Clearing Up Misunderstandings About Meditation

meditation

When you picture someone meditating, you probably think of a person in yoga pants sitting cross-legged in the floor with her hands together, chanting some kind of nonsense. For many people, meditation seems like some sort of mystical experience, out of the reach of those who deal with the chaos of children, bills coming due, and the phone ringing non-stop. However, meditation is actually for just about everyone.

What Exactly Is Meditation?

Young African woman in the prayer position.

Meditation is nothing more than taking control of the internal chatter in your head that can overwhelm and tire you. Everyone has busy, hectic, stressful lives at times, and carving out even just ten minutes to meditate can reconnect you to the silent, still places that everyone has inside of them. It is sort of like taking a time-out to hit the reset button in your head when you feel that life is spinning out of control.

Do You Have to Wear Certain Clothes, or Sit Still to Do It?

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Nope. The fabulous thing about meditation is that you can do it almost anywhere. Meditation can happen in the car on the way home from work, while going for a jog, while gardening, or even in the elevator between meetings at work. Meditation is an internal practice, so wherever you can mentally step away from the present, you can meditate no matter what you are wearing.

How Can Meditation Help Me?

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Many people believe that meditation is purely a relaxation technique. However, although relaxation is one benefit of meditating, it’s not really the whole reason that you would do it. Meditation reconnects you to your inner self. Do you remember the person that you want to be? Think about who you are when you are on vacation sitting on the beach. That person is inside of you, even when life goes haywire. Meditation will ground you and help you focus on being that person right now when life gets you down. Meditation helps increase your focus and helps you live in the moment. It will restore your spirit, increase your inner peace, and help you reconnect with your inner joy, especially during the difficult parts of life. Meditation is a wonderful way of draining negative emotions from your life and replacing them with a renewed sense of contentment.

Is It Hard? How Do I Get Started?

Group of young people have meditation on yoga class. Yoga concept.

At first, meditation may seem really hard. After all, our society values connectedness, noise, and activity. Turning off the inner dialog for just a few minutes can seem impossible. However, meditation is called a “practice” for a reason. It takes practice to get really good at it. Start meditation for five minutes at a time. If there is an inspirational quote or a prayer that you want to internalize, repeat it in your head and focus on it for just five minutes. Other thoughts that push in should be ignored and allowed to float away on the wind. Eventually, your mind will relax into meditation and you will enjoy it. You will be able to spend longer times meditating with less effort.

Meditation doesn’t mean that your problems will go away. However, learning to meditate will help you handle life’s problems without internalizing the stress that accompany them. When you begin meditation, you will have the tools to handle life with calmness, serenity, and focus.

Sources: greatist.com