What is meditation? Could it be the answer?
Meditation does not involve transforming yourself into someone else, a novel individual, or an improved version of yourself. Rather, it entails cultivating mindfulness and gaining a beneficial outlook. The objective is not to eliminate your thoughts or emotions, but to develop the ability to observe them impartially. Ultimately, this practice may lead to a deeper comprehension of your inner workings.
Learning to meditate
Learning to meditate is like learning any other skill. It is often compared to exercise. Imagine you have decided that you are going to take up running, and you have set yourself the goal of running 5 miles. To someone who has not been running consistently, if ever, even the first mile will be difficult. However, as time goes by, and you stay consistent, you will begin to get more comfortable and see results. Meditation works in the same way.
There are also many different types of meditation which you can choose to pursue. Some forms of meditation include:
When it comes to the options of different ways to learn, there are plenty of routes to discover.
YouTube - This is a great free way to begin your journey. It is easy to access with only an internet connection and a device such as a phone or a laptop.
Google Blogs - This is also another great free way to begin. This can be even more insightful as you have the opportunity to hear others experience
Local meditation classes - These are a great option. They provide a safe and friendly environment to learn. They also tend to be lower cost as classes hosted to many participants. If this is something you are interested in, you can simply google "meditation classes near me" and you will have many options!
The benefits of meditation
1. Enhance your self-awareness
Through self-inquiry meditation, you can develop a greater understanding of yourself and how you relate to those around you. The goal is to experience and realise the ideal/Divine self (Atma) within us, and work towards achieving the goals through discipline and practice.
2. Battle against addiction
Transcendental meditation can assist you in overcoming dependencies by helping you improve self-control and awareness of triggers for addictive behaviours.
3. Lengthening your attention span
Focused-attention meditation can help you increase the strength and endurance of your attention. It involves focusing intently as a way of staying in the present moment and slowing down the inner dialogue, resulting in a calmer mind and the ability to be more focused.
4. Improve your sleep
Meditation can help you to control or redirect the racing thoughts that often can lead to insomnia. It also can relax your body and put you in a peaceful state in which you are more likely to have better quality of sleep.
I have recently decided to begin practising meditation. My motivation to begin my journey was the Mindless Academy programme through my university. After hearing about all the benefits that can be gained through being mindful and meditation, I felt a calling to try it out.
Like many young adults, I was finding it difficult to cope with things such as money troubles, social pressures, anxiety and insomnia. I felt like trapped in a box that I didn't know how to get out of. Social media was consuming large parts of my day and motivation was at a low.
I found it very eye-opening when I put my first "meditation for beginners" YouTube video up on the TV in front of me, crossed my legs and began following the instructions in the video. I was constantly losing focus and had the urge to reach for my phone and distract myself. Still, I used this as motivation to carry on, as these only confirmed the fact that I was facing these issues.
The first day felt a bit awkward and I questioned "if I was doing it right?". I have never meditated before, but I pushed through it and repeated the process twice a day, when I woke up and just before I went to sleep.
Day by day, meditation started becoming more and more normal. In my experience, the biggest benefit I have gained was reduced stress. As I started to actively listen to myself, as opposed to using my phone as a distraction. I learned to listen to my mind and find peace in the process. Meditating before bed has helped me slow my mind down, providing me with the ability to fall asleep earlier, helping me with my insomnia.
I am still on my journey and there are still things I am trying to improve on, but so far, meditation seems to be one of the best tools I have used to help me improve. I have recommended it to close friends and family, and I would recommend it to everyone reading this.
Trust the process and stay consistent!