Meditation is one of those simple practices that can be practiced by everyone. In the right way, meditating has many benefits, especially in reducing stress, increasing health, focus, and calmness.
There are many myths surrounding meditation. You have to be able to distinguish which information is right and wrong, so that the meditating that is carried out provides optimal benefits. Here is information about meditating that you should know.
The Effect of Meditation on the Brain
Reported by BrainFacts.org, research has been carried out on the effect of meditation on the human brain. This research was conducted by Bin He, a neurologist at Carnegie Mellon University, United States (US).
He carried out research by looking at the state of the brain of monks in Tibet who have an average experience of 15 years of meditation. This is done using electroencephalography (EEG), a series of electrodes that are placed on the scalp to measure brain activity.
The results of this study indicate that the more often you meditate, the better the brain’s performance is in regulating it. In addition, it was also found that meditation helps optimize the brain’s use of resources.
Other studies have also found that meditation has an effect on reducing cortisol, a hormone commonly used to measure a person’s stress level.
Myths and Facts
As reported by Forbes, there are several myths circulating about meditation that need to be straightened out. Some of them are:
Myth: Meditation should be done in silence. In fact, meditating is not always done in silence. meditating can occur when we walk, hum, run, etc. by focusing our attention on just one thing.
Myth: the goal of meditation is to clear the mind. In fact, meditating plays an important role in observing the mind, so you can have better control and concentration.
Myth: Meditation makes us more relaxed. In fact, meditating doesn’t always relax us. In fact, sometimes meditating makes a person anxious about having to feel discomfort while sitting and experiencing mental experiences such as displeasure or fear.
Myth: meditation will not work if our minds are wandering. In fact, meditating does not eliminate these internal thoughts. This is natural because meditating is about honing our ability to pay attention to various aspects of our internal experiences — not about changing those internal experiences.
Myth: meditation is difficult. In fact, we have been doing meditation practice all the time. This is because meditating is to focus our minds on one object only, the same as when we open social media, etc.
Myth: Meditation is a selfish pleasure. In fact, meditating is selfish when sleep and physical practice are also called selfish. meditating helps us to be more focused so we can do better.
Myth: Meditation will make us weak. In fact, meditating doesn’t make us weak. meditating is very helpful in sharpening our focus and improving our performance.
Myth: meditation has to be done by sitting down. In fact, meditating can also be done when we move, such as when walking or climbing.
Myth: A person may not be very good at meditation. In fact, there is no single patent measure of intelligence in meditating. meditating can be done by anyone, anywhere.
Myth: meditation is a religious practice. In fact, although many religions inform about the importance of meditating, meditating is not only religious.
Myth: Meditation takes a long time (hours). In fact, meditating can be done in just a few minutes.
Reported by Healthline, here are some types of meditation that you need to know:
- Mindfulness. This meditating is the most popular type, which is usually done by focusing on an object and then observing any sensation of the body, thoughts, or feelings.
- Spiritual. This meditating is usually associated with religious rituals, which are carried out in homes or places of worship.
- Focused. This meditating is done by focusing on only one sense.
- Movement. This meditating is carried out by the process of movement in the body such as when we walk through the forest, gardening, qigong, and other forms of gentle movements.
- Mantra. This meditating is done by repeating a sound to clear the mind.
- Transcendental. This meditating is done by silently repeating certain mantras.
- Progressive Relaxation. Known as body scan meditating, it aims to reduce tension in the body and promote relaxation.
- Loving Kindness. It is done by opening the mind to receive love from others and then sending a series of good wishes to loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and all living things.
- Visualization. A technique that is focused on increasing feelings of relaxation, peace, and calm by visualizing a positive scene or image.
The Right Way to Do Meditation
meditating can be done by anyone. As reported by Verywell Mind, in starting meditating you have to know the basic steps first. Come on, practice the correct way of meditating!
Choose a place that is free of distractions. Turn off cell phones and other gadgets so as not to interfere. Put on some quiet music if you choose to meditate by using music.
Set a time limit. If you are just starting out in meditation, set a sufficient time limit like 5-10 minutes.
Pay attention to body comfort. Choose a position that makes you comfortable, such as sitting cross-legged on the floor.
Focus on breathing. Take a deep breath, then exhale slowly. Pay attention to how you feel yourself with each breath.
Pay attention to thoughts. Try to focus on one object, which can be started by focusing on the breath.
Meditation has many emotional benefits and can help relieve certain ailments.
As reported by the Mayoclinic.org, meditating offers a feeling of calm, peace, and balance which can benefit emotional well-being and overall body health. The benefits of meditating can be described as follows:
- Get a new perspective on stressful situations
- Build skills for managing stress
- Increase self-awareness
- Sharpen focus
- Reducing negative emotions
- Increase imagination and creativity
- Increase patience and tolerance
Under certain conditions, meditating has the benefit of reducing health symptoms that can worsen due to stress. This includes:
- Chronic pain
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Sleep problems
- Good meditating Times
Meditation doesn’t have to be done for hours. As reported by the Manhattan Center for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, awareness-based clinical interventions such as mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) typically recommend 40-45 minutes of meditating practice per day.
The Transcendental Meditation (TM) tradition often recommends 20 minutes, twice a day. Interventions based on Response Relaxation (Benson, 1975) also frequently recommend 20 minutes of meditating.
Now, after seeing the ways and benefits of meditation, reported by Insiders, you can also apply the following tips during meditating:
- Do the meditating practice without any expectations
- Choose a time for meditating and try to be consistent with that choice
- Create a special room or place for meditating
- Relax and calm your mind before meditating
- Begin with a few deep breaths
- Try not to fidget or move too much in meditating
- Breathe well
- Treat yourself well
- Slowly reintroduce the movements after meditating
- Recognize and acknowledge the emotions you feel during meditating
- Keep practicing meditation the next day even if you don’t feel like it
- Try meditation using a trainer such as taking a meditating class or via an app
By knowing information about the correct method of meditating, it is hoped that you can get the optimal benefits. Meditation does have many benefits both physically and mentally. However, if you experience excessive anxiety while doing it, it’s best to seek help from a professional such as a psychologist or psychiatrist.