Today in our healthy living series, we talk about meditation. More and more information is being shared about the benefits of meditation, and it’s no wonder. With so many positive things associated with it, meditation continues to grow in popularity. From Capitol Hill to Venice Beach, many American have turned to meditation to deal with the stressors of everyday life, to expand their awareness, and to simply help them grow on a personal level.
At Modern Kids Design, we’re fans of meditation and since we promised to share a new healthy living-related “intention” each month this year, we’ve picked meditation for this month. If you're not doing it already, it is definitely worth setting an intention to try it. There is simply a lot to appreciate when it comes to meditation. Honestly, there is no end to the story or its benefits. So, while this is an overview, we encourage you to dig deeper to learn more. Keep in mind that, one of the beauties of this practice is regardless of where you are at on the meditation scale, so to speak, you can always go deeper and learn more.
The Benefits of Meditation
While there are various ways to meditate, most of the benefits are shared. Some of the most popularized benefits include stress reduction, improved concentration, better sleep, and an increased ability to tap into one’s intuition. That's right, meditating can help you align with what feels right to you and help you connect with your intuition.
Meditation can also help with self-awareness and allow you to more easily tune into your emotions. And a sub-benefit is that it can even help individuals break poor habit cycles as it can help you better realize why you are doing certain things and what emotions and stressors may be influencing your behavior.
People generally know that meditation can help you relax, but what is less known is that it can also have a positive impact on your cardiovascular health. It’s been shown to help lower blood pressure—and it may slow aging as it helps preserve cognition. Meditation can decrease anxiety and increase your energy levels.
More and more people are turning to meditation to deal with the noise and busyness of life. Even elementary schools and preschools are getting in on the action, helping children with breathing exercises and mindfulness. So, this is a practice that you can introduce to your children.
Types of Meditation
Finding a practice that works for you is one of the first steps. You don’t want to feel like you’re forcing yourself to do something that is not comfortable. After all, you’re a busy person with tons on your plate. Adding one more thing probably doesn’t sound too appetizing. However, by ensuring your meditation practice is enjoyable and helpful, you’ll be more inclined to fit it into your life. Here are a few types that you may want to look into…
One of the most popular types of meditation in the west is mindfulness meditation which is about facilitating greater focus and insight. It is easy to get started and a great place for a beginner. Often, the focus is on the breath and keeping focused attention. It is practiced everywhere from boardrooms to classrooms.
Vipassana is a traditional Buddhist meditation that is also known as insight meditation. It focuses on the breath and helps participants become more aware of themselves through it. It can be taught in a secular style.
Zen meditation is traditional Japanese Buddhist meditation that focuses on breathing as well as posture. This type of meditation is often done with a teacher who can help instruct you in the appropriate posture but there is so much information available that you can easily begin on your own to see if it resonates with you.
Another very popular form of meditation, TM or Transcendental Meditation is a great one to try. It is a mantra-based meditation, which relies on soothing rhythms to calm the mind and help one concentrate.
Also known as loving-kindness meditation, Metta meditation focuses on sending loving-kindness first to oneself and then to others. It helps increase empathy and connection. In our research, we found that it is said that it can help those who are too critical of themselves or others.
Last but not least, if you do have kids, you may want to look into Walking Meditation. It's a good option for kids of all ages in that it's fun, easy and a great way to encourage mindfulness.
This is only a short list. There are numerous types of meditation and you are welcome to craft your own practice which may involve choosing a particular word to focus on while breathing deeply. What's important is not which form of meditation you choose to practice, but whether or not it resonates with and works for you. You will know that it's working if you find peace of mind, and if you gain important insights that help you navigate life.
Consistency is important though. So, after you’ve decided to try a particular type of meditation, set aside some time to practice at the same time each day. A daily practice can help you form a healthy habit and will allow you to experience the benefits. Remember, it can take time to become comfortable with your practice, but don’t give up! Here are a couple more tips before signing off today. You can start with a little as five minutes. As you acclimate to meditation, you can increase your practice time. It is also important to remember not to get hung up on perfection. Just try it without judgment.
So, that's it for now. What topics are you interested in reading about here? We’d love to hear from you. As always, feel free to reach out at firstname.lastname@example.org and thanks for reading!