Getting the Most Out of Meditating

Unfortunately, stress is a part of most of our lives. Things like work and family obligations can cause us to feel stress throughout the day. One way that can help reduce stress and make you feel calmer is meditating. Meditation is great because you can practice it anywhere, and it doesn’t require any equipment. If you’re at work, you can take a quick meditation break throughout the day to clear your mind. You can also try taking a walk and focusing on being in the present moment. There are many guided meditations available online to follow as well.

Meditation is difficult to define as there are so many variations to meditation.  However, it is most commonly defined as focusing the mind and engaging in mental exercise to achieve a heightened level of spiritual awareness. I personally have been on a meditation kick recently and I am really starting to like it!  I can see how the positive effects can become almost addictive.

There are different forms of meditation, so you might want to experiment to see which one works best for you. These are just a few examples of different types of meditation.

Types of Meditation:

  • Focus oriented: Examples include meta (focusing an idea or feeling) and Transcendental (where you are given a personal mantra, which you repeat silently).
    • Guided meditation is visualizing places or situations that you find relaxing.
    • Mantra meditation is repeating a word or phrase over and over that you find calming.
  • Opening monitoring or mindfulness: You are focusing on being in the present, moment-to-moment awareness of the predominant sensation.
  • Yoga is a form of meditation where you move through controlled poses and breathing exercises to calm your mind and concentrate on your movements.

Getting the most out of meditating:

  • Stay focused. Try not to let your mind wander during your meditation time. This can be difficult when you are first starting to meditate, but should get easier with practice.
  • Do it consistently. Meditation is something that you need to practice to get better at it and make it more beneficial for you.
  • Be comfortable. Get in a comfortable and relaxed position. Keep good posture, even if you are meditating while walking.
  • Make a plan. Especially when you are first starting to meditate, make a plan to do it at a certain time during the day and work it into your schedule. This way you will be consistent.
  • Start small. Meditate for just a few minutes when you’re first starting out.

Research has shown meditation to be beneficial for many conditions.  And you do not have to devote much time, as some authorities state that as little as 8-10 minutes daily is enough to feel significant health benefits!

Some of the conditions treated with meditation include smoking cessation, depression, anxiety, chronic pain, irritable bowel syndrome, memory, infertility, blood sugar regulation, and cardiovascular disease.  Most importantly, many people report an increased sense of well-being and positive attitude when they practice meditation.  I recommend daily meditation to almost all my patients, as I truly believe it is something everyone can benefit from.

There are many great apps, both free and subscription, for at-home meditation.  My personal favorite is Insight Timer.  However, I am always looking for recommendations on good meditation apps!

These are just some tips to get you started. Taking a break for a few minutes each day can really help you relax, clear your mind, reduce stress, and lead to a more productive day.

Do you practice meditation? What are your tips for getting the most out of meditating?

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