We live the majority of our lives in our heads. Not sure what I mean? You can be talking to someone, and you suddenly remember a memory. As the person talks, you’re lost in your world, and all you can do is nod. Take another scenario where you’re busy with your chores, and you suddenly remember you have to call someone.
It’s normal for our minds to wander. You can have multiple thoughts running through your mind at the same time. Meditation helps you get rid of the auto-pilot mentality and have more control over your thoughts.
Basics of Meditation
There are two commonly practiced meditation techniques: (1) mindfulness and (2) concentration. When you practice mindfulness, the attention is on your thoughts. You are a spectator. Your job is to become aware of your thoughts. For example, when a new thought pops up in the middle of another, you feel it and observe where it takes you. Mindfulness makes you fully aware of what’s going on in your head.
Concentration meditation teaches you to focus on a single thought. For example, you can light up a candle and focus on it for as long as possible. Set the timer at 5 minutes if it’s your first time. However, if a random thought pops up in your head, you have to start the timer all over again.
How to Meditate
To meditate effectively, you need a quiet space. That’s because noise can interrupt your flow of thoughts. Then, sit down on a mat with your legs loosely crossed or on a chair with your feet firmly placed on the floor. Start the timer and begin your meditation. If you’re practicing concentration meditation, focus on your breath. Close your eyes because what you see can make your mind wander. As you meditate, listen to your body. Be aware of your heart rate, shoulders, neck, and back.
How Meditation Helps you Relax
Negative thoughts that you cannot control can result in stress. For example, you’re on your way to work and suddenly it starts to rain. You arrive at the office with soaked clothes. Since you feel like everybody is judging you for not carrying an umbrella, you blame yourself for the event. You wish that you had brought an umbrella. But how could you know? Rains are a natural phenomenon beyond your control.
Meditation helps you relax by focusing your thoughts on more meaningful outcomes.
For example, when you focus on your breathing, you improve the circulation of oxygen in your body. Your heart rate slows down, and your energy levels rise. You feel like a new person because of how relaxed your mind has become. Your head feels less burdened by thoughts, and you pay more attention to your surroundings. As a result, you do things with more enthusiasm.
Meditation is the practice of disciplining your mind. Instead of allowing your thoughts to take over, you become the master. You stop negative thoughts from destroying your moods and clear your mind from all the chaos.
To master the art of meditation, you have to do it every day. Take at least five minutes off your busy schedule to master your thoughts. You’ll live a happier life because you’ll learn to appreciate the present.