I used to ask myself this question all the time when I first started practicing meditation. Am I doing it right? With all the latest research pointing us to use meditation as another tool to living a healthier, happier life, I thought it would be helpful to give my readers a long overdue post and dedicate it to the practice of meditation.
Defining the actual act of meditation can be difficult as there are many traditions and countless ways to practice. It is a heightened state of awareness that requires you to be fully present in the moment without judging what is in that moment.
Generally meditation consists of simply sitting quietly, focusing on your breath, a word or a mantra. However, anything we do throughout the day can be an act of meditation, walking, standing, even washing dishes. The key is to be focused on the present.
Many who are new to meditation will ask, “How do I know if I am doing it right?”. The short answer is “If you feel better at the end, you are doing it right.” It is natural for there to be internal chatter and this isn’t a sign that you are doing something wrong. Acknowledge the thoughts and chatter and then let them go.
Most people who are drawn to meditation are seeking ways to reduce stress and quiet the mind. It is a very effective stress reducer.
The 4 most important elements in meditation practice are a quiet location with as few distractions as possible, a comfortable position whether walking, sitting, or lying down, focusing your attention, and an open mind.
Meditation may be used as a compliment to traditional medicine (not a replacement of) for various health related issues:
- Anxiety and Stress
- Emotional issues related to chronic illness
- Overall health and well being
Meditation teaches us to focus attention and be mindful of our thoughts, feelings, and sensations and too observe all these in a nonjudgmental way. The result is a mental calmness and physical relaxation.
Be here now!