Meditation for Self-Improvement by Maria Rainier
Whether you want to reduce stress in your life and find more balance or you want to gain insight on behaviors or goals, meditation can help. Regular meditation practice can give you greater clarity about issues that are troubling you, can help you determine your priorities and set goals, and can help you become more focused and feel less frenzied.
There are several types of basic meditation practice from which to choose.
Choose the form that works best for your lifestyle and your personality.
Deep breathing. This meditation forces you to concentrate on the rhythm of your breathing. You can do this lying down, sitting, or even standing up – whatever feels most comfortable and natural for you. You can close your eyes or let them rest on a focal point.
Breathe in deeply through your nose to the count of five. Your abdomen should rise, rather than your chest. Hold the breath for another count of five, then exhale through your mouth for another count of five. Continue this cycle for 10 to 20 minutes.
If you are having a particularly stressful day, you can use this meditation for as little as five minutes to help you feel more centered.
This kind of meditation is called “mindfulness” meditation because it forces you to focus on the present. You should clear your mind and only focus on your breath. If thoughts arise, simply acknowledge them without judgment and clear them from your mind.
Walking meditation. This is another form of mindfulness meditation – only done in motion. While walking, you should take note of the way your body is feeling. Begin with your feet and move up through your shins, thighs, hips, belly, and so on.
Mantra meditation. This form of meditation relies on the repetition of a particular mantra to create mindfulness. Many use a mantra from Buddhism for their meditation, but you can easily create your own mantra for your practice.
Simply repeat the mantra while closing your eyes and maintaining awareness of your words and your body. Clear your thoughts and practice mindfulness and being in the moment.
How Often to Practice
Opinions vary on how often you should practice meditation. Some suggest 25 minutes twice a day. The most important thing is to find what works for you.
If you can only squeeze in five minutes a day – or even every other day – you will reap some benefits from the practice and will learn to become more mindful.
Meditation for self-improvement can help you learn to better manage stress and to have a greater understanding of your self. You can learn to focus on the present and not dwell on past harms or worry about future problems. You can also cultivate greater positivity and loving kindness.
Some experts note that regular meditation can also have physical benefits, as well as helping with a number of conditions, such as depression, sleep problems, and addiction. It has also been shown to help treat fatigue, heart disease, pain, high blood pressure, and much more.
Maria Rainier is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident blogger at First in Education, researching various online degree programs and blogging about student life. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.