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Meditation Made Easy: 3 Methods to Try

posted: 03/28/18
by: Katie Morton

Meditation Made Easy: 3 Methods to Try

The benefits of meditation are far-reaching. With regular meditation, you can expect a reduction in anxiety and depression and an increase in happiness, improved concentration, plus improved cardiovascular and immune health, to name just a few of the benefits. You can even use meditation to access your intuitive gifts.

But many who try it fear they're doing it wrong, or that it just feels uncomfortable. Maybe sitting in silence seems unbelievably boring to you. Others are afraid to be alone with their thoughts, possibly because they fear the emotional pain it might cause.

Just think: if you give meditation a try, consistently over time, you can experience a boost in mood and concentration. If that doesn't make it worth it, I don't know what will.

Get Answers to Difficult Problems

 

Something that's hard to come by when you're crazy-busy with a packed schedule? Solutions to your problems. We all have problems and questions in life, but few of us give ourselves the time to find the deeper answers, those that could lead us down the path to happiness, peace, and joy. When you sit in silence, you give yourself the chance to hear the answers.

When you meditate regularly, it reduces the desire to put a Band-Aid over your emotional discomfort with distractions like television, shopping, and overeating or drinking. Meditation can help us find the solutions to our problems, which naturally makes us happier.

Meditation Basics

Meditation can easily lead to falling asleep if you're not getting enough shuteye at night. If you do fall asleep during meditation, it's a sign your body needs more rest, so definitely try to remedy that.

So how does one meditate, anyway? You don't need any special equipment like a meditation cushion; a chair will do. Sit upright in a comfortable position. Either close your eyes or keep a soft gaze a few feet in front of you. The goal during meditation is to stay awake and present, gently and kindly returning your mind to a chosen focal point when your attention wanders.

Now that we've discuss the setup, let's talk about a few different ways you can meditate. It's important to find the style that's comfortable for you, as not every style of meditation is ideal for everyone. So give all of these a shot and choose the one you like best, or keep exploring beyond the three types of meditation mentioned here.

1. Guided Meditation

This is the easiest style for beginners to grasp, as essentially the voice on the guided meditation track does some of the work for you. Your only job is to show up and listen. When your mind wanders (and it will), simply bring it back to the sound of the recording.

There are millions of different guided meditations you can try, so if you don't like one, keep experimenting until you find a guided meditation that resonates with you.

2. Focus on the Breath

This next type of meditation is great because you can do it anywhere, no earbuds required. Sit calmly and focus on your inhalation and exhalation. You can count the number of your breaths, or you can vary the length of your inhale or your exhale by different counts. The important thing is that when the mind wanders, bring it back to the breath.

3. Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness mediation is great for stress reduction, especially if you try it in conjunction with journaling. The goal of mindfulness meditation is to watch your thoughts from a detached distance from the perspective of an observer. Instead of getting all wound up in the content of your thoughts, you can just watch them float by or dismiss them with a kindly, "That's nice dear," in a proverbial sense.

If you find your thoughts are repetitive, overwhelming, or upsetting, you might choose to write them down in a notebook so you can look at your thoughts objectively. Perhaps you are making a mountain out of a molehill, or maybe there's a different perspective you can take. Or perhaps a solution to a problem will hit you once you're able to observe the situation dispassionately.

Either way, the point of mindfulness meditation is not to get tangled up in your thoughts, but to obtain a calm objectivity so that you aren't stressed out by them--they are only thoughts, after all.

If you've been wishing to start meditation or to renew your practice, give it a go! You don't need to dedicate a ton of time to any of these methods; five to fifteen minutes per day is plenty to start out. The sooner you begin, the sooner you'll be a blissed-out meditator with a delightful sense of inner peace.