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Another group of studies showed the positive feelings people develop through Metta meditation can improve social anxiety, reduce marriage conflict and help anger management These benefits also appear to accumulate over time with the practice of loving-kindness meditation The mental discipline you can develop through meditation may help you break dependencies by increasing your self-control and awareness of triggers for addictive behaviors Research has shown that meditation may help people learn to redirect their attention, increase their willpower, control their emotions and impulses and increase their understanding of the causes behind their addictive behaviors 35 , One study that taught 19 recovering alcoholics how to meditate found that participants who received the training got better at controlling their cravings and craving-related stress Meditation may also help you control food cravings.
A review of 14 studies found mindfulness meditation helped participants reduce emotional and binge eating One study compared two mindfulness-based meditation programs by randomly assigning participants to one of two groups. One group practiced meditation, while the other didn't. Participants who meditated fell asleep sooner and stayed asleep longer, compared to those who didn't meditate Becoming skilled in meditation may help you control or redirect the racing or "runaway" thoughts that often lead to insomnia.
Additionally, it can help relax your body, releasing tension and placing you in a peaceful state in which you're more likely to fall asleep. Your perception of pain is connected to your state of mind, and it can be elevated in stressful conditions. For example, one study used functional MRI techniques to observe brain activity as participants experienced a painful stimulus. Some participants had gone through four days of mindfulness meditation training, while others had not. The meditating patients showed increased activity in the brain centers known to control pain. They also reported less sensitivity to pain One larger study looked at the effects of habitual meditation in 3, participants.
It found that meditation was associated with decreased complaints of chronic or intermittent pain 1. An additional study of meditation in patients with terminal diseases found meditation may help mitigate chronic pain at the end of life 4. In each of these scenarios, meditators and non-meditators experienced the same causes of pain, but meditators showed a greater ability to cope with pain and even experienced a reduced sensation of pain.
Over time, high blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood, which can lead to poor heart function. High blood pressure also contributes to atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. A study of volunteers found that when they meditated by concentrating on a "silent mantra" — a repeated, non-vocalized word — reduced blood pressure by about five points, on average.
This was more effective among older volunteers and those who had higher blood pressure prior to the study A review concluded that several types of meditation produced similar improvements in blood pressure In part, meditation appears to control blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signals that coordinate heart function, tension in blood vessels and the "fight-or-flight" response that increases alertness in stressful situations People practice many different forms of meditation, most of which don't require specialized equipment or space.
You can practice with just a few minutes daily. If you want to start meditating, try choosing a form of meditation based on what you want to get out of it. To find out which styles you like best, check out the variety of free, guided meditation exercises offered by UCLA and Head in the Clouds. They're an excellent way to try different styles and find one that suits you. If your regular work and home environments do not allow for consistent, quiet alone time, consider participating in a class.
This can also improve your chances of success by providing a supportive community. Alternatively, consider setting your alarm a few minutes early to take advantage of quiet time in the morning. This may help you develop a consistent habit and allow you to start the day positively. Trying out a style of mediation suited to your goals is a great way to improve your quality of life, even if you only have a few minutes to do it each day. Breathing techniques are designed to bring the body into a state of deep relaxation.
Specific patterns that involve holding the breath for a period of…. In today's high-tech world, it can be challenging to silence the distractions and find your peace of mind. But your smartphone can actually be a great…. While February is all about giving love to others, don't forget to take time to show yourself some love, too. Meditation has numerous benefits, but if you have trouble concentrating, consider meditating in a virtual reality environment.
Here are seven VR apps…. There is plenty of clinical and anecdotal evidence to support using meditation for cancer stress, pain, and post-cancer worry. Practicing meditation regularly during pregnancy can reduce stress levels and help moms-to-be prepare for delivery. What makes a carb good and what makes it bad? Turns out carbs alone can't be faulted for any weight issues - it's the combination of how and what you…. Approximately 1 in 6 U. So chances are, you may benefit at some point in your life from talking….
From worsening anxiety to making depression more likely, sugar is seriously harmful to your mental health. Even trying to cut back on the sweet stuff….
Meditation - Wikipedia
May Help Fight Addictions. Can Decrease Blood Pressure. You Can Meditate Anywhere. Best Meditation Apps of How to Fall in Love with Yourself Again. What Is the Breathing Technique? Featured Articles Meditation for Beginners. When you see the green expert checkmark on a wikiHow article, you can trust that the article was co-authored by a qualified expert. He graduated from the American School of Professional Psychology in The authors of this article cited 7 references, which can be found at the bottom of the page.
