You may often feel overburdened under a mountain of stress. In such times, it is essential to take some time out and calm yourself down. As a result, you will rejuvenate your lost energy and conquer the day with the utmost zeal and confidence.
One of the best practices to do so is meditation. It is an age-old technique that has been effective for centuries. It is a simple practice that facilitates the reduction of stress and anxiety, increases calmness, and promotes overall happiness.
However, it may be an overwhelming experience for a beginner to sit in one place for a long time and think about nothing. Hence, you can look to experiment with the below-mentioned tools and techniques to ease into your meditation experience.
This requires you to focus on one particular point while you meditate. You can start off by following your breath, inhaling and exhaling calmly and consciously.
Alternatively, you can turn your undivided focus towards any object; say the flame of a candle, or the tranquil sounds of any mantra.
As a beginner, you can start off by doing this for a few minutes every day and gradually progress towards longer durations. Through this technique, you simply let go of your random interfering thoughts. Hence, your ability to concentrate slowly builds up for the better.
This technique aims at making you aware of all the wandering thoughts lingering around in your mind. The basic rationale is not to judge these thoughts, but to observe them as they drift through your mind.
With the gradual practice of this technique, you tend to trace the patterns in your thoughts. You learn more about your tendencies to classify your thoughts as positive and negative, pleasant or unpleasant. Slowly, you develop an inner balance between these thoughts.
Body Scan Meditation
This requires you to trace your body from your toes to the top of your head by focusing on one point at a time. However, you are not supposed to think about anything else and provide your undivided attention to the point of focus.
Begin your journey from the tip of the toes. You can imagine a spotlight over the area of focus to ease your focus. Gradually, shift focus towards your feet, your ankle, and your calves. Hold the focus on each point for a few seconds.
Move up towards your leg, pelvis, abdomen, lower back, upper back, chest, and shoulders, and arms, all the way down to your fingertips. Slowly, feel the focus shift towards your neck and different parts of your face, before you experience it on your head.
If at any point you feel that your focus has drifted off the road, try to bring it back to the last point of your body that you remember. You can resume the process from there and continue moving upwards from there.
You can seek the assistance of different tools to aid your meditation process. Some of the most commonly adopted measures are listening to audiotapes, reciting a mantra, or counting the beads of a mala.
However, in times of advancing technology, the process of meditation has simplified for good. Today, there are abundant mobile applications that assist in guided meditations. These applications are available for free download on Google Play Store and Apple Store.
Headspace helps you in discovering a calm and well-balanced life through guided meditation and mindfulness techniques. It is suitable for both daytime and nighttime use.
It has a vast collection of over 10 different types of sleep music which you can listen to at night to improve your sleep patterns. Additionally, it has over 16 nature soundscapes, providing for a serene environment for meditation.
Calm comes with several breathing exercises that can help you to relax and feel stress-free. The Sleep Stories section has soothing audio notes from famous actors such as Matthew McConaughey and others. This is sure to guarantee you a good night’s sleep.
The app aims to make meditation a mindful experience for all its users. In one of its latest updates for Apple Watch, it has included three new breathing exercises and a calming walking meditation which can be easily accessed through your watch.
Meditation comes with several physical and mental health benefits if you practice it religiously. All you need to do is sit back in a comfortable place and position, close your eyes and focus.