How to Meditate Properly
At the LEGACIES clinic, we are often asked “how exactly can I meditate to reduce stress?”. Maybe you’ve heard about the benefits, but really just didn’t know where to begin. We’ve gone to the experts and have this simple and effective article to get you started…
Where can I mediate? You can meditate almost anywhere — on the bus, at work, in a waiting room, in your living room — and for as long or as short a time as you wish. Meditation can involve sitting, walking or doing exercises such as yoga or tai chi.
There’s no right or wrong way to meditate. In fact, there are many different ways of practicing meditation, so try several to find one that suits you.
There is also no right or wrong meditation experience or outcome. Don’t be concerned if your mind buzzes with thoughts, or if you don’t feel any different when you’re finished. Just keep practicing.
You will get better at it over time, which means that you’ll see the greatest benefit if you do it regularly. For example, you might schedule ten minutes every night before bed. You could also use meditation techniques whenever you are dealing with a particularly stressful or painful situation.
Meditation made even easier:
The essence of meditation is to focus your attention, so that “mental clutter” — everyday thoughts of work, chores or worries — fall away. This can bring a sense of calmness, peacefulness and balance, as well as new insights and clarity. In time, you may find that these results linger with you long after the meditation session has ended.
While the specifics may vary, most meditation sessions follow these basic steps:
- For sitting meditation, find a comfortable position cross-legged on the floor (you may also sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor) and back straight but relaxed.
- Rest your hands in your lap, nesting palms up.
- Partially close your eyes and relax your gaze by staring into the middle distance.
- Choose a focal point to help direct your attention. This could be your breathing, a word that you repeat, physical sensations, a photograph of a beautiful setting or an image that you picture in your mind, such as light or water.
- Begin by simply being aware of yourself breathing, and gradually relax your body.
- Allow your mind to relax. Don’t try to empty your mind or push thoughts away. Just watch them come and go, and gently return your wandering attention to the focus of your meditation session.
- MayoClinic.com, Relaxation techniques: Learn ways to calm your stress
- MayoClinic.com, Meditation: Take a stress-reduction break wherever you are
- Michael F. Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet C. Oz, M.D., You: Staying Young
- Pfizer, More than medication