You read that correctly. The motto “Don’t hate, meditate” will become part of your daily mantra in no time. Watch how transformative it can be within your life. Before we go through all of that though, lets first discuss some basic information about the art of meditation.
Meditation is the practice of clearing the mind to achieve higher states of consciousness. It allows you to focus more clearly and experience deep inner journeying. In addition, meditation promotes emotionally calm states of mind, even in the darkest of times. When working with your chakra system, it also assists in opening, balancing, and removing blockages from these areas.
Don’t hate, Meditate
In addition to mental clarity and calming your emotional states, meditation has numerous other health benefits. When practiced regularly, it can reduce stress, anxiety, depression, and even physical pain! Practicing mindfulness, aka meditation, has become much more widespread. Defined by many in today’s society, the art of mindfulness has spread throughout the world. In 1988, David Goleman, author of The Meditative Mind: The Varieties of Meditative Experience defined meditation as, “the need for the meditator to retrain his attention, whether through concentration or mindfulness, is the single invariant ingredient in… every meditation system”. Another great definition written by Cahn and Polich in 2006 states, “[M]editation is used to describe practices that self-regulate the body and mind, thereby affecting mental events by engaging a specific attentional set…. regulation of attention is the central commonality across the many divergent methods”.
The health benefits of practicing meditation/mindfulness are so great that some insurance companies in western culture are giving special rates for those who practice daily. One study, conducted by Dr. Herbert Benson at Harvard Medical School found that “a range of disease-fighting genes were active in the relaxation practitioners that were not active in the control group”. Moreso, these benefits increase the more you practice meditation.
Healthy Mind, Healthy Body
Studies conducted across the world have begun documenting results of the amazing benefits of meditation. Let’s go into a few of these now.
- Lowers your blood pressure, particularly found when practicing transcendental meditations.
- Increases your immune system by boosting natural killer cells, aka NK cells.
- Increases fertility by allowing both male and females to be in a relaxed state more often. Stress has been proven to affect sperm count and a woman’s ability to conceive easily.
- Treating insomnia by allowing you to quiet the mind and get more restful sleep.
- Treating irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
- Anti-inflammatory by reducing stress and your natural fight or flight mode response to it.
- Aids in weight loss by reducing stress, eliminating habits such as stress and boredom eating.
- And lastly, improved sexual health, even for women and men who have been sexually abused in the past.
The health benefits listed in this article are just some of the amazing benefits mindfulness can bring to your daily life. Now it’s time for the good stuff, the how to’s of meditation.
Take some time to first set up your space where you will practice mindfulness. This can be in your bedroom, living room, or even a sacred space you have set up for yourself. Relaxing music is a great way to get you into the right head space and into deeper meditations. Spotify has a ton of free resources you can use for whatever tickles your fancy. You can also burn incense or essential oils, have candlelight to set the mood or incorporate stones into your meditative journey. Use your intuition here and do what feels right for you.
Go somewhere quiet so you are not disturbed for the duration of your meditation. This is also a good time to silence or shut off your cell phone. If you tend to have knee problems, sitting on a pillow will be beneficial. Back problems? No problem. Sit up against a wall, this will allow your spine to remain in perfect alignment. If these still aren’t working for you feel free to lie down on a bed or couch, just be sure not to catch a nap!
Begin by first taking 3-4 deep relaxing breaths. In through the nose then out through the mouth. This will allow your body and mind to slow down and get into an alpha state (where meditation happens in the brain).
Once you have done that, resume normal breathing. When starting out, focus on your breath alone. This will assist you in the ability to clear your mind, a task most difficult when just beginning.
Once you have mastered clearing the mind, you can then begin to explore other methods of meditation. One practice I thoroughly enjoy is an inner exploration meditation.
In this meditation, once in the alpha state, you simply as yourself (out loud or in your mind) “I am”. That’s all! And wait for a response from yourself, believe me, you will respond! The key to this meditation is to merely observe with unbiased ears, regardless of what is reported back to you. Do this for 4-5 days, being sure to journal what you heard at the conclusion of each meditation. Take what your inner-self has told you and grow from there.
Additionally, you can include special mantras, chants, and practices in as well. There is no right or wrong way to meditate! Do what resonates with you personally.
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Don’t hate, Meditate!
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