If we can make just 1% of the population meditative, this world will be a different place.Sadhguru
Have you ever wondered what stress is? Or does it exist? Try sitting where you want, leaving everything you are doing. There will be millions of thoughts coming to our minds. Slowly, you will realize there’s a slight frown on your forehead. You are tensed. Now, the question is, which thoughts are making you feel tense? You will feel a certain tension in your muscles. What to do in such situations? Just sit, relax, and perform meditation.
Why are You Stressed?
What sort of thoughts cross your mind when you sit with yourself? Thoughts on your past and future, which make you feel stressed. These thoughts may involve events related to other people, which depend on their thoughts and activities. We can’t control our past or future; still, we think about it. What could have happened if we had chosen a particular path, or what will happen to me? These kinds of stressful thoughts disrupt our bodily functions.
What does Stress do to Your Body?
Imagine you are stuck in traffic, and there are just a few minutes left for the gates to close and an exam to begin. A tiny control tower of our brain, the hypothalamus, sends in the stress hormones. What happens then? You start breathing heavily, heart races, and muscles get tighten. The stress hormones trigger the stress responses of our body. Now, if this happens frequently, it does extensive damage to our bodily functions.
- Stress increases the intensity of headaches.
- It disrupts the functioning of the digestive system.
- Stress affects the menstrual cycle.
- It causes insomnia, and in severe cases, even depression.
- Stress causes difficulty in breathing, especially for those suffering from respiratory problems.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is an underrated activity to engage in. But the positive impact of this activity is no less than a miracle! What comes to your mind when you hear the word ‘meditation’? Probably, a sage sitting under a tree and chanting mantras. Such a difficult task to do, right? But meditation is a lot more than what you think it is.
Meditation doesn’t change you or transform you completely. It is a type of training that involves self-awareness and a change of perspective. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tamed mind. There will be millions of thoughts coming your way while meditating; you do not have to force and stop the incoming thoughts. Let the river of your thoughts flow. You need to observe and accept your thoughts.
How do you Meditate?
There are different techniques of meditation. Techniques such as mindfulness and focusing the mind on a particular object thought, or activity like breathing are practiced as per convenience. In mindfulness meditation, we concentrate on our breaths as we inhale and exhale. For beginners, it will be a bit difficult to only concentrate on breathing. Our mind will tend to wander into many dimensions. But that is the magic of meditation which is being able to bring your mind to the present and focus on the breaths. There are a few basic steps to be followed to embark on the journey of mindfulness:
- Find yourself a comfortable place to sit.
- For beginners, you can set your time limit for 5-10 mins.
- Sit wherever you want. But be sure you are comfortable with your posture.
- Take in a deep breath, hold it for 3-4 secs and exhale for 3-4 secs till you feel like you have emptied your lungs.
- Be kind to your wandering mind. It’s completely fine. Just bring your mind to the present whenever it wanders.
- When you are done, i.e., when the timer rings, open your eyes slowly. Feel your surrounding. Feel your breath and end the session with gratitude and kindness.
Benefits of Meditation
- Meditation helps in decluttering your mind.
- It helps to focus on the present, which is in our control.
- It helps to analyze our situations and examine them.
- Meditation helps in introspecting and understand different perspectives of the events bothering us.
- It lowers stress levels.
- It prevents people from falling into the trap of anxiety.
- It helps control pain and improves sleep.
Nowadays, people are quite enlightened about the food they consume and physical exercises to tone their bodies. For a person’s overall well-being, it is equally important to take care of their mental health. Mental health is still very underrated. It is vital to have a healthy body as well as a healthy mind. We should let go of events or people who don’t play any role in our present life and concentrate on today. It is difficult to tame our minds, but we can achieve it with meditation.
Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.Mother Teresa