While meditation is steadily rising in popularity mainly due to the amount of good press being given to it of late, there’s still so much more room for growth around what exactly meditation is and how it works.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is what happens when you step back from the mind and you are not caught up in ‘doing’ anything. No action, no thought, no emotion. Instead, you can just be. That is meditation. Just the simple act of being fully present in the moment without anything disturbing the mind or body, that’s when a deep happiness and joy arises.
Most people think that to be happy and in joy with our life there needs to be a set of circumstances, experiences, or emotions to help us feel this way. While people, places, and events can make us feel happy this happiness can be taken away if any of those things change for the worse.
The happiness and joy that comes from meditation cannot be taken away because it’s always present. Think of it this way. From the moment we get out of bed to the moment we fall asleep we are in a constant state of stress. Stress from the everyday pressures and distractions of modern living.
Most of this stress comes from the mind. It’s what we think about most of the time that causes us to get disturbed mentally, emotionally or physically. This stress then creates tension in the mind and body. Tension can feel like headaches, stiff muscles, inflexible attitudes, or even things like tiredness, agitation, and depression. All of which are reactions to tension in our lives.
We literally don’t get any escape from the stress and tension of the mind and body until we fall asleep. Even then, many people still wake up the next day still feeling as exhausted as when they went to bed because they didn’t get a good nights rest.
How Does Meditation Work?
Meditation helps us to access the same state we go into when we are in deep sleep. It’s a state where the mind is no longer active. When that happens, then all stress drops away from the mind and body. It’s this dropping of stress and tension that creates space for our mind-body system to deeply relax and rejuvenate.
When we meditate, we get to access this same space while being awake. That’s why science has become so interested in meditation. More and more research is showing what happens to the brain during meditation and just how much of a positive impact this has on our health, happiness, relationships, and self-esteem.
Meditation helps us to access our natural state of being which is utterly relaxed. It’s what happens when we drop all doing, even the doing of thinking, and just be. In this state of deep relaxation then inner-peace naturally arises within us. That’s when we become filled with a happiness and joy for life that arises naturally just from being centered and having a quiet mind.
From this same space of being you’ll also find that you have more clarity, more creativity, and a stronger zest for life. In a sense, it’s like you get to free your mind while at the same time unleashing your spirit.
A Simple Guide To 5 Minute Meditations
I’ve been studying, applying and teaching meditation for 20+ years. During this time I’ve come to understand why it works for some, yet it doesn’t appear to for others. If you’re fairly new to meditation and have found it difficult to make meditation a daily habit, then this may help.
1. Don’t take meditation so seriously.
It’s meant to be fun and simple, not hard and complex. If the meditation techniques you have already tried make you feel more frustrated than fulfilled, then I recommend that you keep looking until you find one that works for you.
2. Try to meditate at the same time each day.
Some like to meditate in the morning, some at night. Do whatever you’re most likely to stick to. Aim for a 5-minute meditation so that the mind doesn’t have too much time to sabotage your experience.
3. Be comfortable.
Unless you were born in the Himalayas, then it’s highly unlikely your body will naturally adapt to some of the more technical meditation postures. Instead, be kind to your body and make comfort a priority. Not too comfortable so that you fall asleep but just comfortable enough that your body can relax.
4. Don’t worry if your mind won’t shut up.
All meditators experience mental chatter. If they tell you they don’t – then they are most likely kidding themselves. It’s not that the mind is meant to stop thinking, it’s just that we gradually learn how to step back from the busy mind so that it’s not quite so loud.
5. Focus your attention.
The secret to quieting the mind is to be non-judgmental towards it. How you achieve this is to spend the entire 5-minutes of your meditation just watching your thoughts comes and go without getting caught up in them. No matter what thoughts pop-up in the mind, just accept them and let them go.
Just by following these 5 simple guidelines to five-minute meditations you’ll instantly discover just how easy it can be to go from doing to being. To get the fastest results see if you can stick to your meditation every day for 30 days. You can do it as soon as you wake up, during your lunch break, or even before you go to bed. It’ll be the best 5-minutes you spend all day.
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