Stress can become overwhelming when you do not take a little time to recharge occasionally. Meditation is a great way to de-stress and regain control of your hectic day. No matter how busy you are, making time in your schedule for meditation will help you become more relaxed, focused and productive.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation is an ancient practice that is used to help people achieve a state of relaxation. Early versions of meditation were first practiced in China and India and were used to encourage spiritual growth and development. Today, meditation is also used for stress reduction and self improvement.
Benefits of Meditation
In addition to stress reduction, meditation has several other benefits. When you meditate, you focus on your present situation instead of dwelling on the past. You might find that meditation, not only helps you rid your mind of negative thoughts, but also helps you create a sense of self awareness. After you finish meditating, it's often easier to develop a new perspective about a situation that has been troubling you.
Although there are many types of meditation, the following types are good choices if you only have a few minutes to spare.
If you have ever watched a character in a movie repeat "om" over and over again, you are already familiar with mantra meditation. In mantra meditation, you repeat the same word or phrase, called your mantra, as you meditate. Focusing only on your mantra keeps stray thoughts from distracting you.
During mindfulness mediation, the focus is on breathing in and out. Although you do not try to block out thoughts or emotions, you also do not obsess about them or devote any energy to them. Your primary focus is the way air flows in and out of your lungs.
Guided meditation involves imagining a place or image you find relaxing. Focusing on this image and imagining the textures, sounds and smells that go along with it can help you release negative energy.
No matter what type of meditation you choose, it is important to keep the following in mind:
- Focus. Keeping your focus on your mantra, your breathing or the image is essential. When you first start meditating, do not be discouraged if your mind occasionally wanders. Meditation involves training the mind, which usually cannot be accomplished in just one session.
- Comfort. Find a comfortable position in which to practice meditation. It does not matter if you stand, sit or lie down. As long as you are comfortable, you can meditate anywhere, from your cubicle to the commuter train.
- Quiet. Look for a quiet spot to spend a few minutes meditating. If you work in a loud, busy office, you might want to use an empty conference room for meditation. If you can successfully tune out distractions, meditation is possible virtually anywhere.
- Breathing. Controlling your breathing is an important part of meditation. Breathe in slowly through your nose and slowly release the breath through your mouth. These deep breathing techniques will help you relax and focus.
How Often Should I Meditate?
Meditate as often as you like. Meditating first thing in the morning can help you start your day on a calm, relaxed note. Meditation is a very effective form of stress relief. When deadlines loom and you are trying to juggle several projects, take a break for five or 10 minutes and recharge with a little meditation.
Practicing yoga — especially certain types of yoga, such as Kundalini yoga — can also provide meditative benefits. Contact us to find out more!