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The Amazing Benefits of Meditation on your Mental Wellbeing
Let’s talk about our mental wellbeing for some minutes. While physical health is important, it is also crucial to discuss the mental health and wellbeing. In a busy world where most people are emotionally exhausted, burn-out among other negative emotions; we sure need to talk about how to manage our feelings.
One of the effective ways to improve our mental wellbeing and relieve stress is through meditation. Meditation is a routine way of training your mind to relax, focus, gain clarity, and change your state of mind. This method has gained popularity and widely practiced because of its numerous health benefits. Constant practices help you become more aware of your environment, be self aware, and increase your ability to concentrate.
While this term is famous, not everyone knows how to mediate. Which begs the question, how do I meditate? Before we discuss the benefits of meditation, let’s quickly talk about how to perform this ritual.
How to Meditate
According to Mindful.org website, meditation is an act of learning how to pay attention to the breath as it goes in and out, and notice when the mind wanders from this task. The practice of returning to the breath builds the muscles of attention and mindfulness.
Although it appears basic, yet it is harder than it is imagined. Here are the basic steps to meditating
- Find a suitable place to sit; somewhere that makes you feel calm and quiet.
- Choose a time to observe; for starters, it can be for a period of 5 or 10 minutes.
- Observe your body; you can either sit in a chair with your feet on the floor or sit loosely while crossing your leg. If comfortable, you can as well kneel. However, ensure that you are stable and in a comfortable position.
- Feel your breath; follow the sensation of your breath as it goes in and out.
- Observe when your mind wanders; immediately you notice your mind has wandered within seconds or minutes, just return your attention to your breath.
- Be gentle and kind to your wandering mind; don’t judge yourself or obsess over the things your mind is thinking in that moment. Simply come back.
- End with kindness; when you are prepared, if your eyes are closed, open them. Take some moments and observe any sounds in your surroundings. Observe how your body feels in that moment including your thoughts and emotions.
Now that you know how to practice meditation, below are the benefits of practicing meditation
Easing stress is one of the major reasons people practice meditation. Typically, mental and physical stress is responsible for elevated levels of cortisol- a stress hormone resulting to release of inflammatory substances. When stressed, the effects may lead to anxiety, sleep disruption, depression, and elevated blood pressure. But with meditation, research has shown that meditation may reduce inflammation response caused by stress, and improve post-traumatic stress disorder.
Promote emotional health
We all want a sound emotional health in a noisy world. Certain meditation may help improve self-image and a better positive outlook on life. A study showed that people who completed a meditation exercise experienced fewer negative thoughts.
Can enhance kindness
A lot of people are walking on egg shells and the world need kind people as much as it can. What better way can we make the world a better place if we are not kind to one another? Some kind of meditation may enhance positive feelings and actions towards self and others.
Metta, a form of meditation also called loving-kindness meditation helps by firstly developing kind thoughts and feelings toward yourself and with constant practices help you extend the kindness and forgiveness to others and even your critics.
With each day, getting a quality sleep seems to be a luxury to some people. Knowing the kind of negative effects and feelings not getting ample sleep has on one, it's definitely a good thing to make meditation a lifestyle. A study shows that mindful-based meditation helps people stay asleep longer and improve insomnia.
Furthermore, with constant practices meditation may help you control or change the thoughts that lead to insomnia.