Meditation has always been one of the key factors in attaining peace and serenity. The benefits of meditation contain numerous benefits that are supported and tested by science. There are multiple advantages meditation can provide an individual such as reducing anxiety, managing stress, and to cultivate peace of mind. However, how do we incorporate meditation in our everyday life and utilize this ancient wellness practice that focuses on attention, compassion, and training awareness?
There are numerous ways and techniques as we commit ourselves in meditation. However, these two steps will truly help you conquer your inner battles and ease down your mind as beginners. First and foremost, meditation requires concentration. Instead of focusing your mind on random things, you simply let it go. Therefore, your ability to concentrate improves. Lastly, mindful meditation encourages you to observe wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind. Moreover, when you meditate through this method, you are able to become more aware of the human tendency to quickly judge an experience as pleasant or unpleasant.
Remember that meditation can be easy. You’re not doing anything in particular, you are simply noticing the breath, which happens by itself anyway. Intensity is also an important factor towards experiencing benefits, because the more intensely you are attending to the present moment, the more temporary freedom you gain from regrets about the past and worries about the future. Furthermore, the more intensely you practice, the longer the benefits linger after the practice. However, if you feel yourself getting stressed from focusing too hard, relax and let go and repeat.
Chade-Meng Tan author of the book Joy on Demand, claims you can experience the benefits of meditation through a single mindful breath and I totally agree. However, if you want to amplify the benefits I think aiming for five minutes a day, and then slowly increasing your threshold for focus as you begin to get more comfortable. Whenever, you are waiting in line for something, using public transportation or are bored out of your mind use that time to practice mindfulness. These little moments add up and you will soon begin seeing drastic change.
In 2011, Sara Lazar and her team at Harvard found that mindfulness meditation can actually change the structure of the brain: Eight weeks of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction or MBSR was found to increase cortical thickness in the hippocampus. This varies for everyone, but just like anything in life the more you practice the greater the rewards. Monks who have meditated for thousands of hours have been noted to have completely different wirings of their brains especially in the areas of attention and emotion.
In conclusion meditation has numerous benefits and is actually quite simple to do and can take no longer than a single breath for a person to start seeing change. However, above all of this meditation prepares you for a world of suffering. No one, not the rich, genetically blessed, not even the president of the United States is exempt from the cruel hardships of this world. Meditation teaches you how to let go, and is the strongest antidote their is for suffering. When you build yourself to become someone who does not crumble under pressure you become destined for greatness.