Meditation has many benefits. Probably the most well known benefit you can gain from using meditation is the reduction in mental and physical stress. As a method for stilling the mind and relaxing the body this ancient art is still used today after thousands of years because it is one of the most effective. It is still used for only one reason – it works.
Before learning how to enter a meditative state you should identify a reason for your meditative practises. You might call this a goal!
Before you begin to practice he relaxation exercises decide why you want to meditate and what your ultimate goal is. Relaxation or stress-reduction is a perfectly acceptable goal in itself but meditation has been proven to offer many other great benefits that you may want to consider. Using it for the development of better health and goal-achievement are just two of the many other popular reasons for meditating! Many people think that the best time for meditation is before sunrise. This is based on ancient tradition and is due to a variety of spiritual and religious reasons. However any time that suits you is perfectly fine!
There are many different forms of meditation. For some meditative practises positioning of your body is important. For this type of meditation stools have been specifically designed to enable you to sit with a straight back so you gain the maximum benefit from the meditative exercises.
However, in the beginning, when you are just learning this ancient art, it is best to concentrate on your mental exercises rather than your physical constitution. Therefore you can meditate in a comfortable chair or even lying on a bed.
As mentioned earlier there are many different forms of meditation. Some people will burn candles and then focus on the flame, while others chant or recite affirmations. The most popular form of meditation involves specific breathing techniques. Other forms guide the meditator to merely sit quietly while he or she witnesses the thoughts that flow from the mind or require them to stay focused on one mental image, word or thought.
Although there are many forms of meditation the end result or objective usually remains the same – to still the mind and remove negativity while attaining a sense of connection with the world.
The method we will use to meditate is the easiest to learn and involves merely regulating your breathing. This has been shown to be highly effective at creating fairly deep meditative states in novices and those who use it for the first time.
Step 1. Find a quiet place.
The place you use for your meditation can often be every bit as important as the meditation itself. You must ensure that you are in a quiet place in order to enter a relaxed state. Very experienced meditaters can enter this state at will but, as a novice, you will find that outside distractions interrupt your focus and you will not be able to relax correctly. So go somewhere quiet!
Step 2. Relax your body.
This exercise is often used in self hypnosis as it allows you to notice the difference between tension and relaxation. Firstly, starting at your feet, tense your muscles for a few seconds and then release them. Do this a few times. Then move up to your lower legs following the same pattern of tensing and releasing. Perform this exercise with all your muscle groups until you reach your head. Then tense and relax your face and then your scalp.
Step 3. Regulate your Breathing.
Breathe in for 5 seconds and then out for five seconds. Just concentrate on your breathing and nothing else. This has a profoundly relaxing effect on your mind and body. Do this for about 10 minutes.
Step 4. Focus.
At this stage you can choose a thought to focus on – such as a goal or desire you would like to experience or have. Just stay focused on the thought. Every time you have an intruding thought allow it to pass by without giving it any attention – just witness it.
You will find that your thoughts drift often and it is hard to stay focused on only one thing for very long.
Your mind, by its very nature wants to think, so stilling it in this way can be difficult. But persevere and you will get there.
After a few days of this exercise you will begin to see a huge reduction in your stress levels. You will also get flashes of inspiration and intuitive thoughts. If you have been focusing on a particular goal and you follow these inspirations you will find that they will lead you to your goal.
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