Use These Meditation Techniques Everyday To Help You To Better Relax
Yoda Would Be Proud: Meditation 101
Meditation is when your body and mind are are in a state of being consciously relaxed and focused. You are not asleep, but feeling completely relaxed. So why would you want to achieve this state of being? How about gaining increased awareness, improving your focus, and help with your concentration level? And if that wasn’t enough, it may just give you a more positive outlook on life itself.
Isn’t Mediation for monks & mystics?
It doesn’t matter if you don’t have the same spiritual discipline as they do. You don’t have to be a monk to enjoy the wonderful benefits which mediating can give. You don’t even have to create a separate, special place to practice (although you will benefit from having one), you just need to find a quiet place. Give meditation a try in your own living room after the kids have gone to bed.
The fundamental principles remain the same, no matter your approach. Just remember the most important thing is that you need to clear your mind of the garbage of everyday life. Remove, as best you can, any wandering, negative thoughts, and work on calming your mind, giving it a deep sense of focus. This allows you to deepen your focus on more meaningful thoughts.
Sights & Sounds
To help deepen your concentration, consider shutting out all sensory input, such as sight, sound and touch. This helps to detach yourself from the commotion around you.
- Sight – Clear out the room of clutter (as best you can), close your eyes.
- Sound – Turn off the TV & radio, close the door to your room, practice when no one is home.
- Touch – Sit with your hands on your lap (palms up), don’t hold anything, and wear loose clothing.
Next try to focus on one thought. It doesn’t have to be something deep and meaningful, just one thought which you enjoy. I find being on a beach with the waves lapping at my feet a perfect thing to help me focus.
All Those Thoughts!
When you are just starting out, all the thoughts popping in your head may seem deafening at first. Don’t worry, that is normal, we all have them. I believe it is only the most disciplined who can completely get rid of intruding thoughts. When each of those thoughts come in your head, gently think to yourself “not now, I will deal with that later”. You will find that these distractions will become less and less.
I can’t sit like a pretzel!
We’ve all seen them, whether on TV, in magazines, online, people in those unrealistic meditating positions. Legs crossed, feet soles up, backs arched, pretty much entire body completely contorted! You say there is no way you can sit like that. Don’t worry, I just want you to sit comfortably. The main purpose is to be comfortable enough to achieve maximum concentration.
However you wish to sit to start off, it needs to allow you to relax and focus. Try to keep your back straight, but comfortable, don’t tense up your muscles or that will become a distraction for you when they get all sore and tired. Don’t slouch, and please don’t get so comfy that you fall asleep.
What should I wear?
No this is not a party that you need to buy a new outfit for. Just wear something loose and comfortable as you don’t want the distraction of your waistband cutting into you. Remember us getting rid of the the sense of touch? Besides, I want you to concentrate which you cannot do if your clothes are too tight and are irritating you.
I don’t have a spare room in my house
As I said, you don’t need a separate room just for meditation, although that would be great, just somewhere with a soothing atmosphere. You just need to feel comfortable, be it your living room, bedroom, wherever you find the least distracting. If possible, arrange the room to be the most soothing to your senses. Now if you have considered trying to sit in the more challenging positions we talked about, you may want to splurge a little on yourself and buy an exercise mat. This will allow you to be more comfortable and focused.
The room you choose should be quiet, away from ringing (or vibrating) phones, the hum of the dishwasher or laundry machine, etc. Lighting some candles will help you relax, so stock up on some aromatic candles.
You have probably seen them on TV, monks making monotonous sounds. That is called a mantra. The easiest way to explain it is that it is a simple sound which helps them concentrate their focus. For some it can even hold a mystic value. You don’t need to follow suit, just focus on your breathing, or try humming as it can help you reach a higher state of consciousness.
Focus… Focus… Focus
You may have notice, as I have said it many times, everything you are doing is to help you focus while you meditate. If you feel more comfortable keeping your eyes open, then focus on one object in the room. Something you like to look at, and which will relax you.
A repeated action will increase your focus, such as concentrating on your breathing. Another option is to focus on each part of your body, one at a time, and if you notice any tension, concentrate on releasing it. Not only will this help relax you, you will come out of your mediation with your entire body feeling relaxed and refreshed. It works wonders.
The benefits of mediation are well worth any effort you put into it. There are studies showing the physiologic effects it has on the body, which has cause the medical community to seek further study, which may turn the practice of meditation from mystical to science.
This gives you a good overview of how to start mediating, and some of the benefits of mediation, so let’s get started, go relax.