"Meditation can be defined as a set of techniques that are intended to encourage a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. Meditation is also a consciousness-changing technique that has been shown to have a wide number of benefits on psychological well-being"
Meditation is something I have been practising 'on and off' over the last couple of years, possibly more so over these last 16 months. I came across this practice whilst studying for my fitness qualifications in the 'resources' section related to goal setting and positive mindset. As a Fitness Instructor and Personal Trainer, I need an understanding of the human mind to help clients achieve their goals and find their motivation 'triggers', the importance of goal-setting. Goal setting and positive mindset are the reasons that drive the human being to achieve their objectives and targets.
We all accept the theory of losing weight. Eat less, move more and the pounds will drop. We know it is not easy, but we also know that this is the only way we will lose the unwanted weight we have gained. Equally we also realise we need to increase our activity if we want to become fit and healthy. We are prepared to count our steps or join a gym. However, we are not so open and accepting when it comes to our minds? We are happy to 'scold' ourselves if we are having a bad day. We talk to ourselves in a very negative way if we are not happy? "Ooh, just get on with it and stop feeling sorry for yourself" ..... "What is the matter with you? Don't be so ungrateful, there are so many a lot worse off that you"......sound familiar? We very easily reject our thoughts and feelings as a lot of 'stupid nonsense' and try to disregard them. This is in fact the worst thing we can do to our minds. These feelings will harbour and return in a constant cycle, ruining our days and bringing our mood levels down even further.
Meditation helps us to acknowledge and accept our thoughts and feelings without judgement. Meditation is exercise for our minds. Just like losing weight, or increasing our fitness levels it will not happen overnight. We accept that we can lose one pound a week for a certain time frame and reach our weight loss goal. We accept that we can slowly increase our steps per day until we reach our target of 10,000 steps, if we walk daily and increase our pace. But we are not willing to have the same patience with our mind and our thoughts. Meditation is a practice and with time and a little daily effort, we will find peace and calm.
What are the Benefits of Meditation
- Improved memory - Increase in mental clarity that can help fight age-related memory loss such as dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
- Increased Focus - Meditation helps with our attention span
- Increased compassion - You will understand yourself with clarity, increase your positivity and your awareness of others
- Increased creativity - Meditation opens your mind to new and fresh ideas
- Increased productivity - Meditation increases cortical thickness (grey matter). Meditation de-clutters the mind and sharpens your concentration.
- Increased relaxation of the body - Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind.
- Enhanced will power - Meditation establishes mental discipline required to break bad habits and implement new healthy ways
- Better sleep - Meditation improves sleep quality
- Lower blood pressure - Blood pressure actually decreases during a meditative state. With daily practice blood pressure can lower over time and can prevent heart disease.
- Reduced anxiety - Practising daily meditation helps to reduce anxiety levels, fears and obsessive-compulsive behaviours.
- Reduce stress - Meditation can help reduce stress by clearing the mind of 'clutter'. Meditation can also improve the symptoms of stress-related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome and fibromyalgia. Stress, mindfulness and health
- Reduce pain - Meditation reduces pain and can enhance emotional regulation. Meditation along with prescribed medication may help treat chronic pain
- Reduced depression - Meditation can help reduce depression. With regular practice, meditation can help your brain better manage stress and anxiety that can trigger depression
- Enhance emotional balance - Meditation gives you a sense of calm, peace and tranquillity that will benefit your well-being and health. Meditation can help you manage your days in a calm and less stressful fashion
- A sense of gratitude - Through mindful meditation and reflection you can experience gratitude and appreciation
How to Meditate
- Sleep - get a peaceful nights rest
- Daily meditation - a new session each day
- Low mood - alleviate negative feelings
- Sounds - for meditative ambience
- Relationships - maintain healthy and loving relationships
- 30 day meditation challenge
- Work life - finding success in your workplace
- Stress and anxiety - overcoming negative thoughts
- Body scan - meditation for mind and body
- Gratitude - finding appreciation in small acts