Meditation for Dummies

Meditation is to the mind as exercise is to the body.

“In Buddhist tradition, the word ‘meditation’ is equivalent to a word like ‘sports’ in the U.S. It’s a family of activities, not a single thing,” University of Wisconsin neuroscience director Richard J. Davidson, Ph.D., told The New York Times.

Training your mind through meditation has many life-altering perks, and it only takes five or ten minutes a day. I’ve been practicing the art of meditation for a little over a year and I can 100 percent see a difference in my attitude and thoughtfulness.

Some of the benefits I’ve experienced:

  • Rooted relaxation
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Less anxiety
  • Deeper sleep
  • Increased performance and productivity
  • Allows you to create a safe space much easier
  • Less perspiration
  • Lower blood pressure and heart rate
  • Increased patience
  • Less stress
  • Higher stamina

Meditation allows you to become more in-tune with your body and mind. After a ton of practice I’m now able to feel each breath circulate through my body, and control a state of limbo.

Getting started wasn’t easy, I’m a very fidgety person. I’m always either playing with the ends of my hair or bouncing my right leg up and down at an alarming speed. So you could say sitting still in complete silence for a few minutes with my eyes closed was strenuous.

I found it really hard to meditate on my own at first, so I relied on an app on my phone to get me started. I use the app called “Headspace.”

It’s free to download and use for the first few sessions, but I’ve also heard great things about the other meditation apps called “Calm” and “Simple Habit.” These apps are available on iTunes app store and Google Play.

Through these apps you’re coached by a single voice, that tells you to close your eyes and immerse yourself in your breathing patterns.

It’s a really soothing experience and tone. Once you get through a few sessions you’ll crawl back for more, and eventually you won’t even need the app anymore!

Every morning when I wake up I stretch, and take five or ten minutes (whatever I have time for) and just use those minutes to set myself up for a more mindful and positive day.

What I really like when using these apps is they instruct you to sit up straight and have your feet on the ground.

When I originally thought of meditation I imagined criss-cross-apple-sauce in an uncomfortable pretzel position. But in reality it’s nothing like that unless you want it to be.

I like having my feet on the ground because it allows me to focus on my bodyweight, and feel myself sitting down.

It’s amazing how mastering your breathing can positively affect you in other aspects of your life. It can be used as a calming technique, it can benefit you when you’re exercising, when you’re holding your breath, swimming, singing, etc. the list goes on.

Simple habits like meditation allow you to really understand your mind and your body. It opens you up to your inner power and grants you a peace of mind.

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