Hey there, Meditation is a something I personally believe everyone should practice.
Be it an entrepreneur or professional guy or just a student.
In this blog, I will explain in detail, what is meditation, types of meditation, why meditation is important, what meditation does to your brain, benefits of meditation covering all aspects of life, answering to some of the most frequently asked questions related to meditation along with tips and addressing misconceptions regarding meditation all in detail.
Yes, it is long but stick with me, it is worth a read.
Well, I have experience in meditation for more than 2 years now.
I practice meditation every day for 25 minutes.
To help you understand, what, why, and how of meditation, lets first look into, what exactly meditation is.
What is meditation?
Meditation is easy words are a practice of just being aware and focused on a particular thing for an extended period.
The particular thing which I am referring to could be anything
Starting right from your breath, any mantra, any picture in mind, any sound.
Meditation is a very subjective thing and it depends on the individual.
Some people’s version and perception of meditation can be totally different from some other people.
Now I hope you got a bird’s eye view of what exactly is meditation.
Let’s dig deep into it and understand why we need to practice it.
5 Types of meditation.
Now as you know what is meditation, in this part we will look at what are the types of meditation and how you can start meditation from a basic level.
There are many types of meditation, we will talk about 5 very specific types of meditation you can do which is commonly practiced all over the world.
Here is an overview of the types of these practices.
- Mindfulness meditation.
- Spiritual meditation.
- Focused meditation.
- Movement meditation.
- Transcendental meditation.
Let’s understand all of them in detail now.
1. Mindfulness meditation.
Mindfulness means being attentive and aware of something.
In this practice of meditation, you pay attention to thoughts in your mind as they wander in your mind, you neither get part in thinking nor judge the thoughts nature, you just observe the thoughts as they are coming in likewise to how you watch any movie or cricket in television, similarly, you just observe your thoughts, look and understand the pattern of the thoughts.
In this practice you will get to know more about your thoughts, it is because, for the first time in your life you have started looking inside of you and giving more emphasis on your thoughts, you will learn to accept about your self, know about your grudges and many more things about yourself and your mind.
With time as you do this and you put your focus on something, you will gain concentration and understand your thoughts for better and control your thoughts and thereby controlling your mind and life.
2. Spiritual meditation.
In the name itself, it means spiritual which means related to religion and god.
In this practice of meditation which primarily practiced in eastern countries like India and China in religions like Hinduism where your objective in practicing this type of meditation is about finding and establishing a connection between you and the supreme of god above you by reflecting within yourself and inner meditation.
You with time will come to the conclusion that God is residing in every living thing and you start treating everything with compassion, and kindness.
If you are interested in learning more about this meditation practice you can read a spiritual mediation guide.
Let’s move on to another one.
3. Focused meditation.
In this practice of meditation which is practiced all most all over the world is done by putting the focus on something, that something could be anything right from your breath, any mantra, and music. any thought, any picture in mind.
I have explained how you can practice this mediation which I personally practice for 2 years in the nest part of how to do meditation, but if you are not comfortable on focusing on your breath you can go for focusing on light of a candle instead.
Let me explain to you how.
Light and place a candle in front of you in few feets distance, observe the light of a candle for a while without blinking eyes, and after few seconds close your eyes and picture the image of the light of a candle in your mind, as you lose the image and wander in your thoughts, come back to candle and observe it and close eyes and picture the image and repeat the process.
You should not actively participate in thinking and wandering in mind, you need to exercise your will power to come back to that focus thing every time you drift away in your thoughts.
That is how you increase your concentration and attention and train your mind to focus on one thing which was till now put into all these multitasks and distractions thing.
It is quite hard to get doing this but make sure you practice it consistently on daily basis to see results that are not quick.
4. Movement meditation.
It is a common misconception that most people when to hear about this term they think as yoga but it is not.
This meditation is similar to the focused meditation practice but rather than focus on something physical and external thing other than breath, in this, you focus on the movement of your self.
Feeling and sensation of walking on woods, gardening, and other types of motion but being aware of your sensations.
In this meditation practice, you have to stay in present and feel and sense the movements of your hands, wind hitting your body, the sensations of your feet as you walk on different surfaces like wood and rocks.
This is the type of meditation you can practice in the noisiest places in the world.
That is why meditation is rightly said that once you understand and practice meditation, it no longer will be a habit it will be your lifestyle.
Lifestyle is something even deeper than just a habit.
5. Transcendental meditation.
This meditation practice is the most popular among all the popular practices of meditation that are there.
In this practice of meditation which is practiced for 15 minutes on average twice a day by practitioners is done by silent use of some mantra in mind
You can use mantras like universal sounds like OM or any mantra.
