Meditation is a a method of training the mind, like the way that fitness is a method of training the body. Even a few minutes spent meditating can help restore your calm and peace.
The great thing about meditation is that it can be practiced anywhere such as: on a walk, on the bus, waiting for an appointment, or in your own home.
This article explores the types of meditation, the benefits, and resources to help you create a habit of meditating regularly.
Types of Meditation
Concentration meditation involves focusing on a single point such as the breath, repeating a word or mantra, staring at an object in the room, listening to repetitive sounds, or counting beads on a mala.
With this form of meditation, each time you notice your mind wandering, simply let go of the random thoughts and refocus your awareness back on the chosen object of attention. As you practice this meditation over time, each session for a longer duration, your ability to concentrate increases.
Mindfulness meditation encourages you to observe thoughts as they come into the mind. The intention is not to judge them, but simply be aware of the thought as it arises and let it pass.
While practicing mindfulness meditation you can start to discover how your thoughts and feelings tend to move in particular patterns. With time, you can become conscious of the human tendency to quickly judge an experience and instead develop inner balance.
Research has found meditation has a “relaxation response” on the central nervous, since then, studies on the relaxation response have found the following short-term benefits to the nervous system:
- Lower blood pressure
- Less perspiration
- Lower resting heart rate
- Slower respiratory rate
- Improved blood circulation
- Less stress
- More feelings of wellbeing
- Less anxiety
- Lower blood cortisol levels
- Deeper relaxation
There are also emotional and physical benefits including:
- Increased self awareness
- Gaining a new perspective in stressful situations
- Increased patience and tolerance
- Increased imagination and creativity
- Improved sleep quality
There are lots of great resources out there to help you create a habit of meditating regularly. You can listen to guided meditations and and focus on soothing sounds via YouTube, or you can check out some of the apps below.
The Headspace app has hundreds of guided exercises for beginners and practitioners that have more meditation experience, to help build your practice.
This includes courses to help you learn more about mindfulness meditation, and and daily practices for every day of the year.
Created by Sam Harris, the Waking Up app helps you to understand your mind, step-by-step. The app has a wide range mindfulness resources delivered by experts including guided mindfulness meditations and recorded thought provoking conversations.
The Calm app offers a variety of meditation practices, calming exercises, breathing techniques and sleep stories narrated by celebrities like David Walliams, Bob Ross, Mathew McConaughey and LeBron James.
Track Your Meditation Habit
iyarn’s powerful visuals enables you to quickly and easily see how you’re trending in different areas of life.Sign up to iyarn here and add ‘meditation’ to your iyarn wheel to keep yourself accountable and meditating regularly.