Meditation is to the mind what physical fitness is to the body. It involves practices such as mindfulness to train the mind to attain more focus, awareness, and a sense of calm. It can be extremely beneficial to overall mental health, with both short term and long-term effects. However, while contemplation and reflection produce great results, you can take your mental health to an even higher level by integrating a few of the following tips.
1. Be Comfortable
Forget “dressing right” for meditation. The only correct way to dress is the one where you are comfortable. Consider loose-fitting clothing or flexible materials to keep from having to readjust. When you are comfortable, you can focus on the meditations of the moment and relax your mind and body.
2. Focus on Your Breath
Breathing for survival is different than breathing for health. Take note of how you breathe while you meditate, slowing it down and making each breath deeper and longer. Count your breaths as you inhale, holding it for a moment, then slowly exhaling. Make sure every breath is full enough that you feel it coming in through your nose, going down into your lungs, and reaching all the way to your toes. Count a cycle of 10 deep breaths, then begin the count again. Chances are you will realize just how shallow you breathe throughout the day when you are on the go, becoming more centered as you slow it down.
3. Be Consistent
Give yourself a set reminder to meditate every day, whether it is first thing in the morning, during an afternoon break, or in the evening as you wind down. Consistency is key when garnering the benefits of meditation. Get up a few minutes early or set a prompt for the same time each day and consider it part of your must-do list. After a while, the meditations will become part of your natural routine, and you can build upon your progress.
Challenge yourself to commit to a specific meditation daily for a month or longer to experience the long-term effects on your mental and physical health. Whether you choose to meditate in the studio, in your residence, or on Amrit’s meditation terrace, make sure you remain consistent. As you begin to transform and reap the benefits of your meditative practices, you will notice your body’s reminders.
4. Log Your Progress
Logging your progress does not mean you have to chronicle every detail of your journey — unless you wish to, of course, then go for it! However, it mostly means keeping track of the basics such as how easy it was for you to fall asleep, how many times you woke up throughout the night, how you felt in the morning, your overall disposition each day, and how you reacted to both minor and heavily emotional circumstances. Jot down moments your temper flared and what you did to diffuse or deal with the situation. The entries can be just a few words to give a sense of your mindset and any changes that occur over time. Be sure to note physical ailments, as well, and any changes you see that pertain to them.
5. Embrace Silence
In today’s world, it is easy to be inundated with sound. Smartphones alone can create an on-going barrage of noise with such a large portion of the population carrying them around. Alerts, music, rings, and notifications often flow from the pockets, purses, and hands of those around us, not to mention the one-sided conversations heard so often in public spaces. Cars, televisions, and the hum of electronics can all add to perpetual white noise around you.
Be intentional with your audio environment. Find time each day — or multiple times a day — to be silent and in silence. Being alone with your thoughts can be a scary concept, as noise creates an easy distraction. However, silence is extremely beneficial in regulating emotions, increasing focus, and allowing you to be present. As little as two minutes of quiet can greatly reduce your cardiovascular and respiratory rates. Silence also reduces stress levels and aids in self-reflection. As a bonus, regular bouts of silence can boost the immune system, increase cell growth, lower blood pressure, and enhance memory.
Meditation can lead to mental clarity and emotional stability. It can help reduce anxiety, combat depression, lower stress, and offer a sense of calm in your daily life. Amrit values mindfulness as one of the primary pillars of wellness, offering all the tools you need to meet your goals. Whether you are a beginner or well into your journey, check out Amrit’s wellness spa to see how we can help you continue forward.