Meditation is something that all of us can benefit from. And in today’s hectic world, there has never been a more critical time for us to give it a go. But unfortunately, many people don’t understand meditation or how to use it. And many people even find themselves prejudiced against meditation – assuming that it’s only for people who want to ‘achieve enlightenment’ or that it’s a purely spiritual or religious practice.
What is Meditation?
Though, meditation doesn’t have to be about either of those things. Instead, meditation is primarily just the practice of focusing your mind and paying attention. Think of it like weight lifting but for your brain.
There are different types of meditation, and these have other end goals. However, the main objective, in any case, involves focusing your thoughts and choosing what you want to focus on and what you’re going to think. Instead of letting your mind run away with you as you worry about things you can’t change or feel generally stressed, meditation teaches you how to focus on the things that make you happy and shut out the things that don’t help.
Types of Meditation
Perhaps the best way to demonstrate this is to introduce some meditation techniques.
One is ‘mindfulness’. Here, the objective is not to stop yourself from thinking but to detach yourself from your thoughts and become almost like a third party observing those thoughts. The expression often used is that you’re going to watch them ‘drift by like clouds.
This is valuable because you can prevent your thoughts from controlling your emotions. For example, when you’re scared of heights, you can stop worrying about falling and instead note that you have that thought in a detached manner. Psychologists also use mindfulness to help people better understand the contents of their minds.
Another type of meditation is ‘transcendental’. Most people are familiar with this type, which involves trying to ‘shut out’ your outside thoughts. Instead, you’re trying to make your mind completely quiet, which often consists of a mantra – a repeated phrase.
Eventually, you can use this meditation to stop all and any stress: quiet your brain for a moment of peace and relaxation!