natural side effect of feeling overwhelmed by too much life happening at once.
There are many different types of meditation, but all forms share the same goal—to help you feel calmer and less stressed out.
Here are some examples:
- Mindfulness meditation: This form encourages you to focus on the present moment with nonjudgmental awareness and acceptance.
- Mantra meditation: Here, you repeat a calming word or phrase over and over again to empty your mind and promote relaxation.
- Open monitoring meditation: This type asks that you calmly observe whatever sensations arise without focusing on any one thing in particular.
- Loving-kindness meditation: This practice entails repeating words or phrases (e.g., “love,” “peace”) as you consciously focus on feelings of warmth toward yourself and others.
- Body scan meditation: In this type of meditative practice, you check in with how your body feels from head to toe while paying attention to physical sensations such as temperature changes or aches in your muscles and joints. If any thoughts come up during your body scan, simply acknowledge them non-judgmentally before returning your attention to sensations in your body.