Further research is necessary however, it’s obvious that meditation can positively impact the brain and body. There are several types of meditation, it’s important to find which one works best for you. Types of different meditation include but are not limited to;
- Insight (vipassana)
- transcendental meditation
- Compassion (loving-kindness or metta)
- Mantra (MBSR)
Focusing your mind inward whilst staying alert to sensations and thoughts but without letting them affect you is called transcendental meditation. This is typically done twice a day for around 20 minutes whilst sat down with closed eyes. Mindfulness meditation can often use different elements of focus, for example chanting, bead touching, staring at a specific image or bell noises.
Meditation doesn’t have to be complicated, you can simply sit quietly and focus on your breathing. If your mind begins to wander (which it probably will) gently refocus your mind and breathing. Gradually see if you are able to stay focused for a longer period of time. There are so many resources online to help you get started finding the right meditation for you, you could also ask friends or family for recommendations.
Not all forms of meditation are done whilst sat down with closed eyes or crossed legs. Yoga, Tai Chi and qi gong are all forms of moving meditation.
How do you meditate? Here is a guide to beginners meditation. Below is a great and simple introduction to meditation techniques.
- Lie or sit comfortably
- Shut your eyes
- Breathe naturally, do not attempt to control your breath just yet
- When you breathe, focus on how your body naturally moves with every inhale and exhale. Observe your stomach, rib cage, chest and shoulders without controlling the intensity or pace of your breath
- Focus back on your breath when your mind begins to wander
- Practice meditating for 2 to 3 minutes to begin with, once you are ready to progress practice meditation for a longer period of time
Mediation has so many benefits, it’s great for managing stress and sleep and making you feel better. However, it should not replace other lifestyle factors such as, healthy eating, physical activity, weight management but rather complement all of these. Are you ready to meditate? Research the different types of meditation, discover which works best for you and include it within your healthy active lifestyle.