Health Care

Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

What is Meditation?

Meditation is a means of transforming the mind and there are many things in life that affect our state of mind, some of which are beyond our control. Taking charge of how we respond to life events and our feelings can help us deal with life.

Meditation is the art of sitting in silence – being alert whilst relaxed. This can help us to manage our feelings and also help us to deal with life events that test us or are beyond are control.

Many scientific studies have been conducted to assess the effects of meditation on the human mind. 

Messages in the brain are transmitted between neurons which create an electrical current. These are called neural oscillations or brain waves.

Different types of brain waves can dominate any part of our brain depending on our activity:

  • Gamma – when we are actively learning or in hyperactivity mode (anxious for example).
  • Beta – when we are consciously performing daily tasks.
  • Alpha – during activities that relax the mind and body.
  • Theta – in deep relaxation and dreaming.
  • Delta – when in dreamless sleep.

Neuroscientists have made a correlation between the increase in alpha brain waves and meditation. The University of Columbia recently conducted research (2018) comparing the brain structure of non-meditators to meditators; their findings are remarkable. Meditators had thicker tissue (healthier) in areas responsible for body awareness, enhanced focus, stress management and attention control. Other fascinating findings by the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (2010) have found that if you use non-directive (this means not imposing any control over what you think) meditation techniques as opposed to directive ones, the brain produces more alpha and theta waves allowing for a deep relaxed state to occur.

How to Meditate…

There are so many different ways to meditate but here is a common method:

  1. Sit upright in a quiet place with your legs crossed on the floor and your eyes closed.
  2. Try not to think of anything.
  3. Focus on your breathing.
  4. Breathe in for four/eight counts slowly.
  5. Breathe out for four/eight counts slowly.
  6. Keep doing this for as long as you can.

Yoga Meditation

Lie down with your legs and arms stretched out on a comfortable surface. Cover yourself with a blanket to stay warm and then focus on your breathing as mentioned above. You can focus on a different part of the body as you breathe, starting from your toes and finishing at your head. This should send you into a deep state of relaxation and possibly sleep.

Visualisation

Some meditation techniques ask you to focus on an altar, a candle, or an object to help you to focus your mind whilst also breathing in and out slowly to a count of 4 or 8.

Some ask you to focus on a colour and your chakras to help you meditate (see below).

Chakras are the energy points of the body. Closing your eyes and focussing on each one in turn as you breathe in and out, is one way to meditate. You can simultaneously imagine a colour as you focus your breathing on each chakra (see below). This keeps the mind alert whilst remaining in a deep state of relaxation. You can use visualisation to focus on any changes you want to make in your life, or focus on creating a more positive future.

You may find that one method is more suited to you than another. Many faiths suggest ways in which you can meditate. This may suit you if you follow that faith or are inspired by it.

The Benefits of Meditation…

Various studies have shown that meditation has many benefits:

  • Reduce stress
  • Improve wellbeing and concentration
  • Help you to control and manage your feelings
  • Manage your weight
  • Ease depression and enhance mood

Meditation can certainly change your life, so give it a try and see if it helps you.

About the Author :- Neelam is an experienced writer on the topics of meditation, manifestation and self-empowerment. She is a highly experienced Psychic Medium and lives in Hertfordshire, England with her children.