Health Benefits of Meditation:
- Improved Concentration, Mental Clarity, & Memory
- Improved overall Physical Well-Being
- Strengthened Immune System
- Reduced Blood Pressure & Pain
- Reduced Anxiety & Depression
Meditation is mental exercise. It is not prayer; so even if you pray regularly, you still need to practice meditation. Your mind is like a puppy. It wants to wander around and experience everything it can. This is wonderful, but it can also limit the mind’s ability to focus, and mental power is directly related to focus. Meditation trains your mind to better focus, and in so doing strengthens your mental power. This increases the ease with which you do everything!
The process takes about 15 minutes. If you can do it regularly once a day, it will be the most productive 15 minutes of ‘doing nothing’ that you can possibly imagine. Just follow the easy steps and you’ll be on your way.
3 Steps to Breath Meditation
Step 1: The Setting
You will need to find some quiet space, a room where you can meditate without interruption.If there is a phone in the room, unplug it or turn it off. You will also need a comfortable chair to sit comfortably. Don’t cross your legs. Take 3 deep relaxing breaths, and when you exhale the third time, let your eyes close.
Step 2: Control Breathing
Use the diaphragmatic breathing technique in which you abdomen goes out when you inhale and goes in when you exhale (November 2018 Issue Guardian). Now you’re going to ‘control breathe.’ By that I mean, pause to hold your breath at the end of both your inhale and exhale. The pauses should be the same length of time that you use to breathe. When you feel the urge to sigh, just go with it. This will involve both chest-wall and diaphragmatic breathing.After the sigh, simply return to controlled abdominal breathing. Also, don’t be bothered by yawning. If you feel breathless or have ‘air hunger’ you will need to increase the rate of your breathing. This is often noticed during the pause at the end of an exhalation. If you start feeling a little dizzy you may be hyperventilating or breathing too fast and will need to slowdown your rate of breathing by increasing the length of the intervals.
Step 3: Training the Puppy
A crucial part of breath meditation is your mental focus. While you are sitting there comfortably practicing controlled breathing, it is important that you keep your mind entirely focused on your breathing. You can choose to focus on your breathing rate, how the air feels in your lungs, or how your abdomen feels as it moves in and out. As you do this, your mind is likely to start wandering around like a puppy. Just as you place your new puppy to sit comfortably by your side, it immediately starts to wander in one direction or another. Without becoming upset with the puppy, you gently retrieve it, and put it next to you again.
Your mind will stray the same way. No matter how hard you try to keep your attention on your breathing, the mind will wander off in this thought or that thought. The more you practice this retrieving and refocusing, the stronger your power of concentration will be. After a few weeks or months of regular practice, you will notice that the mind is wandering less and that you are retrieving your awareness more easily.
People who meditate regularly like this see an improvement in every health function measured.They experience a healthier and longer life. Do not underestimate the power of this simple exercise to increase your energy levels, enhance your mental speed and concentration, and improve your mood, sleep, and emotional state.