When we feel too much anxiety and stress, the simple act of meditation can help ease our worries. There are a lot of ways to meditate - through guided meditation, mindfulness meditation, and yoga. Although it is helpful to have options, it may might be confusing to learn how to start and the different techniques to make the most of your session.
What are the benefits of meditation? Is there a recommended duration to get the most out of each session? Is doing it once a day more than enough? What will happen if we are not consistent with our meditation? There is no right answer, meditation is something that will change as you need it, so you’ll find that it adjusts with you.
Why do people meditate?
People meditate for many reasons. We know how working, relationships, and just trying to survive each day can sometimes be a bit overwhelming. In times like this, meditating can help you lift your frustrations and leave you in a clean mental state.
The benefits of meditation
Practicing meditation can give you a lot of benefits, such as the following:
a) An improved mental and physical health
Meditating is more than just being mindful of the way we breathe. We are also tapping into our minds and bodies by communicating and reaching out to our potential. When we take the time to relax, we also give back to our body making it possible to enjoy life in the moment.
b) Better sleep
Have you heard that meditating helps you sleep? People who suffer from insomnia find themselves toss and turning for hours at a time, eventually relying on pills to help them fall asleep. This isn’t the way the body naturally wants to fall asleep, and consuming sleeping aids can have negative physical side effects in the long run. Meditation is a natural way to let go and make way for better rest.
c) Stable emotions and feelings
Do you ever notice yourself being too explosive with your emotions? Are there times when you feel like frustration and anger are eating you alive? You are not alone in this matter. In fact, there may be several times throughout your day where it’s hard to control your outbursts in extremely difficult situations. One of the advantages that frequent meditation can give you is self-regulation and control. By assessing the way you feel, you’ll find yourself much more aware of your emotions under certain situations. Meditation gives you more control of how you react under pressure, but also helps with your relationships with others.
d) Less stress, anxiety, and other negative thoughts
Feeling anxiousness, anger, stress, or loneliness is normal. However, if these feelings last long and you find that they interfere with work, relationships, and wellbeing, meditating can help ease the tension. Try doing so every day for at least a week. You’ll feel relief while also understanding more about yourself. Silence can help with self-realization.
e) Increased focus and cognitive abilities
Aside from ridding stressful and negative thoughts, meditating can easily improve your focus and cognitive ability. When you remove the unnecessary things that weigh you down, it gives you the opportunity to think clearly and even enhances our focus and mental performance. Are you feeling nervous about that presentation or promotion? A few minutes of mindful relaxation will give you the energy boost you need.
It is not a secret – meditation helps secrete serotonin, also called the happy hormone. As a result of this powerful hormone, you’ll gain a greater sense of confidence and more positive outlook on life. Many people who suffer from depression meditate to naturally increase the serotonin activity in their brain.
How long should we meditate?
Now that we know the multiple advantages that come with meditation, this brings us to the recommended length of a meditation session. How long should we do it to reap the most benefits?
For many experts, they say that meditating for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day is enough for most people. However, this would of course depend on ones individual goals. For example, if someone is highly anxious, meditating for at least 5 minutes a couple of times each day may be better than a single 15 minute session in the evening. This is because smaller, more frequent sessions, will help them control their emotions better while more easily releasing negative thoughts.
Since we each meditate for different reasons, what works for one may not work for another. Finding the right length for you will be fluid at first, and can change as your sessions become more effective. If you’re having trouble practicing mindfulness, start with 5-minute guided meditations and increase as you go.
What does science say about meditation?
There are naysayers that don’t believe in the advantages of meditation. For some, they think that meditating is a pie-in-the-sky solution to something that should be treated by modern medicine, however, there are many benefits that even science recognizes.
According to The Harvard Gazette, multiple studies have shown that there are positive outcomes when an individual practices mindfulness meditation. This may include beneficial effects that will be advantageous in both a person’s mental and physical health. (1) Aside from this, frequent meditation sessions have been shown to improve a person’s blood pressure, heart health, and could even help combat obesity and other illnesses such as dementia.
We understand that there are many doubters, especially when talking about mental health, but this is exactly the reason why people are afraid to seek help or take steps to improving their well-being. When we accept the truth about the power of daily meditation, we give our mind, body and spirit the power of self-healing.
What is the best time to meditate?
As with the length of the time, your meditation schedule will ultimately depend on your preference. If you love waking up early, doing a morning meditation will make more sense. On the other hand, if you are having trouble falling asleep, do it before your resting period.
Do what works best for you. Evening meditations work just as well as morning meditations. What you need to focus on first is being consistent with keeping your peace.
How many times can you meditate in a day?
You can meditate as much as you want daily. No, there is no such thing as ‘meditating too much’. As long as you can fit it properly into your schedule, you can make frequent meditation a part of your routine.
What is your meditation goal?
“The goal of mediation is not to get rid of thoughts or emotions. The goal is to become more aware of your thoughts and emotions and learn how to move through them without getting stuck.” – Dr. P Goldin
Do you want to do more frequent sessions? Are you meditating to ease your stress and frustration? Or are you hoping for a fresh start? When your focus is to improve your physical and mental health, including a daily meditation session in your schedule can be extremely beneficial for your long-term goals.
For more facts about the power of breathing, check out more of Lovetuner’s blogs that are friendly for beginners who want to learn meditation.
- When science meets mindfulness | The Harvard Gazette