Sample Techniques Sample Meditation Techniques. Sample Safe Space Visualization. Choose a peaceful environment. Meditation should be practiced in a peaceful location. A tranquil environment will enable you to focus exclusively on the task at hand and avoid external stimuli and distractions. Find a place where you will not be interrupted for the duration of your meditation—whether it lasts 5 minutes or half an hour.
The space does not need to be very large—a walk-in closet or even an outdoor bench can be used for meditation as long as you have privacy. For those new to meditation, it's especially important to avoid any external distractions. Turn off TV sets, phones, or other noisy appliances. If you play music, choose calm, repetitive tunes to avoid breaking your concentration. Another option is to turn on a small water fountain since the sound of running water is calming.
Other sounds such as nature sounds and rainforest sounds can also work. The sound of a lawnmower or dog barking shouldn't prevent effective meditation. In fact, being aware of these noises without letting them dominate your thoughts is an important component of meditation.
Meditating outside works for many so long as you don't sit near a busy roadway or another source of loud noise. You can find peace under a tree or sitting upon some lush grass in a favorite corner of a garden. One of the major goals of meditation is to calm the mind and block out external distractions. This can be difficult if you feel physically uncomfortable due to tight or restrictive clothing.
Try to wear loose clothing during meditation practice and make sure to remove your shoes. Wear a sweater or cardigan if you plan on meditating someplace cool. If you are in a place where you can't easily change your clothes, do your best to make yourself as comfortable as possible.
Try just taking off your shoes. Decide how long you want to meditate. Before you begin, you should decide how long you are going to meditate. While many seasoned meditators recommend 20 minute sessions twice a day, beginners can start by doing as little as 5 minutes once a day. You should also try to meditate at the same time each day—whether it's 15 minutes first thing in the morning or 5 minutes on your lunch hour.
Whatever length of time you choose, try to make meditation a regular part of your daily routine. Once you have decided on a time frame, try to stick to it. Don't just give up because you feel like it isn't working. It will take time and practice to achieve successful meditation. Right now, the most important thing is to keep trying. Find a way to keep track of your meditation time without distracting yourself.
Set a gentle alarm to alert you when your time is up. Or time your practice to end with a certain event—such as the sun hitting a certain spot on the wall. Meditation involves sitting in one spot for a certain period of time, so it is important to release any tension or tightness before you begin. A couple of minutes of light stretching can help prepare both your body and mind for meditation.
It will also prevent you from focusing on any sore spots instead of relaxing. Remember to stretch your neck, shoulders, and lower back—especially if you've been sitting in front of a computer. Stretching out your legs—with an emphasis on the inner thigh—can be helpful when meditating in the lotus position. Sit in a comfortable position. It is very important that you are comfortable while you meditate, so finding the best position for you is the goal. Traditionally, meditation is practiced by sitting on a cushion on the ground in either a lotus position or half-lotus position, but this position can be uncomfortable if you lack flexibility in your legs, hips, and lower back.
You want to find a posture that allows you to sit with a balanced, tall, and straight posture. You can sit—with or without crossing your legs—on a cushion, chair, or meditation bench. To tilt your pelvis into the right position, sit on the forward edge of a thick cushion or place something about 3 or 4 inches 7. You can also a use a meditation bench, which are usually built with a tilted seat. Start from your bottom and think about each vertebra in your spine as balancing one on top of another to support the whole weight of your torso, neck, and head.
It requires practice to find the position that allows you to relax your torso with only slight effort being used to maintain your balance. Whenever you feel tension, relax the area. If you can't relax it without slumping, check the alignment of your posture and seek to rebalance your torso, so those areas can relax. The most important thing is that you are comfortable, relaxed, and have a balanced torso, so your spine can support all of your weight from the waist up. The traditional hand placement involves resting your hands in your lap, palms facing upward, with your right hand on top of your left.
However, you can also rest your hands on your knees or leave them hanging down by your side. Meditation can be performed with the eyes open or closed. As a beginner, it is often best to try meditating with closed eyes in order to avoid visual distractions. Once you have grown accustomed to meditation, you can try practicing with your eyes open. This tends to help if you find yourself falling asleep when meditating with your eyes closed or if you experience disturbing mental images, which happens to a small number of people.
