Studies are continuously showing the positive effects of meditation. In 2012, a study found a positive effect of meditation for people with coronary heart disease:
“201 people with coronary heart disease were asked to either (a) take a health education class promoting better diet and exercise or (b) take a class on transcendental meditation. Researchers followed up with participants for the next five years and found that those who took the meditation class had a 48% reduction in their overall risk of heart attack, stroke and death. It’s an initial study, but a promising one.”
Another of the many positive effects meditation has is improving your thinking process. It makes sense now that some of the most creative thinkers, writers, and inventors took time for introspection and concentration:
“Researchers at UCLA wanted to study the brains of people who had been meditating for years, versus those who had never meditated or who had only done it for a short period of time. They took MRI scans of 100 people — half meditators and half non-meditators. They were fascinated to find that long-time meditators showed higher levels of gyrification (a folding of the cerebral cortex that may be associated with faster information processing). In a study published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience in February of 2012, they shared that, the more years a person had been meditating, the more gyrification their MRIs revealed.”
Both of these examples, found on the TED blog, show the benefits of meditation. In this blog post, you’ll get three easy to follow meditation best practices.
- Currently meditate and would like to get better.
- Would like to learn how to meditate.
- Are interested in the benefits of meditation for a friend.
…then this blog post will help show you some simple ways on how to meditate effectively.
Meditate in 5 Minutes
Here’s an easy way to get a short meditation session, no matter where you are. It will just take you five minutes. Use this technique when you’re feeling stressed or want a moment of clarity.
- Locate your deepest breathing part of your body. Common places include your nostrils, chest, or abdomen.
- Focus your attention on this one place, and nowhere else.
- Take a normal breath without trying to change your breathing, all while focusing on this one place.
- Start breathing in cycles of 10 until 5 minutes are up. If your mind starts to wander, bring the focus back to your breath.
- After 5 minutes, you will experience a calming sensation and a moment of clarity.
It’s amazing how just 5 minutes can change your entire day.
Pick a simple activity you find yourself doing regularly. Maybe it’s drinking a cup of water or sweeping. As you do this activity, pay close attention to the sensations that occur in your body. Open up all of your senses, and make yourself completely aware of your actions.
For example, if you are drinking coffee…
- Look at the rising steam from the cup and the texture of your cup.
- Smell the aroma of the coffee.
- Sip the liquid slowly, and savor the flavor.
- Listen to the environment around you.
- Feel the warm cup in your hand, and let the warmth move into your wrist and arm.
By paying attention to your senses, even the most simplest of tasks become engaging.
On Demand Meditation
As you practice your meditation, consider having a “trigger” that brings you back to a calm state.
Some examples of things you can use can include:
- An idol-like object, like a necklace or coin you always keep with you.
- A sound, like a slow, rhythmic clap of your hands or a tiny bell.
- A picture that reminds you of a previously felt deep and meditative state.
The purpose of a “trigger” is to remind you of a time of calmness when you’re in a moment of stress. It’s astonishing how such a simple trigger can completely shut off all concern and worry. Try it, and see for yourself.
Meditation is awareness
The goal of most meditation is to be aware of who you are, where you are, and what you are thinking. Use meditation as a way to break bad habits, create good habits, and lower stress levels.
If you’d like to know more about the positive effects of meditation, or you’d like to see what other holistic health options are available for you, please pick up the phone and give Carolina Natural Health a call at (704) 708-4404.
You can also reach us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you for reading, and remember: anyone can meditate.
Photo Credit: Mara ~earth light~