Slow the pace of life for a time and focus on yourself to become fully present in this moment.
The Benefits of Meditation
Meditation has been scientifically proven to have positive mental and physical effects when practiced regularly. Some of the key benefits of meditation include:
Helping with Anxiety
Across the world, anxiety remains a top mental health condition affecting people from all walks of life. Although doctors may prescribe medication to help people with their anxiety in severe cases, they often tend to try a more holistic approach first. Meditation is one of the most common, nonmedicinal ways to treat anxiety symptoms, helping individuals slow their heart rate, control harmful thoughts, and prevent panic episodes.
There’s no doubt that the world we live in can sometimes resemble a pressure cooker. Although stress is an entirely normal bodily response, we shouldn’t be feeling regular pressure or strain as constant tension can cause severe problems in the body. Meditation is a great way to take time out from your busy life and focus inwardly on yourself. The breathing exercises conducted while meditating can reduce blood pressure and lower stress levels, calming the mind and giving the body time to recover from periods of prolonged stress.
Now more than ever, the human brain is in a constant state of trying to allocate attention and focus. At the same time, distractors such as smartphones bombard us with an infinite number of stimuli that can make concentrating on a singular task increasingly difficult. Practicing meditation and mindfulness encourages you to think about the present, live in the current moment, and dismiss distractions, helping you remain focused when you need to be and improve your overall productivity.
How to Meditate
One of the great things about meditation is that anyone can do it, and they can do it anywhere. Whether seated, standing, lying in bed or sitting in the bath, simply close your eyes, focus on taking deep breaths in and out and allow your mind to empty of thoughts. If thoughts pop up, simply acknowledge them and set them on their way. Continue to breathe deeply and use your breathing to deepen your inner sense of calm until you are ready to open your eyes and continue with your day.
Tips on Getting Started
All you need is a few moments to yourself and a comfortable place to sit—or lie down if that’s an option. Concentrate on breathing deeply in and out and clearing your mind of thoughts. Focusing on the breaths themselves can help tune out things that might pop up. If thoughts do arise, simply observe, as if they were physically manifested in your mind’s eye, with nonjudgment and compassion. And then send them on their way as you return to your breath. Keep this up for a set period, be it 5, 10, or 15 minutes, or until you find your overall being in a calmer state.
Whichever way you choose to celebrate World Meditation Day, remember that meditation is most beneficial when practiced regularly, so why not set yourself a reminder to meditate once a day, every day for the rest of the week, and see how you feel.