I never told any of my close friends and family members that I practice meditation. Why? Because I avoided the “Why the hell are you doing that for?” look. The average person misunderstands what meditation is. Many think it’s some form of taboo spiritual practice that conflicts with religious beliefs. Although meditation in various forms is part of every religious practice, it really has nothing to do with belief, ideology or doctrine.
In its simplest form, meditation is a mental technique to silence the mind. It is about stillness of the mind. Our mind is constantly at work, thinking and analysing, even when we are asleep. We cannot function to our fullest capacity with an overworked, tired mind.
I like to think of meditation as a way of giving my mind a break—a chance to re-centre and refocus itself to function more efficiently. I started to practice meditation three years ago and till this day, it is my go-to remedy to relieve stress and to quiet my mind when I find myself mentally exhausted.
My meditation practice is extremely simple. I don’t chant mantras. I prefer to sit alone in silence with a lighted candle and some relaxing meditation music. With my eyes closed, I take some deep breaths and exhale slowly. I continue by clearing my mind, only keeping focus on my breath. By maintaining this focus, I find myself going deeper and deeper into a meditative state as my mind begins to get more and more relaxed, quiet and still. I maintain this focus undisturbed for about 10-15 minutes. When I open my eyes, I literally feel stress-free, aware, centred, focused, and ready to seize the day.
Here are some ways this simple meditation practice affects my life:
1. It significantly reduces and/or eliminates any built-up stress and anxiety.
2. It promotes a more positive outlook on life and keeps me in a happier state of mind.
3. It improves my quality of my sleep.
4. It improves my focus and attention span.
5. It helps me to be more present and aware of my surroundings.
6. It helps me to remain calm and have more patience.
7. It enhances my self-awareness allowing me to understand myself better and to recognize thoughts that may be harmful or self-defeating.
I encourage you to develop a simple meditation practice. There are tons of relaxing meditation music available on YouTube. There are also several short Positive Guided Morning Meditations that you can do to kick-start your day.
If you’re new to meditation, at first you might have some trouble maintaining your focus, which is perfectly normal. Don’t be discouraged; as you practice, your focus will become stronger and longer. Give it a try and let me know how it works for you.
What do you think of Meditation? Comment below and share your thoughts.
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