Meditation: 7 Things You Need to Know [Guest Post]

I’m delighted to introduce guest blogger Louise Baker today. She wrote this outstanding article on meditation just for My Favorite Self Help Stuff and you as its readers, and I hope you’ll enjoy it and will feel inspired to give meditation a try if you’re not already doing it:

7 things You Need to Know About Meditation

Meditation is a holistic practice in which a person tries to tune out everyday thinking in order to achieve a deeper level of thinking, cognition, and awareness. This practice is a part of many religious practices, both Eastern and Western, and has been developed over centuries of practice. However, meditation is also practiced in secular settings separate and apart from religion.

If you are thinking about a meditation practice, there are several things you need to know before getting started.

1. Meditation is a Discipline

A person rarely decides to meditate and then achieves success with it in the first few sessions. Meditation is a discipline that must be cultivated over time. As with any new skill, start small. Don’t try to meditate for two hours at a time at first.

Begin with a short period of time and work up from there as your practice deepens.

2. Meditation is a Journey

Some days, your mind will be a challenge to control. Realize that the act of meditating is an active one, and you cannot be a bystander during your meditation time. Enjoy the journey that your mind will take in learning this skill.

3. Meditation has Health Benefits

Studies have shown that a person who meditates has better health counts than a person who does not. It is very important to your health to have this time during the day where you slow down, concentrate on your breathing and your body, and learn to pace your thoughts.

This practice can help to alleviate stresses in your life that cause high blood pressure, overeating, and other negative practices.

4. Meditation causes Mindfulness

This practice has become an important tool for many people who are trying to improve another aspect of their life. This time to be quiet and to look within your heart can help to align your thinking in a positive way, helping you to increase your mindfulness of your purposes during the day. This can help a person avoid negative habits like worry, overeating, and negative thoughts that lead to depression.

5. Meditation can be combined with exercise for additional benefits

This practice is sometimes also referred to as a yoga practice. Yoga has wonderful health benefits and can help with core strength, balance, flexibility, and muscle tone. This is a great cross-training exercise regimen for someone who does more vigorous exercise several times a week. It can increase muscle flexibility and therefore help you avoid injury.

6. Meditation takes Time

Don’t be in too much of a hurry to get your meditation over and done with. Just because you may have a limited amount of time for your practice, enjoy it rather than rush through it. It will be easier to focus within yourself when you’re not concentrating on how much time you may or may not have.

7. Meditation is both spiritual and non-spiritual

Meditation can be used for both spiritual and non-spiritual purposes. Spiritual purposes may include listening to receive guidance and achieving peace.

Non-spiritual purposes may include body awareness, relaxation, and achieving focus before a stressful day. All of these are beneficial to your well-being.

When she’s not working on her meditation, Louise Baker is a freelance writer and journalist. She currently writes about online degrees for Zen College Life. Her most recent article was about getting an online engineering degree.