Why is it good to meditate?
Meditation is a daily support to feel good and manage your stress better. That’s two good reasons to start already! You can do spiritual or mindfulness meditation, it depends on what you’re looking for in meditation. According to the Buddhist tradition, there are 3 reasons to meditate:
- The first is to calm down disruptive emotions and renounce the causes that generate them.
- The second is to cultivate peace by no longer focusing on yourself.
- And the last is to transform your perception of things and to take full advantage of the present moment. A program that we want to achieve! The key word is to try meditation; you can’t understand what meditation is and its benefits without having experienced it for yourself.
>>> Discover the art of mindfulness meditation
How to practice meditation?
Novice at this discipline
If you’ve never done meditation, it’s true that it’s hard to get started without a guide. During yoga classes, there are a few minutes reserved for meditation and the two often go hand in hand. Doing a sophrology session can give you an idea of how to let go during meditation. Even though it’s a different practice, there are some similarities. If you wish to meditate at home, there are audio supports. Indeed, some people can’t meditate without them! Fortunately, many meditation apps have emerged to support people who want to meditate alone.
Key elements to keep in mind to meditate successfully
- Set a time for meditation: Before starting a session, fix yourself a duration. Indeed, while you meditate, the temptation can be great to constantly ask yourself how long you’ve been there. To stay focused, don’t hesitate to set a timer.
- Sit down: Experts recommend sitting to meditate. You can sit cross-legged or in the lotus position if you’re comfortable. Whatever position you choose, you should avoid lying down. Indeed, in mindfulness, it is recommended to find a balance between body and mind which can only be achieved if you’re relaxed, but not too much. You shouldn’t slouch.
- Close your eyes: This is a tip for letting go more, but it’s up to you. Some people manage to meditate with their eyes open.
- Concentrate on the present: You shouldn’t close your mind. We tend to think that we mustn’t think of anything to meditate. But you need to let your thoughts, feelings and sensations pass over you without judgement. It’s important to focus on your senses. The surrounding sounds, the smells, the sensations under your fingers, listening to your breathing, etc.
Don’t neglect regularity
Meditation is like a sport, it requires regularity. 10 to 15 minutes per day helps to practice this relaxation exercise. Then focusing on a conversation, enjoying a walk, becoming aware of your breathing… will increasingly become a habit. The brain is a muscle that needs to be trained to relax, which is why regularity is necessary. Especially if it’s a new habit! As with any other activity, you don’t become a pastry chef after making a yogurt cake. It’s the same with meditation: you can’t feel the benefits after just one session!
The 10 lessons to remember about meditation
Yoga teacher Valérie Desarmes gives us the 10 lessons to remember about meditation to understand why this practice is interesting:
- Know how to listen to your emotions and feelings before launching yourself into an activity frantically.
- Stop considering your perception of things as a single truth.
- Take a step back from your relational habits.
- See how your behavioral patterns are affected: management of emotions, understanding, decisions…
- Give yourself space to become aware of your relationship with suffering, contentment and looking after the mind.
- Develop an alarm system for your defense mechanisms.
- See their repercussions.
- Take the time to analyze and contemplate them.
- Spend time in your mind space.
- Pay more attention to your mechanisms, relationships and your process of consciousness.
Editor’s note – Each to their own relaxation method!
If we’re not initiated to meditation, this practice can seem strange or useless. It is therefore difficult to relax with these prejudices. You must be fully willing and believe in the benefits of meditation to feel them! But each to their own relaxation method. Maybe this isn’t the right solution for you? You can also turn to yoga or tai chi. These are also practices that aim for a state of relaxation, but unlike meditation, you have to move. In both cases, meditation and yoga are good solutions to fight depression. They aren’t a miracle cure, but they do help! The main thing is to follow therapy and practice one of these disciplines.
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