Meditation is defined as the art of letting go of everything and to discover your inner self by synchronizing your mind and body. It is a spiritual journey to self awareness and enlightenment. With its wide ranging benefits on the physical, mental and spiritual health of an individual, it is regarded as one of the keys to a happy and successful life.
What do We Mean by Meditation?
Meditation is the art of training and transforming your mind to avoid distractions and learn to observe without judgment. This type of exercise clears the mind and allows it to enter a state of balance which creates inner peace.
Key Benefits of Meditation
Meditation detoxifies the mind and relaxes the body. In addition, it helps to incorporate self development techniques which are required for living a well balanced and successful life. Here are some of the benefits of meditation:
- Reduces stress by inhibiting the release of stress hormone “cortisol”
- Prevents anxiety and associated disorders such as PTSD and depression by lowering stress levels
- Increases self control to combat chronic pain and addiction
- Enhances self awareness and builds self confidence by inducing self acceptance
- Develops feelings of empathy and compassion
- Sharpens focus and attention to details
- Imparts innovation and creativity
- Filters out pessimistic thoughts and negative emotions
- Boosts mental efficiency and productivity
- Strengthens altruistic behavior and social relationships
- Nurtures happiness, satisfaction and inner peace
- Regulates sound sleep
- Augments resilience and emotional intelligence
Forms of Meditation
There are a variety of forms of meditation. Some of the types are discussed below.
The term “mindful” means to be aware of our thoughts and current existence. Mindfulness meditation is regarded as one of the most effective forms of meditation as it allows us to observe our thoughts and notions without discernment. It teaches us to let go of our diversions and fully concentrate on our present moment. It has multiple, long term benefits on the overall health of an individual.
This type of meditation is usually led by a professional instructor thus referred to as guided meditation. It involves the formation of images or situations through imagination that is why it is also called guided imagery. Such type of exercise soothes and calms your mind and induces relaxation.
There are a number of guided meditation mindfulness training courses as well as beginners guided meditation programs available both online and on-site for learning and practicing guided meditation.
Transcendental meditation involves sitting in a convenient position with your eyes closed and repeating a particular sound or word known as “mantra”. It is usually practiced at least 20 minutes, twice a day. This form of meditation enhances your focus and attention by avoiding the distractions and concentrating on the mantra.
Loving kindness (metta) meditation
Metta means kindness and benevolence, from where the term loving-kindness meditation originated. It involves directing positive and kind feelings towards other human beings. In this practice, we repeat the words like “ May I be happy and peaceful” or “May I be safe and well” while sitting in a comfortable position. This kind of meditation cultivates empathy and compassion not only for one’s own self but also for others contributing to universal peace.
The word vipassana confers “insight” or “special seeing”. It is a primitive form of Indian meditation in which you learn to observe and focus on your thoughts without judging or labeling them which is different from mindfulness as it is way more specific. That includes training your mind to concentrate on a particular task by avoiding diversions and focusing on the present.
The term yoga literally means “union”. Hence, yoga is a meditation form that links the mind and body thereby establishing a state of equilibrium. This type of meditation practice includes a series of different postures and styles as well as breathing exercises to induce flexibility and plasticity which calms the mind and body.
Guide to Meditation for Beginners (Meditation Guided Online)
For beginners, there are various beginners guided meditation and guided meditation mindfulness training courses which are easy and helpful to practice. Here are some of the websites which offer online guided meditation courses.
These online guided meditation courses are quite beneficial for preventing stress and anxiety and are recommended for weight loss and obesity related problems respectively. Moreover, certain personal development training courses are also available for enhancing skills for personal growth and improvement.
Life today is a lot more hectic and stressful. In order to deal with all this, one should practice meditation. A sound mind and body is crucial to happiness and success and meditation is the most simple and effective way to achieve it. Hence, in order to lead a successful and contented life, one should practice regular meditation.