Whenever someone mentions meditation, we often think of someone sitting up in a Lotus position with perfect posture. While this is a popular meditating position, it is not the only way to meditate. The Merriam-Webster’s top definition for the word meditate is, “To engage in contemplation or reflection.” By this definition, we don’t need to position ourselves in specific ways to meditate.
As a person who tends to be busy, I have struggled with giving my mind time to simply do nothing. When I first began to meditate, I started off by just closing my eyes and trying to clear my mind. Somehow, I would drift off into thinking about how uncomfortable I felt with the silence, what I would eat for dinner, what was I going to wear the next day… so many thoughts!
For some reason, I expected my mind to stop thinking on command, despite the fact that this was my first attempt. I kept taking moments to myself to just complete my thoughts and continue meditating. After realizing meditation was not as simple as it seemed, I tried to implement different techniques to see what worked.
A method I found helpful as a beginner was to focus on my breathing. This does not mean to just realize when I took a breath, but to ‘follow’ its path and be mindful of it. Even with this simple task of focusing on my breath, I found my mind drifting off on its own. In some instances, I would get frustrated and think, “What is even the purpose of me trying to do something I keep failing at?” This is a common concern for many who are beginning to meditate, but we must realize that there are benefits that come with meditating.
One of meditation’s short-term benefits is that it can help a person relax and lower their stress levels. This was my initial goal when I first began to meditate. Also, there have been various small studies that have demonstrated meditation’s significance in treating mental disorders like anxiety and/or depression (links to these articles will be provided at the end of this post). Though this has been a pattern seen in many different studies, seeking professional psychological help should always be the priority. In addition, meditation in itself requires the ability of focusing. When someone incorporates meditation into their routine, focusing becomes much easier.
(Timpi Blog is not partnered nor sponsored by any organization/company. We are providing these recommendations solely to encourage readers to use resources that may aid them with meditation.)
In a world with so much technology around us, there are all types of resources available on the internet. A widely recommended app for meditation is Mindfulness. It provides various types of meditations as well as sleep sounds. Mindfulness includes different audios for different days of the week, which can encourage consistency. A huge benefit is that contrary to many meditation apps, it is free.
Another popular app is Headspace. It can be especially helpful for beginners because of the guidance that it provides throughout the meditation process. Unfortunately, they only offer limited content, unless one upgrades to the paid plan. It is important to remember that what may work for one person may not work for another. For this reason, I encourage you to type ‘meditation’ on your phone’s application store to experiment with different types of apps and find which works best for you.
There are also endless videos on YouTube that may help. By searching up breathing exercises, sound bath videos, or guided meditations there will be a wide variety to choose from. Remember it is ok for your mind to drift off, it happens to all of us. What matters is noticing when it happens and re-directing our concentration back to meditation.
Types of Meditations: