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The Basics Of Meditation

Meditation is one of the techniques often used for stress management. A person who is riddled with stress often finds it hard to do life effectively, which compounds the stress infinitely. Meditation can help a person achieve a calmer state of mind without having to self medicate with alcohol, food, drugs, gambling, impulsive spending, etc. Every step to meditation is done in the mind.

Remember that meditation is not a one shot deal. It is almost impossible to attain a calm state of mind in just a matter of minutes, especially if it’s your first time. It is essential that you keep on practicing meditation until you have conditioned your mind to instantaneously achieve that calm state just by thinking about it. Here are some steps for a beginner to start with meditation as their Stress Management strategy.

1  Find A Quiet Area To Start Your Meditation. Distraction is a hindrance to those who are starting out. When you close your eyes, your sense of hearing will be twice as good, so almost any noise in your surroundings will make it hard for you to concentrate. For beginners, it is important to start out in a quiet place in your home where noise is non-existent. Close your windows and lock your door. If possible, you can tell everyone in your home to minimize their noise so that you won’t get distracted. At the very least, have another adult or older child in charge of watching the kids, so that even if you do hear something, you know that you don't need to get up and address it.

2. Ready Your Position. It is advisable for beginners to avoid lying down when practicing meditation. The aim here is not to sleep, and it is likely that you will fall asleep if your mind reaches a relaxed state. To stop this from happening, you can start your meditation in a lotus position or you can find a chair you can sit on. Make sure that your back is straight and your hands are relaxed on the armrest or on your lap. Note that if sitting upright is uncomfortable and distracting to you, lying is fine, or prop yourself up with pillows, etc.

3. Begin Your Meditation With Proper Breathing. A good way to start meditation is to do the proper breathing exercise. You inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. This way, you can come up with a rhythm that you can easily focus on. Also, the amount of oxygen in your body will help to keep you relaxed. Keep practicing your breathing until you can do it easily without having to think about it.

4. Focus On Your Mind. While you are concentrating on your breathing, you will achieve a state wherein your mind will start throwing images at you. These are mostly random- events of the day, future plans, problems and worries, fears and so on. It will be hard to ignore these thoughts and you are not supposed to ignore them. The idea here is to acknowledge these thoughts when they enter your mind and then release them. This might sound challenging but try this:. You know that you have furniture at home- you can see it clearly with your eyes, but you are not really concentrating on it. Focusing on the furniture will usually make you think of its color, its material, how it looks in that part of your home, and more. You need to be able to look at these random thoughts in a detached state, seeing them clearly in your head but not focusing your attention on it. There will come a time that these random thoughts will stop and you will notice that you are already in a blank space in your mind. This is the state you want to achieve during meditation. This is the place where you can think about your problems and focus on it till you can find a solution for it. With this, you have successfully mastered the basics of meditation.

Meditation has innumerable benefits that go far beyond the management of stress. It increases the grey matter in your brain, makes you stronger mentally, and is a great tool in developing discipline across all areas of your life. If you can master your thoughts, you can master your life. Give it a try!

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