You don't want to go into a trance-like state. The goal is to feel relaxed yet alert. The most basic and universal of all meditation techniques, breathing meditation, is a great place to start your practice. Pick a spot above your navel and focus on that spot with your mind. Become aware of the rising and falling of your abdomen as you breathe in and out. Don't make a conscious effort to change your breathing patterns. Try to focus on your breathing and only your breathing. Don't think about your breathing or pass any sort of judgment of it e.
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Just attempt to know your breath and be aware of it. Imagine a coin sitting on the spot above your navel and rising and falling with each breath. Alternatively, imagine a lotus flower sitting in your belly and unfurling its petals with every intake of breath. Don't worry if your mind starts to wander.
You are a beginner, and meditation takes practice. Just make an effort to refocus your mind on your breathing and try to think of nothing else. To meditate, you should focus on one thing at a maximum. If you're a beginner, it might help to focus on something like a mantra or visual object.
More advanced meditators may try to clear their minds completely. Mantra meditation is another common form of meditation that involves repeating a mantra a sound, word, or phrase over and over until you silence the mind and enter a deep, meditative state. Some good mantras to start with include words like: If you want to use more traditional mantras, you can use the word "Om," which symbolizes omnipresent consciousness. Silently repeat the mantra over and over to yourself as you meditate, allowing the word or phrase to whisper through your mind. Don't worry if your mind wanders off.
Just refocus your attention and refocus on the repetition of the word. Concentrate on a simple visual object. In a similar way to using a mantra, you can use a simple visual object to focus your mind and allow you to reach a level of deeper consciousness. This is a form of open-eye meditation, which many meditators find helpful. The visual object can be anything you wish. The flame of a lit candle can be particularly pleasant. Other possible objects to consider include: Place the object at eye level, so you don't need to strain your head and neck to view it. Gaze at it until your peripheral vision starts to dim and the object consumes your vision.
Once you are focused entirely on the object, you should feel a sense of profound serenity. Visualization is another popular meditation technique. It involves creating a peaceful place in your mind and exploring it until you reach a state of complete calm. The place can be anywhere you like; however, it should not be entirely real. The place you visualize could be a warm, sandy beach, a flower-filled meadow, a quiet forest, or a comfortable sitting room with a roaring fire. Whatever place you choose, allow it to become your sanctuary. Once you have mentally entered your sanctuary, allow yourself to explore it.
Just relax and allow the details to come to the forefront of your mind.
Take in the sights, sounds, and scents of your surroundings. Feel the fresh breeze against your face or the heat of the flames warming your body. Enjoy the space for as long as you wish, allowing it to naturally expand and become more tangible. When you are ready to leave, take a few deep breaths, then open your eyes. Know that you can come back to this same place the next time you practice visualization, or you can simply create a new space. Do a body scan. Doing a body scan involves focusing on each individual body part in turn and consciously relaxing it.
It is a simple meditation technique that allows you to relax the mind as you relax the body. Close your eyes and pick a starting point on your body such as your toes. Concentrate on whatever sensations you can feel in your toes. Make a conscious effort to relax any contracted muscles and release any tension or tightness in your toes. When your toes are fully relaxed, move upwards to your feet and repeat the relaxation process.
Continue along your body, moving upwards from your feet to your calves, knees, thighs, buttocks, hips, abdomen, chest, back, shoulders, arms, hands, fingers, neck, face, ears, and the top of your head. Take as long as you want on each area. Once you have completed the relaxation of each individual body part, focus on your body as a whole and enjoy the sensation of calmness and looseness you have achieved. Focus on your breathing for several minutes before coming out of your meditation practice.
Try heart chakra meditation. The heart chakra is one of seven chakras , or energy centers, located within the body. The heart chakra is located in the center of the chest and is associated with love, compassion, peace, and acceptance. Heart chakra meditation involves getting in touch with these feelings and sending them out into the world.
To begin, close your eyes and rub the palms of your hands together to create warmth and energy. Then place your right hand on the center of your chest, over your heart chakra, and place your left hand on top of your right hand. Take a deep breath and as you exhale, say the word "yam," which is the vibration associated with the heart chakra. As you do this, imagine a glowing green energy radiating from your chest and into your palms.
This green energy is love, life, and the other positive emotions you are feeling at that moment. When you are ready, take your hands from your chest and allow the energy to escape from your palms, sending your love to the world. Feel your body from the inside. Can you feel the energy field in your body, particularly in your arms and legs? If you don't feel it, it's fine. It's the energy field that flows in our body. Focusing your attention on that energy field will not only help you stay in the present, but it will also help you connect with your Being and the flow of life in you.
