What’s the point of meditation?
First of all, it’s physically and mentally healing – just setting time aside for yourself will make you feel better. It also helps you to release negative emotions and so to feel more balanced.
In time, as you become more used to meditation, you’ll find that it helps you to develop your powers of concentration and to trust your intuition.
Why does meditation work?
Using modern technology like the fMRI scans, studies found that meditation allows our hyperactive brain to slow down, which not only activates different centres of the brain but also gives it more time to properly process thoughts. This leads us to better focus, higher-level thoughts and more creativity, better memory, less stress and anxiety.
What should I meditate on?
Anything you like! There are no hard-and-fast rules. To begin with, just to help train your mind, you might want to focus on your breathing. Later you might want to concentrate on a particular symbol, or a person, or a problem you’re having. The nature of love, the meaning of life – the list is endless!
No matter how hard I try, I just can’t seem to still my mind or concentrate on anything…
Stop trying! That may be easier said than done, of course, but meditation works best if you don’t try to force it or analyse what’s happening. If you’re having trouble meditating, go back to basics, concentrating on relaxing every part of your body and your breathing. That should help to settle you.
Remember, meditation is not about outcomes, it is about focusing on the moment, so just relax and be present. Don’t worry if your mind starts to chatter, it’s all part of the process. Just acknowledge it then go back to focusing on your breathing. As you grow deeper in your practice, the chatter will soon disappear and you will find it easier to meditate.
When’s the best time of day to meditate?
Many people like to start their day with a meditation, but it might be easier for you to meditate at the end of the day when your work’s done or the kids are in bed. Other people like to set aside time in the middle of the day to meditate. It’s really up to you. If you’re not sure when to meditate, try meditating at different times of the day, to see which suits you best.
How long should I meditate for?
If you’re not used to meditating, it’s probably best to start by meditating for 10 to 15 minutes at a time. After a while, you may want to increase that to 20 minutes or half-an-hour or longer. If you are using an App, there are beginner programs that start at five or ten minutes and then gradually take longer as become more comfortable with your practice.
How often should I meditate?
Like anything else, it’s quite important to do it regularly, in order to get the most out of it. Once a day is ideal. However, you may choose to do it less frequently or as and when you need to. Again, it’s up to you.
I’m not visual, so pictures don’t come into my mind when I’m meditating…
It doesn’t matter. Some people are visual, others hear or feel things more. Trust whatever comes to you, whether it’s a picture, a thought, feeling or sensation.
Is it best to meditate on an empty stomach?
Not necessarily. While some people may like to meditate first thing, before they’ve had breakfast, others may need to eat something, even if it isn’t much. On the other hand, if you want to access your higher self or your Guardian Angel, it’s probably not a good idea to do so on a full stomach.
Is it true that meditation reduces stress?
In meditation, both the mind and body become deeply relaxed, allowing you to let go of tension and negative energy. It’s the opposite state to anxiety, anger or the fight-or-flight syndrome. Your metabolic rate decreases and your blood pressure goes down. Eventually, if you practise regularly, you’ll find that you become more detached from the hurly-burly of life, which alone will help to reduce your stress level.
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