April 28, 2022: Contrary to popular belief, Meditation is not about zoning out and emptying your thoughts or mind. It’s about zoning inwards, acknowledging your thoughts, and then detaching from them without judgment.
The most common reactions I get when I talk about meditation are- “I cannot meditate”, “I cannot empty my mind”, “as soon as I empty my mind a thousand thoughts enter my mind”, “sitting for long hours hurts my back and hips” or “mediation makes me more anxious”. Well, all of this can be true if you throw yourself into the deep end of mediation without any experience.
Start from the basics. Preferably start by preparing your body through basic simple asanas (yoga stretches) and breathe through pranayama (breathing techniques). Find a place that is comfortable for you to meditate. Some people use a quiet space at home or in the office. You can meditate outside in nature as well.
Meditation reduces stress, anxiety, and negative emotions: Meditation is a gift that you should dedicate to yourself every day. Use your breath to help de-stress and become more aware and present at the moment. Stress, anxiety, and negative emotions are unpredictable, they come and go as they please but through meditation, you can control the power they have over you and your mind. Over time you will observe a transformation in the amount of stress/anxiety you accumulate within. Simply closing your eyes and steadily breathing has a tremendous effect, especially when you acknowledge stressful situations arising. Meditation is so powerful to reduce anxiety. One of the main reasons people meditate is to help quiet a loud, overactive mind. Daily meditation might be able to help support the treatment and reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression. This is because meditation helps fight stress and anxiety, which are both major triggers for depression.
- It helps increase focus, creativity, and productivity: Want to feel more creative and productive at work? Start meditating now! Meditation can encourage creative thinking and problem-solving. Meditation also helps us separate our emotions from our work, which helps us think more clearly and develop new ideas. Daily meditation can help you perform better at work! It helps increase your focus and attention and improves your ability to multitask. Meditation helps clear our minds and helps us focus on the present moment – which gives you a huge productivity boost.
- Boasts emotional intelligence: Unless you make the effort to observe your thoughts and attempt to understand what the mind is doing, you are never going to learn about your inner self. Many of us have trouble understanding our emotions. Meditation teaches us how to be more aware of our feelings and emotions and helps us process them better. Simply believing every thought that pops in your head and living under your mind’s umbrella is not constructive. Practising meditation changes how you think and helps you learn to understand your emotions without having to act upon them.
- Improves Sleep: A variety of meditation techniques can help you relax and control runaway thoughts that interfere with your sleep cycle. This can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and increase the quality of your sleep.
- Helps fight addictions: Meditation develops mental awareness and can help you manage triggers for unwanted impulses. This can help you recover from addiction, manage unhealthy eating habits, and redirect other unwanted habits.
- Boosts immunity: Regular meditation has been shown to help boost your immune system. It increases electrical activity in the left side of the brain – which is responsible for your immune system. It was also found that those who meditate have higher counts of antibodies in their blood, which helps fight illness.
- Get more out of your workout: Exercise, especially HIIT workouts (High-intensity interval training) and long hours of cardio can do a number on your muscles and your central nervous system. Such workouts could unintentionally cause stress on the body and the mind and cause an increase in your cortisol levels in the body. Meditation allows you to deeply rest your body and mind removing stress from your physiology. With meditation’s ability to reduce our stress levels, we’re able to perform our workouts at an optimal level and at the same time meditation might also help minimize sensitivity to pain.
After reading all these amazing benefits, isn’t mediation worth a try?
(Celebrity meditation expert Samiksha Shetty shares benefits of meditation)