What is Meditation? Well, it’s been part of Eastern Culture, Philosophy and Religions for thousands of years for spiritual purposes, before the birth of modern civilization. It has been found in ancient Hindu scriptures with the intention to understand the true nature of Brahman (“God”). During the 20th century it became popularised in the Western Culture by Professors and researchers studying the benefits it can have on the mind.
Before we discuss what meditation is, let’s talk about what it isn’t. It isn’t sitting down in a dark room trying to not think. It isn’t trying to just think about light, positive thoughts. Meditation is simply the act of observing your thoughts then bringing your awareness back to the breath. What this process does, over time, is trains the mind to let go of both positive and negative thoughts. Doing so allows you to experience what the Eastern philosophies point towards; living in the middle. Through repetition and consistency, it can be the catalyst for tremendous positive change in life.
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In the modern day and age, it is very easy for the mind to experience a lot of stress through work and relationships. If your mind has the tendency to hold onto things that happen at work then you have the potential to drag that everywhere with you, for example into relationships. This is why it is particularly important to take some time out of each day for some self-care as everything will manifest from your mind. Although they are interconnected, mental health is more important than physical health. Training your mind to let go of thought patterns and not be derailed by whatever shows up will allow you to access a place of quiet confidence.
Meditation can be done anywhere at any time. A good place to start would be in the comfort of your own home, sitting on a chair or cushion on the floor. If you are new to meditation, it is recommended to download an app to have someone guide you through it. There are various different methods and types designed to help people with different types of “headspace”, for example, you can experience anxiety, low self-esteem or depression and there is a meditation specific to your condition. Loving-Kindness, body scan, mindfulness & vipassana ar.
The best time to meditate is whenever you can fit it into your schedule. Ideally, it is best to do first thing in the morning as this is when the mind is least active and you can start the day off to a fresh start. It will allow you to let go of what happened yesterday, last week or what you have coming up ahead, giving space for the present. Additionally, it can be done during a lunch break, on the commute to and from work, or even before bed. Finding out a time each day and sticking to it is when you will benefit the most.