Walking meditation is an alternate form of meditation that involves observing the movement of the feet and becoming aware of your body's connection to the earth. If you plan on performing long, seated meditation sessions, it is a good idea to break them up with some walking meditation. Choose a quiet location to practice your walking meditation with as few distractions as possible. The space doesn't need to be very large, but you should be able to walk at least seven paces in a straight line before needing to turn around. Remove your shoes if possible. Hold your head up with your gaze directed straight ahead and your hands clasped together in front of you.
Take a slow, deliberate step with your right foot. Forget about any sensations or feelings in the foot and try to concentrate on the movement itself. After taking the first step, stop for a moment before taking the next. Only one foot should be moving at any given time. When you reach the end of your walking path, stop completely with your feet together. Then pivot on your right foot and turn around. Continue walking in the opposite direction using the same slow, deliberate movements as before. While practicing walking meditation, try to focus on the movement of the feet and nothing else.
This intense focus is similar to the way that you focus on the rising and falling of your breath during breathing meditation. Try to clear your mind and become aware of the connection between your foot and the earth below it. Try to meditate at the same time every day. Scheduling your meditation practice for the same time each day will help it become part of your everyday routine.
Early morning is a good time to meditate since your mind has not yet become consumed with the stresses and worries of the day. It is not a good idea to meditate directly after eating. You can also try different meditation apps that help you get started. The Insight Timer app has free guided meditations and lets you choose both the amount of time you have and the level of guidance you'd like. Take a guided meditation class. If you want additional guidance, consider taking a meditation class with an experienced teacher.
You can find a range of different class types by searching online. Local gyms, spas, schools, and dedicated meditation centers offer classes in many locations. These apps offer free and paid services. You can also find a wide range of guided meditations and instructional videos on YouTube.
For a more immersive experience, look into attending a spiritual retreat where you will spend several days or weeks in intensive meditation. Vipassana Meditation offers free 10 day retreats at centers throughout the world. Though not for everyone, some people find that reading spiritual books and sacred writings helps them understand meditation and inspires them to strive for inner peace and spiritual understanding.
Some good books to start with include: If you wish, you can pick out elements of wisdom that resonate with you from any spiritual or sacred texts and reflect on them during your next meditation session. Practice mindfulness in your everyday life. Meditation doesn't have to be limited to your practice sessions.
You can also practice mindfulness throughout your day-to-day life. For example, in moments of stress, try to take a few seconds to focus solely on your breathing and empty your mind of any negative thoughts or emotions. You can also practice mindfulness when you eat by becoming aware of the food and all the sensations you experience as you eat. No matter what actions you perform in your daily life—whether it's sitting at a computer or sweeping the floor—try to become more aware of your body's movements and how you feel in the present moment. This focus and awareness is living mindfully.
All you need to do is focus directly on something in your surroundings or a specific sensation in your body. For example, you might focus on the blue color of a pen or folder on a table near you or examine more closely the feeling of your feet on the floor or your hands resting on the arms of your chair.
Try doing this if you feel like you are distracted or you find your mind is wandering, or if you are feeling stressed. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. A healthy lifestyle can contribute to more effective and beneficial meditation. Try to eat healthily, exercise , and get enough sleep. You should avoid watching too much television, drinking alcohol, or smoking before meditation.
These activities are unhealthy, and they can numb the mind—preventing you from achieving the level of concentration necessary for successful meditation. Understand that meditation is a journey. Meditation is not a goal that you can complete, like trying to get a promotion at work. Viewing meditation just as a tool to achieve a certain goal even if your goal is to be enlightened would be like saying the goal of a stroll on a beautiful day is to walk a mile.
Focus instead on the process and experience of meditation itself, and don't bring the desires and attachments that distract you in day-to-day life into your meditation practice. When beginning, you shouldn't be too concerned with the quality of the meditation itself. As long as you feel calmer, happier, and more at peace at the end of your practice, your meditation was successful. Having a calm and focused mind helps you to be in the moment, concentrate better, and be more aware. Boxing and many other sports requires quick responses and concentration so it should be of great benefit.
Not Helpful 1 Helpful Yes, Meditation comes in many different forms. As long as you are following your particular process and are consistent with it you will be fine.