4 Ways Meditation Improves Well-Being
Let's face it: sometimes life is chaotic and we become prone to stress and anxiety that takes a toll on our mental health. How can we stop focusing on the negative and center ourselves into a place where we can better manage stress? While there are many ways to accomplish this, one of the most popular methods of getting grounded is meditation, a mind exercise that promotes self-care and mindfulness. Like learning physical exercises, whether it is figure skating, golf, or swimming, meditation requires learning and practice to master this mental art. When the ability to meditate is achieved the body enjoys many surprising benefits!
There is no way around it: meditation requires a lot of mental control in the form of concentration. Concentration meditation requires you to focus on a single point. This point can be a flickering candle, repeating a word over and over again, or looking at a motivational or inspiring object. This helps mental focus one object at a time without getting overwhelmed with other thoughts, and it improves your attention span.
Meditation is known for helping individuals become more relaxed. Even just ten minutes a day can contribute to the calming feelings associated with meditation. During a meditation session, the body will become relaxed through controlled breathing, and the mind will also relax as it clears. You can even target specific areas of the body if you have tension in certain muscle groups, like the neck or shoulders.
Sometimes it seems like life is out of our own control, whether it is because of work stress, illness, or other complicated lifestyle factors. We may even spend time wondering "why me?" Meditation can help people accept these life challenges. By slowing down and concentrating, meditation helps people reconnect with their spiritual centers, which encourages self-acceptance through a stronger sense of love and care for themselves.
Because meditation is a calming practice, it may improve sleep habits. During meditation, the body slows down and cracks the code of the switch constantly flipped to being "on" for responding to the stress humans experience. With a meditation practice, the body can over time develop a response to redirect racing thoughts and more easily enter a relaxed state that promotes good rest.
How to start meditating
Many people want to practice meditation, but do not because they don't know where to start. Learning how to meditate takes a lot of practice, so it is important to start in short intervals and work your way up to a longer time span. All you need is a calming environment and a place to sit. If you're inside, turn off or dim the lights, and focus on breathing naturally. The hardest part of meditation is clearing the mind from clutter, which is why it is recommended to start with short intervals. If it seems too difficult to begin a meditation practice on your own, look for apps or videos that feature guided meditations for beginners.