My last goal of 2017 was to familiarize myself with the basics of meditation. To learn the benefits, different types, and best practices of meditating. Although I am a week late on completing this goal, I have finally researched it and have found answers that I would love to share with you!
Keep in mind, this is a look at meditation from a beginner’s level; an overlook at what it’s all about. After reading the basics of meditation, maybe it will inspire you to give it a try this year in 2018!
3 Common Types of Meditation
I am sure there are many ways to meditate, but there were 3 I found very interesting and seemed to be the most common. Since I am not an expert on any of these methods, I will only briefly describe each one below as this post is all about the basics of meditation. If you are interested in learning more on these types, there are lots of videos on Youtube and articles on the internet that dive a bit deeper into these types of meditation.
Concentration Meditation: When you meditate by focusing on one thing only, such as your breath, the flame of a candle or a repetitive noise like a gong.
Mindfulness Meditation: To observe your thoughts as they drift through your mind. Do your best not to judge them or get involved in each thought. Just notice them and let them flow through your mind.
Loving Kindness Meditation: Contemplating the ways in which people have helped us; sending them gratitude and thanking them for any gesture, big or small. Maintain this mind of love for as long as possible after meditation. Continue to cherish every person you meet for their acts of kindness.
5 Steps: the Basics of Meditation
- Sit down cross legged. If this is not comfortable, sit or lie comfortably.
- Close your eyes, or softly focus your eyes downwards.
- Breathe naturally. Notice your breath but try not to control it.
- Focus on the movements your body makes as you breath, try to clear your mind. Alternatively, try one of the 3 types of meditation above.
- If you find your mind wandering, try to re-focus. It takes practice!
Nobody said that clearing your mind would be easy. Getting our over-stimulated minds to slow down is extremely difficult. So why should we participate in meditation, you ask? Because of all of the benefits that go along with it! Meditation reduces activity in your sympathetic nervous system which leads to many health benefits!
A Few Benefits of Meditation
- Lowers Blood Pressure
- Improves Circulation
- Less Stress and Anxiety
- Lowers Heart Rate
- Deepens Relaxation
Meditation is extremely complex and very spiritual. Your posture, where you put your hands and how you hold your head can all contribute to proper air circulation and energy flow. You can dive as deep into meditation as you choose.
There are many apps you can download onto your smart phone to help guide your meditation. Some popular ones include Headspace, Calm and Simple Habit. These apps are especially useful if you are like me and only know the basics of meditation.
Do you meditate? Have you noticed any improvements in your mental or physical wellbeing? What is your favourite type of meditation? I would love to hear from you in the comments below!
Post related to the Basics of Meditation: Taking The Path Less Travelled