Meditation is the art of focusing on a single point, your quiet place within. Of the thousands of thoughts going through your mind every day, each one of them trying to grab your attention. Meditation helps you calm them down, and then you can focus on what really matters. In addition, meditation can be a reminder that all the feelings, emotions, thoughts and behaviors are originating from you and your view of life, not so much the other way around.
Research backing the many benefits of meditation is strong. Meditation can help people physically, emotionally and mentally. It is just the matter of getting it into the routine of life and practicing it until it becomes natural.
At the end, be patient with the process of meditation, since like any other skill, this will take some time to master. Make it a formal practice, and it will only get better. Start with breathing and work your way up. Also, don't forget to have a purpose when you are meditating. Purpose makes you engage easier and motivates you more. Be ready to get a little frustrated in the beginning, and deal with the frustration if it hits you. And don't forget to have a little faith.
Here are some tips that may help you make meditation a practical part of your life:
You have to realize that you are uniquely designed, and what works for someone else may not work for you. This helps with being open to different meditation styles, and to practicing them to see what's a better fit for you and your needs.
If you can make and drink coffee every morning, you can find time to meditate. The more you do it, the better it gets. But you have to stick to it. Plant the seed and let it grow by being patient with the process and gardening it right. Through some cognitive and behavioral modification, you can apply meditation to your daily life.
As you move forward with the process, if you want a complete form of meditation you can find a balance between implementing movement, positive thought and verbal communication (in the form of prayer). You can start with stretch and bend, and then find a comfortable sitting position. You may calm your mind and then connect this state of mind to a source of higher being. I have had clients who found it useful when they connect to an entity, whether a prophet they have high regard for or an archangel whom they feel like they know through stories or an internal feeling. This could be anyone that you have a connection to. You can find your favorite archetype and internally connect to its energy. This may help you find that sense of calm and hope that is a major part of meditation.
Find a place where you feel immediate calm when you sit. Put some of your favorite items there, items that help you concentrate and get centered. Don't attach to any of the items, but use them as focusing and calming devices. People report that by meditating daily in a specific place, it seems as if they add something positive to that place with every meditation. This makes them focus and connect easier as they go along.
You can use your senses to maximize your calm and pleasant moments during meditation. Also, use them for a sense of awareness of your body. Your body is an unbelievable design that communicates with you only if you listen. In addition, try to positively stimulate your senses. For example, use pleasant organic fragrance, a mellow music, a fresh flower, a soft cushion. These can be simple items you hand pick and use.
As the world is unfolding, it may seem more complex. Meditation will help you calm your mind. When the mind is calm, it is more practical to use your logic to deal with life's challenges and see the world objectively. Open your mind and learn new ways to find the peacefulness within. Read more books on meditation and why it works, and use this technique as a tool to become more of your fully-functioning and positive self.
Roya R. Rad, MA, PsyD
Self Knowledge Base & Foundation
A non-profit dedicated to public education