The benefits of a meditation practice are no secret. Thousands of studies have shown the positive effects of meditation and the popularity of meditation is increasing as more people discover its benefits.
It doesn't surprise me that mediation is often touted as a habit of highly successful and happy people, and from a coaching perspective I am happy to universally recommend meditation to my clients to support the coaching process in these key ways:
It increases mental clarity - What is it you really want?
It increases self-awareness - What do you feel about this? What's holding you back?
It reduces stress, anxiety and fear - Why is it holding you back? How can you let that go?
It increases focus and concentration - What do you need to do?
Put simply, mediation increases personal power - whatever you do, mediation can help you do it better!
You don't need to master mediation to benefit from it, you just need to practice it - it is the process that makes it beneficial!
So, start with as little as a minute...but commit to doing it daily, every morning during your work week, for example. After a period of time, aim to increase it to 2 minutes, or 5 minutes, when you feel ready, or want more!
Read on below to learn about different meditations and a simple technique...
What is mediation? In simple terms, it is the practice and process of paying attention and focusing your awareness.
Put in another way, it is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts.
People have been practicing meditation for thousands of years in different parts of the world. Traditionally, it is often associated with a spiritual path. To make mediation more accessible and spread the benefits of the practice, many Western researchers and teachers have distilled meditation from its spiritual origins and now offer it as a remedy for better managing our often stressful, time urgent and overstimulated lives.
Whether you are using meditation as part of a spiritual path or as a practical approach to reduce your stress, enhance your healing process or deal with your emotions, the process is the same. You chose your destination.
The beauty is: you can learn the basics of mediation in 5 minutes and start practicing now!
Just sit in a comfortable position, straighten your back, breathe deeply, and rest your attention on the coming and going of your breath.
Alternatively, standing or sitting, close your eyes, and breathe in for 4 counts and out for 6 counts and repeat for the duration you've given yourself.
It's a simple as that! If you do it regularly you'll find it wont be long before you are feeling more relaxed and enjoying life more.
There are many different types of meditation, and you can think of these as different paths up the same mountain: mantra (meaningful word or phrase), mindfulness (awareness of the present moment), breath counting, following the flow of sensations in your body, cultivating healing emotions (e.g. lovingkindness), concentration on an object, visualization, reading and reflecting on inspirational/sacred writings, gazing at a picture of a holy figure, contemplation of nature, chanting praises to the Divine.
Read on below to find out a little bit more about why meditation is so powerful...
Those who pursue meditation on a spiritual path trust it leads to enlightenment (from ignorance), awakening (from a dream), Iiberation (from bondage), freedom (from limitation), and union (with God or being).
Those who experience it believe it harbors the source of all love, wisdom, happiness and joy.
Some people call it spirit or soul, true self, the ultimate truth, being, God or the Divine or simply the One.
Whether you have an interest in states and experiences like enlightenment or union or not, the process is the same and you choose what you want to get out of it, including:
Stronger focus and concentration
Reduced tension, anxiety, and stress
Clearer thinking and less emotional turmoil
Lower blood pressure and cholesterol
Support in kicking elf-defeating behaviors (such as addiction)
Greater creativity and enhanced performance
Increased self-understanding and self-acceptance
More love and joy
Greater intimacy in your relationships withe others
Enhanced feelings of happiness, contentment, and personal well-being
Deeper sense of meaning and purpose
Glimpses of a spiritual dimension of being
Whatever your intended destination, enjoy the journey!