With so many of us taking up the practice of regular meditation, it's no wonder that meditation is beginning to become more popular than ever. Whatever form of meditation you practice, you will see a profound improvement in your happiness and general well-being. Here's why....
Five ways meditation can make you happier are discussed below.
1. You instill calmness in your life. Whilst meditating you can concentrate on feeling calm and at peace in your surroundings. You can learn to stop all thoughts and give your mind a rest. Even if the thoughts keep flowing through you, you can train yourself to become the 'observer' of them and become literally 'detached' from them. As your worries of the day begin to dissolve, your subconconcious brain will begin to connect with the outcomes you want and even solve your problems for you.
2. You train yourself to release stress.
We sometimes take up meditation to relieve those night-time niggles and worries. Built up mental pressures from the day are known to trigger depression and have a negative impact on our physical health. Cortisol is our body's main stress hormone. If we are constantly stressed, our cortisol levels can go haywire and hit the roof! This in turn can cause digestive problems, insomnia, weight gain, headaches and even heart disease. It can affect your skin, your general energy levels and the level of strength in your muscles. By practicing daily meditation, we can reduce our cortisol levels and so improve our overall health. A healthy you will definately lead to a happier you. The more you do it, the calmer you feel and healthier you get.
3. You become free of internal baggage.
Harbouring worries and old resentments is obviously unhealthy for us too. The meditation works by giving us a chance to self cleanse and let go of our old problems that hold us back. Sometimes we tend to revisit painful memories over and over again. This then makes the problems feel bigger than they are and we end up reflecting these in our responses. Being free of internal baggage means that we can respond to others proportionately. We don't feel the need to be reactionary, lash out and get angry unnecessarily. Instead we can respond to others with a controlled unwavering confidence. We begin building more positive relationships with others. This in turn will improve your moods and make you happier.
4. You acquire clarity of thought.
Meditation can give you the opportunity to think about what you want in life. When you make the time to really think about what is truely important to you, you can find the steps to make it happen. You know that feeling when you set yourself a goal but then talk yourself out of it? or find it hard to make a decision and it just feels like a dilemma that is swirling round in your head for hours on end?
Well this really helps in those moments!
If you already have a goal, you can make the time to decide how to achieve it during your meditation. With all your emotions to one side and under control, you can start to visualise which steps you wish to take. You begin to step into your 'successful' side, by positively telling yourself that you will be able to do it. Meditation can help you by making you resilient- get your bounce back. Faith kicks in as you start trusting your gut instincts. Then you realise that many of your experiences carry a lesson,rather than just feeling like you got the short straw.
5. You will understand your own feelings and thoughts better.
There are many forms of meditation you can practice. It doesn't necessarily have to be a religious meditation that you perform. You don't even need to copy someone else's method. It is important that you find a way of meditating that suits you. The main point is that it represents something positive in your life and helps to enhance it. If you do follow a faith, you can choose this if you wish. It's all about personal choice.
You could try various forms of yoga if you like to exercise- a series of asanas perhaps (sitting upright), and pranayama (breathing exercises). The word ‘yoga’ comes from the Sanskrit word “yuj”, which means ‘to form union’, or ‘to add’. Yoga aims to unite the bodily self with the spiritual self. It is a philosophy on achieving a level of mastery over the mind and body.
Then there is mantra-meditation. You can choose to recite word or phrase, that has a positive meaning, for the purpose of increasing focus and attaining inner peace. The vibrations associated with the sound of the mantras help you to focus. I like to use the OM chant -by making this sound at the same frequency as primeval Universe you would be aligning your own internal energy. I have also used a Yantra. Yantras are geometric diagrams, composed of a small dot surrounded by circles, triangles, and squares, each of which is symbolic. Alternatively use Mandalas with shapes of flowers. When used with relaxing music and visualising being wrapped in 'energy' in the form of white light, this can have a powerful impact. You could use props to enhance your atmosphere such as candles*, deities, inscents, crystals rocks, water, flowers. These are not always necessary as you can meditate anywhere if you want to.
(Candles*- In my personal experience candles deeply enhance the experience of meditation because they represent energy. You can deeply meditate & max on the experience using a candle on it's own.)
Some people practice the meditation of gratitude or metta-meditation. Here you practice self-reflection, kindness to others and focus on the goodness in other people. This gives you compassion for others, patience and a feeling of collective collaboration. Again if practiced regularly, it can provide you with feelings of happiness for yourself and others around you. Others follow Zen, Buddhist, Hindu and Jain principles- all of which you could sample to see which suits you best.
To summarise, whatever form of meditation you decide on, you need to ensure the area of focus is positive and helps you. Make sure you are comfortable, surrounded by a quiet environment and are free from distractions or disturbances. Using mantras and yantras can be a simple way to begin meditating. When starting out, reserve 15-20 minutes out of your busy schedule to practice your meditation. You can carry out meditation, after a shower or bath, first thing in the morning or last thing in the evening (don't fall asleep!).
After a few weeks of doing this, I really benefited from increasing this to an hour a day. I did set my personal goals and then... as if by chance, I stumbled across the career of my dreams! I trained up using a digital education platform and became an Online Education Consultant, having been a Science teacher for over 23 years. How did that happen? When I joined the online community, I was not even slightly surprised to connect with highly successful online business owners, that practice daily meditation with integrity and honesty. Many of them shared that the key to their success, having given up their day jobs and starting their own businesses online, meant they found clarity and fullfillment though meditation. These were people from all walks of life who'd had high pressure jobs all of their adult lives, found a better way to manage.
For me, the best bit was that I finally got to enjoy time with my family and work on my laptop, recharge my own batteries and meditate when I want. Afterall our happiness depends on us.
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Thanks for reading!
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