A Beginner's Guide to Meditation - benefit the body and mind

A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation

In this beginner's guide to meditation, you'll learn the basics of not only how to meditate, but also many of the benefits that meditation provides.

Meditation has been around for centuries, but in America, it’s something that has often been given the side-eye. It’s a bit oof woo-woo for some people and for others, they don’t understand it because they can’t do it. Quieting your mind is something that takes practice. It’s especially difficult if you struggle with ADHD or mental health issues like anxiety. Your brain is often buzzing with energy, ideas, and emotions. For that reason alone, meditation is worth a try.

Before we jump into the beginner's guide to meditation, let’s first talk about what effects meditation has on your body.

The link between meditation and your body

When we experience stress every day, it causes physical damage to our body. Meditation could be the answer to this problem. Meditation affects the body in the opposite way that stress does. Not only does it calm down the body, it also helps the body to heal and it can prevent new damages to the body. So, what is the link between meditation and your body?

Meditation can reverse your stress response which will protect you from the effects of chronic stress. Studies have been done to compare the stress responses in people who meditate and those who don’t. One study in particular, looked at people who suffer from anxiety. This study showed that meditation increased the person’s resilience to stress. Those who did not meditate had an increased level of stress throughout the study. 

Other studies have shown that people who do not meditate have worse stress responses such as high blood pressure, pain syndromes and other conditions compared to meditating group.  Experts have said that any condition caused or worsened by stress can be alleviated through meditation. 

When you are meditating, you are actually relaxing your body. This helps decrease metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improve heart rate, breathing and brain waves. You start using oxygen more efficiently, and you also sweat less. When you do it daily, your immune functions start improving. Once your mind is cleared of its stress, your creativity also increases. 

In people who are meditating, brain scans have shown that there is an increase in activity in areas that control metabolism and heart rate. Buddhist monks have shown that meditation produces long-lasting changes in brain activity areas involved in memory, attention, learning and perception.

These are all things that strongly affect people with ADHD. Imagine yourself or your child in school and having better memory and attention. I’m not trying to say that you can forego meds that work or that this is a cure-all. It’s simply one more tool in your box that can have a positive impact on your executive functioning and your life in general. 

Meditation also helps ward off illness and infections. It is an immune booster. When you are relaxed, you are less prone to infectious disease. Stress causes physical damage to bodies, weakening them and causing low immune function. Therefore, people who are constantly stressed get sick more often. Reducing the stress in your life through meditation will help make your physical body stronger and healthier. 

Although meditation is a little difficult to start, it is not difficult to learn. All you need is practice. Over time, you will be able to meditate properly and to clear your mind, you too will be able to enjoy the benefits that meditation has to offer.

Meditation Techniques

In the fast and busy pace of life, we tend to lose focus on the more essential things. And because of the physical needs that we are trying to meet, we tend to neglect the importance of internal peace. The lack of internal peace makes a person feel confused, exhausted and unfulfilled no matter how much achievements he earned.

This is the primary concern of meditation. It allows the person to watch the flow of his thoughts as he retires to the dictates of his senses. And more significantly, it provides new energy in the monotony of the daily routine.

Meditation is something that needs to be a part of our everyday routine. In its simplest form, there is satisfaction and renewal of spirit to a more vigorous and active one. With the little time that meditation requires, you learn more about yourself. This understanding can even lead you to promising achievements especially in the field of socialization. While you learn to focus and concentrate, meditation gives a clearer sense of direction. 

I’m going to give you 5 simple steps to start meditating. Some steps will be easier than others, but all of them will take continual practice in order for meditation to start to work.

Meditation is beneficial to the body and the mind.

Beginner's Guide to Meditation in 5 Easy Steps

  1. Make time

When you are starting to learn how to meditate, you need to set aside enough time in your daily routine for meditation. It can be any time of the day. You may set time for meditation at the start of the day or you can put it at the end of the day as a means of relaxing.

However, it is recommended that the easiest time to meditate is in the morning because your body is not tired and your mind is still fresh. If mornings are hard for you, though, don’t just give up before you start. Maybe taking a meditation break after lunch is the best time for you, so you can clear your mind and recharge for the second half of your day. Times of day are suggestions. Feel free to experiment to see what works for you.

  1. Find a quiet space.

Once you find the time to meditate, you need to choose a suitable space to meditate. Find a quiet and comfortable place to reflect on. Create an environment that doesn’t have any noise or distractions. Turn off the TV and your phone. If you decide to listen to music, make sure it’s calm, repetitive, and gentle (no lyrics) as so not to distract you.

  1. Relax

Sit on a level ground in a comfortable position. You can cross-legged on a carpet or sit in a chair. The exact position of meditation doesn’t matter, as long as this makes you feel relaxed and focused. Remember to keep your back straight. This will help with your breathing. Relax your arms and legs. They don’t need to be in a special position. The most important part is that you are relaxed. Now start searching for part of your bodies that are not relaxed. It could be face muscles or certain parts of your body. Try relaxing all of them.

Then gently close your eyes. This will help you shut yourself from the world. Closing the eyes directs the attention to the internal awareness, the main goal of meditation. Keeping your eyes open will take a lot more energy and you have a great likelihood of being distracted, which in turn takes away the sense of focus. 

Watch the space and the darkness. Put your attention to the flow of your thoughts that passes your mind. Watch how these thoughts rise and fall. This time, your subconscious becomes more vibrant and aware. This is probably the hardest part for people with ADHD. You fidget, you wiggle, and your brain moves a mile a minute. Do your best to relax and the next steps will help engage your mind in a new way.

  1. Concentrate on something

It may be hard to control our thoughts through the power of mind. So to silence your mind, try to focus your mind on something. It may be a simple mantra or it may be concentration on a flower or a candle. Focusing on a mantra might be easier because it’s repetition. If you think about a flower, for example, you run the risk of tangential thoughts: Where did the flower come from? How does it smell? Does it come in other colors?

Repeating a mantra, on the other hand, will help you focus because it’s the same thing over and over. Choose a mantra that sounds good to you. If you feel silly saying it, you won’t. you can learn different mantras for different goals, such as relaxation, patience, health, etc. 

Some ancient mantras that are good for beginner's meditation are

  • “Aum” or “Om” (it is or will be)
  • “Ham-Sah” (I am That)
  • “Aham Prema” (I am divine love)
  • “I am that I am”
  • “I love you; I’m sorry; Please forgive me; Thank you”

5. Silence your mind.

Once you are focused, now you can clear up your mind.  This requires discipline and it is all right if you are not able to master it immediately. Do the best you can, but even if you can’t silence your mind completely, you can still reap some benefits from the mediation and quiet peace. 

After the meditation, rub your two hands and give warmth to your face. This will help you return to your other activities. Do this meditation for at least ten minutes, twice a day. Preferably, at the start and in the end of the day recharge your spirit through meditation. This is also helpful to alleviate your worries and get you ready to more challenges of life.

Meditation is something done with intensity and focus, once you achieved that, you have reached the pinnacle of meditation. In this respect, your ADHD hyperfocus can come in handy. It will still take practice, so use this beginner's guide to meditation to help you stick with it, and you’ll find yourself feeling better than you have ever been before.

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