You may already know that a change is overdue in your life, but not quite know what path to take in order to initiate that positive change. Meditation is already the solution for millions of people the world over and research has repeatedly proven the value that meditation can have on physical health.
How Meditation Helps To Heal Mind, Body And SoulMeditation allows your parasympathetic nervous system to take over, which is the area of the brain responsible for rejuvenation and calmness. This is truly the time to recover from stress and cleanse yourself of all the day has done to you.
Mind BenefitsYour mind takes in and processes a lot of stimuli throughout the day, meaning it's likely "full" by bedtime. Meditating will help alleviate the overload on your mind, along with many other perks:
- Improve cognition
- Increase your creative thinking and problem-solving abilities
- Help you filter out distractions, so you can intensify your focus
- Make you a more efficient decision maker
- Raise your level of self-confidence
Life takes a toll everyday on your body, particularly if you have a lot of stress and tension in your life. Work, relationships, school, children, errands and everything else you have going on may leave your body tired and stressed-out to an unhealthy level. Meditation will help:
- Boost your immunity
- Increase your energy levels
- Lower your blood pressure
- Reduce inflammation throughout your body
- Minimize or eliminate common aches and pains
A healthy soul helps fuel a healthy body and a happy life. Unfortunately, too many people neglect the soul, leaving themselves more vulnerable to stress and health complications. When you take the time to meditate, though, your soul can thrive:
- Reduce the time you spend worrying
- Raise your level of optimism
- Heal old emotional wounds and learn to be stronger from the inside out
- Offer you more acceptance of who you are, where you have been and where you are headed
- Overcome the fear and anxiety that holds you back
For most people, there simply aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done. That doesn't mean, though, that you should use time as an excuse to not meditate; given the many healing benefits of meditation, you owe it to yourself to find a way to make time:
How To Make More Time For Meditation
- Organize your surroundings. When everything is in its place, it's much easier and faster for you to find what you're looking for. Organize your home and work in such a manner as to make finding and manipulating things more efficient.
- Recognize when you are most productive. Some people get more done in the morning, others in late afternoon. Whenever your "peak" time is, recognize it and adjust your schedule accordingly.
- Create a realistic schedule for yourself. When making your to-do list, don't overload it or put yourself in two different places at the same time. Being realistic means you'll get more done, even if you can't do everything.
- Rise an hour earlier. Try setting your alarm for 15 minutes earlier than what you get up now, then increasing the minutes until you're up a full hour earlier. This will give you a huge head start on the day, plus provide you with ample time to mediate.
- Stop being frivolous with your time. Email, social media and games take too much precious time from everyone. Limit yourself to necessary communications until you have your schedule under control and are fitting everything you want into your day.
You need to give meditation a priority in your home, so it takes more of a priority in your life. Just as your kitchen is arranged to give mealtimes proper time and attention, create a place in your home devoted to meditation:
Setting Up Your Home For Meditation
- Make this area your own. If you are surrounded by family members or roommates, make sure they know that the area you have chosen to meditate is special and off limits.
- Limit lights and noises. Outside of soft meditation music or guided audio, there should be no sounds to disturb you; lighting should be kept to a soft minimum.
- Enable comfort and total relaxation. For some, a meditation cushion or pillow on the floor will do, but you may want a chair. Whatever you choose, make sure you are supported and comfortable.
- Set up a small table or altar. You might adorn this area with incense, mala beads, a candle and a personal item that you cherish. This item could be a piece of jewelry, a few rocks you gathered at a special place or something that belonged to someone you loved who has passed on. Keep the area simple and let it represent the things you value most.
- Close the space when you're finished. After you're finished meditating, you should have a way of shutting the area off from the normal hustle and bustle of the house. Make sure the area won't be disturbed, in order to preserve the sanctity of the space.
Practicing The Art Of Body Scan Meditation
Body scan meditation comes from Vipassana or insight meditation, a practice that nurtures an awareness of mind, body and soul and how they connect to form your complete being.
Body scan meditation in particular helps you zero in on your physical self, while putting your mental self in full command. It's a proven way to bring balance to your body and peace to your mind and can help you with everything from asthma and allergies to stress, anxiety, depression and even serious health conditions that may threaten your very existence.
Mindfulness elevates your psyche, by bringing together your conscious and subconscious streams of thought, helping you to improve focus, alleviate stress or actually separate yourself from it and reach a more relaxed and self-fulfilling way of life.
Many people use guided audio to practice body scan meditation, especially when they first start out; however, with practice and focus, you can become masterful in your meditative exercises:
- Begin by making yourself comfortable
- Turn the focus your consciousness very specifically to your body
- Feel the presence and weight of your body
- Draw in a few deep and cleansing breaths
- Gradually breathe deeper, taking greater amounts of oxygen into your body and reaching a higher state of relaxation with every exhale
- Focus on the feeling in your feet: their position, weight and temperature
- Turn your attention to your legs, again gaining an awareness of their physical condition and position
- Bring your thoughts to your back and how it feels, what it's touching and how each of the 33 vertebrae connect to each other, forming your spinal column
- Feel your stomach tighten and release with every breath as you scan that area of your body
- Move your attention gradually from your stomach to your hands, arms, shoulders, neck and head, paying heed to each area and recognizing the state it's in and how it feels as a separate part of your entire self
- As you visit the different areas of your body, take special care with deep inhalation and mindful exhalation
- To close, take full awareness of your body as a whole, pausing to absorb the various sensations and acknowledging the energy radiating from within
Engage in body scan meditation for around 30 minutes, longer if needed to fully achieve a total state of awareness and relaxation. Practice it at least every other day for a month or until you feel as if your levels of stress have been brought under control.
It's vital that you call upon this exercise whenever your mind or body begin to succumb to the ravages of stress; body scan meditation is essentially a form of medicinal healing as it enables you to release the toxicity, tension and negativity you absorb from your surroundings.
In a world as crazy and busy as ours, it's important to make your physical and mental well being a priority or you risk losing everything you work so hard for. Protect your mind, body and soul, by engaging in meditation on a regular basis.
The benefits are proven beyond any doubt and meditation is very easy to add to your daily life. Once you feel the difference in your energy, mood and overall health, meditation will become as ritualistic and important as eating or brushing your teeth - and it should be!
Life is simply too short to allow your mind and body to be overrun by stress, anxiety and disorder. Isn't it about time you made these positive changes to your life?
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