There are many ways to optimize your mental health and thereby also improve your physical health. This includes hypnosis, mindfulness and of course meditation. If you also want to start meditating then this article is written entirely for you.
In this article I will discuss why meditation is good for you and you will get 11 practical tips through which you can immediately start meditating.
What is meditation?
Meditation is actually a state in which you are aware of your thoughts and what happens. It is also a way to let go of those thoughts or at least not identify them. This means that you can consciously choose not to act on your thoughts.
Meditation is actually a collective term for all kinds of techniques that make you aware of your thoughts and promote relaxation, love, compassion, forgiveness, inner strength, patience and other mental processes that reduce stress and make you mentally stronger.
Meditation can therefore be very good that you are focusing in a cross-legged way on your breathing, but you can also meditate while doing something and even repeat mantras to achieve a certain goal through meditation.
The benefits of meditating
Meditation has all kinds of advantages, both for your mental health and your physical health. Evidence has been found that meditation helps mentally:
- Reduce stress
- Improve mental processes (thinking becomes easier)
- Recognizing emotions
- Better self-awareness
- Improved memory
- Improved empathic ability (you can better empathize with someone else)
Meditation also indirectly helps to physically help your body, such as:
- Decreasing your heart rate
- Improving your bowel movement
- Preventing chromosomes from deteriorating
- Strengthening your immune system
- Lowering your blood pressure
- Reduce fibromyalgia symptoms
- Reducing psoriasis
- Reducing PMS
- Reducing infertility problems
- Improve breastfeeding
- Reducing symptoms of other disorders that respond to stress
Meditation tips for beginners
With all these benefits of meditation you can not wait to start. That is why you now get a number of tips that help you to make meditation a real habit so that you have as self-conscious and stress free life as possible.
Meditating is not something that goes automatically, so you have to practice, practice and keep practicing. It is actually like sports for your body, but then for your brain. Just as sport makes your body stronger and more agile, meditation makes your brain stronger and more resilient.
1 Two minutes of meditation
Start sitting with two minutes. During those two minutes you are just silent. Things happen, like thoughts and that’s fine. The point is that you are aware of what is happening in you.
If you succeed in meditating for two minutes you can stick to it for a minute. Some people who meditate a lot do this for half an hour in a row, but everyone started with a few minutes.
After two months you can already sit on 10 minutes of meditation per day!
2 Count your breaths
If you find it difficult to sit quietly for two minutes you can count your breaths. Every time you exhale you count this up to 10 and then you start over again. It is not the intention that you breathe as much or as little as possible and by counting up to 10 and repeating that you prevent a “struggle” with yourself.
When you are counting, move your attention to your breathing and feel how your breathing enters your nose and fills your lungs.
3 Meditate first in the morning
Are you used to going out of bed when the alarm clock goes out of bed and rushing through your morning pattern to be somewhere in time? Do you also notice that everything can go wrong right in the morning, drop things out of your hands to forget to take items with you or lose them? As a result, you may be busy cleaning up, searching or even going back home for two minutes to pick up what you forgot.
Rest in the morning and focus by first meditating for two minutes when you wake up. This can be done in bed! Note that you do not immediately fall asleep again;).
By doing this every morning you also have the habit to really meditate every day. If you want to do it in the evening you forget it faster or you just do not feel like it. If you start meditating in the morning you can already mark it off your to-do list.
4 It does not have to be perfect
Maybe you want to sit straight in a cross-legged pose with your hands on your knees and palms up in a nice harem pants with scent cheeses and your cat spinning on your lap (if you have one) meditate and do everything perfectly at once.
That’s not necessary.
In the beginning it is enough to just sit down. You can meditate on a chair, the couch and also the edge of your bed. Later you can worry about the perfect way of meditating, just start with it.
5 Check your feelings
If you start meditating, it is not directly about improving yourself. It is also a good way to get to know yourself better. First check how you feel. Maybe you are skeptical, hopeful, cheerful, depressed or whatever. You do not have to change this immediately, you simply check how you feel.
6 View your thoughts with an open mind
Of course it happens that you are distracted from your meditation by thoughts and feelings that come to mind. This is not bad, these thoughts and feelings belong to you. Do not get angry with it, but watch your thoughts with a friendly attitude.
7 Stay with yourself
If you notice that from one thought the other comes and you are at one point completely in that line of thought, instead of in the meditation, smile, so that you prevent a negative emotion from gaining the upper hand and then shift your attention back to you. breathing. You can then start counting again.
8 It’s not about emptying your head
Many people think that meditation is about emptying your head. This can be done by meditation, but that is not THE goal. So do not worry if you do not automatically come into the state of thoughtlessness.
9 Do not worry about mistakes
As said, it is not necessarily that you do not think of anything, but that is something that can happen during meditation. This immediately shows that you can not really do the meditation.
Just start with it and automatically notice what works for you and what does not. Doing something about meditation is better for you than trying nothing at all.
10 Experience the emotion once
If you are practicing a week with meditation you can take the next step and that is to experience and get to know your emotions and thoughts better. If you get an emotion while meditating and thinking, stay with that emotion and thoughts and be curious about where it actually comes from.
Negative emotions and thoughts we often want to avoid, but just by looking at it a bit more you can get to know yourself better and find out why things go the way they go.
After a week you already know how you can return to your breathing, when you are fed up with the introspection you return and you count again.
11 Focus on your other senses
If you have practiced your breathing after a week, you can also shift your attention to other things. For example, during meditation, instead of having your attention in your breathing, you can shift your attention to the sounds around you or to the light or even the feeling of your body.
You can alternate this daily. So on the one day you focus on what you see right in front of you and how the light may change through clouds that go in front of your window or the wind that makes branches of a tree move.
The other day you focus on noise, such as people walking past your house, noise that makes other residents of your house, the wind whistling at a crack and maybe even traffic or birds around your house.