Meditation and the benefits
Meditation is a simple technique that if you practice as few as ten minutes each day can help control stress, decrease anxiety, improve health and achieve a greater capacity for relaxation.
The goal is to go beyond the mind and experience our essential nature, which is peace and happiness. But you should know meditation is not as easy as you think, the mind its self is the biggest obstacle standing between us and awareness.
In meditation the mind is clear and relaxed you are fully awake and alert but your mind is not focused on external events. It’s very much to do with your breathing and being focused on it.
Meditation dates back to as far as the 6th or 7th century but started to get popular in the western society in the 20th century. In the 60/70 research began to test the effects and benefits it had.
Here are a few benefits of how meditating can help
It can reduce stress, it can control your anxiety, promote emotional health, enhance self=awareness and lengthen attention span. Meditation has been said it can reduce age=related memory loss. It can also improve your sleep and be used to help control pain.
You can meditate anywhere and it is something that everyone should do to improve mental and emotional health. It doesn’t cost anything unless you prefer to join a meditation group and there are groups widely available. There are lots of different ways to meditate and you can do it as long as you want. It can improve your quality of life for just a few minutes a day.
Here is an example of meditation for beginners
It might be worth going to classes to begin with but it’s not necessary. You could use a guided meditation video and there are plenty on you-tube. Just find one that works for you but you can just do it without anything.
- Sit or lie down, make sue you are comfortable and that you will not be disturbed.
- Close your eyes and if you are listening to a guided meditation its best to wear headphones.
- For your first time 10 minutes will be enough and you can do longer after you have got used to it.
- Bring your attention/focus to your breath. This is what meditation is all about. Start by breathing in for the count of four, hold for the count of four and exhale for the count of five. Do this about 6 or 7 times, this helps you to become relaxed. Then just breathe normal after that.
- Don’t think. This is the hardest part, try not to analyze your breath just bring your attention to it.
- Every time your mind wanders just bring your focus back to your breath, this will happen a lot even after you have been doing it a while, this is something that takes time (TRY NOT TO GIVE UP).
- Every thought you have let it come and then focus back on your breathe.
- To start with just do it for 5-10 mins.
Give it a go
You may find that you find it boring or it is not working for you, you need to do it for at least a month to be able to see the benefits, like most thing it takes time. But bare with it the benefits are definitely worth it.
I would recommend using guided meditation to start with as this will give you more focus and encouragement to keep going.
Meditation isn’t about becoming a different person, its learning about becoming aware of your thoughts and observing them with out judgement and eventually you mat start to better understand them. Learning to meditate is not easy; it’s like exercising a muscle that you haven’t used before. It takes time and will never be perfect. Trying to quieten your mind when it is full of noise takes time and patients. You will also find that when you try to quieten your mind, you will suddenly have hundreds of things running through your mind. This is normal and after time and patients you will learn to let them pass.
I hope that you have found this helpful and if you decide to start meditation good luck and enjoy the experience.
Why teach our children to meditate
In today society our kids are under more pressure and stress, more than kids ever have been. This is due to all the social media, and trying to keep up with what you think you should look like and act. Constantly worrying about what others think and judging you’re self by how others look and on what they are doing. They spend the majority of there time glued to their phone, watching reality telly or gaming. Not having time to properly relax and quieten the mind.
Their brains are constantly wired up and this is a major problem and is why so many young children and teenager suffer from anxiety or depression.
One thing we can do as adults to help is learn them how to meditate, once a day for at least 10 mins (personally for me I believe this should be done at school, every morning instead of assembly, they should have a time for all children and teachers to meditate. What a great way to start the day).
The simple act of teaching children to stop, focus and breath could be one of the greatest gifts with give to our children. Teaching them at a younger age would be better as this would naturally become part of they routine. If you are also doing it as well would help immensely and be a normal day to day thing. Doing this will help them become more aware, focused and help them to be able quieten their mind and understand their thoughts better.
As parents we want our children to have the best of everything. We want them to have the best education, the best holidays and clothes etc. We just want them to be happy.
Maybe its time, we showed them how to have more awareness and more focus. The one way we can is to teach them to meditate, starting from a young age. Teach them how to calm their mind, quieten their thoughts and relax.
With regular practice of meditation can benefit children’s emotional, mental and intellectual development, help them sleep better. With meditation their mind can be freed from demands and stress, this can help a child’s creativity flow. It can also help with puberty by allowing them an insight into inner wisdom, to help them stay centred and strong through the hormonal changes in the body.
While going through exam it can help them focus and to be less worried, helping with anxiety. This could be done just before going into the exam, help to clear there mind.
Through meditation your child can discover that there is so much more potential in their life, stresses in their life are only short-term and they can have success and fulfil their desires. If they want to become great leaders of the future and make a difference, they will need to be centred, strong and good lateral thinkers. One thin g we can do towards this, is to encourage them to meditate and access the untapped potential within.
Here are a couple of kid friendly meditation techniques I found on the internet
The balloon: guided meditation
This guided meditation brings visual component to a very simple deep breathing exercise, you can do this standing or seated.
- Relax you body and begin to take deep inhales and slow exhales through the nose.
- Start to take slow, deep breaths to fill our belly up with air, as if you are trying to blow up a big balloon. Expand your belly as much as you can.
- Slowly let the air out of your balloon (through the nose) as you release the breath from your belly.
- Encourage your kids to feel their entire body relax each time they exhale, each time air is slowly being released from the balloon. You can even make a “hissing” noise to encourage them to slow down the exhale even more “like letting air out of a balloon”.
- Continue for several minutes.
You can have fun with this one especially if your children are young.
This one is suitable for school-age children from a book called “teach your child meditation” by Lisa Roberts. This can help clear the mind of stubborn thoughts and help your child focus.
- Close your eyes and take 1-3 breaths, breathing through the nose and exhaling with an open mouth sigh, let go a little bit more with each exhale.
- Breathe normally and allow your attention to settle your thoughts.
- As each thought arises, imagine it as a beautiful delicate snowflake, gently falling from the sky.
- Imagine that snowflake falling all the way to the ground and melting completely. Allow the thought to melt along with this image of the snowflake melting.
- Keep repeating this visualization as each new thought arises. If several thoughts arise at once, simply choose one and follow the above steps to melt that thought away.
- This technique may sound easy but it can be very challenging. Be patient with yourself. Thoughts may storm at you initially but with patients and practice, you will master them.
- Practice, practice, practice. The more you work on this technique, the easier it will be come. You will enjoy longer gaps of peaceful meditation between those pesky thoughts.
- Each time a pesky thought does arise; know that it is okay- and very normal. Simply re-imagine as a snowflake and allow it to melt away.
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