If you are interested in knowing more about this type of meditation practice, read the transcendental meditation guide.
How to do meditation.
There are a few steps you need to follow to start meditation as a beginner.
1. Decide a specific time and place you want to meditate.
You should not be meditating at different places like today meditating in the bedroom and tomorrow in the hall.
The place and your surroundings must be familiar every time you sit at that place at that time it must be a trigger to your brain that you are now going to meditate.
2. Begin by sitting cross-legged with your back straight and focus on your breath for a few minutes like say 3 minutes.
Keep the first beginning sessions of meditation small and easy to complete, don’t get too excited with the benefits and expect yourself doing meditation for 10-20 minutes in the first place.
No, there are high chances of you getting bored with it.
Start small, complete the task, and appreciate yourself for moving on the path of changing your life.
The most important thing in the position of sitting in meditation is having your back straight.
3. Be aware of your breath as you sit for meditation and start meditating.
Be mindful of your breath, the way you inhale, how much air is going into your lungs, the movement of air when you exhale, how your stomach is expanding for every breath, be aware of all these small feelings.
It is about being in the present and being aware of everything happening around.
When you get diverted and your mind wanders to different thoughts and you will because the mind’s nature is like a drunken monkey explained by Buddhist monks.
Meditation in its heart is about building a healthy relationship with your mind.
I once again want to state it clear here, meditation is a very subjective thing, ultimately it is about being in the moment, and you don’t need to just focus on breathing if you are not comfortable with it, you can chant any mantras like OM, or listen to some meditation music.
The process depends on your convenience but ultimately it is about focusing on a particular thing and being aware and being in the moment.
This is how you do meditation.
Why meditation is important.
In the stressful life of people where everyone is on their toes all the time in quest of money and stability and oscillating between past and future having no peace of mind.
Peaceless, the disturbed mind is the home for all problems in a person’s life.
When there is no peace of mind then even if you achieve the greatest wealth in the world you will not be happy.
Happiness does not come from things but from thoughts.
Meditation is the practice that will help you regain your mental piece and therefore control your life.
We will get into details of how exactly you can do that but here, more specifically, during meditation, you will be performing no activity which means you are not physically doing anything.
When you focus on something like mindfulness meditation stance despite mind wandering to different places but when you bring your attention back to your focus thing, you will with time understand your feelings better.
- Why you hate someone in the first place where you put a lot of grudges on him or her.
- Why you like something, why you dislike something.
As you do meditation, as you being aware of your thoughts, your dominant thoughts, you can know the reasons behind your hatred about something and learn about this anxiety and stress that you carry all the time in the day, it will be like a review of your mind.
You will gain nothing being theoretical, you will have to practice it every day for some time based on your convenience consistently and you will see results of reduced anxiety, mental stress, increased awareness, and understanding of your thoughts and perceptions of people.
You see everything starts from a thought, be it a good action or a bad action.
You understand your thoughts during meditation, it is that you can control them.
When you control your thoughts, you control your mind, you control your actions, you control your anxiety levels, you control your life, therefore.
You see all these mental issues like depression, anxiety, stress, etc begin only from a single unnoticed thought in the mind when you start understanding the hidden emotion and reason behind the thoughts, you can convert them and start looking with a better perspective.
Meditation and mind.
As per psychology today, when meditation is being practiced, many parts of the brain like Ventromedial medial prefrontal cortex connected with other centers of grain which are responsible for emotions of anxiety and depression sort of thoughts begin to become small and break down and that is the reason behind feeling of happiness after every meditation session or at least less anxiety.
Another interesting thing about meditation is that neural connections will be healthier between the Lateral prefrontal cortex part of your brain which allows the brain to look at the things more logically and rationally with a balanced perspective which obviously responsible for modulation emotional responses of brain-like fear and anger emotions to Amygdala [ part of the brain responsible for emotional responses like fight or flight in cases of the dog chasing behind you ] or in another way called as the fear center.
The better neural pathways between these two parts of the brain are a clear signal that when you experience a bodily sensation of something dangerous or sad you start observing and analyzing the situation with a rational and logical perspective than reacting to the situation on autopilot.
The difference in the situation to the mind which meditates and which does not is the mind which meditates respond and mind which does not meditate react.
You will be a proactive guy, then being reactive to the situation.
The other interesting thing which happens is that while you meditate the part of the brain called Dorsomedial prefrontal cortex which is a part of the medial prefrontal cortex which is responsible for processing information related to people and how they perceive you and in empathy for others to maintain social relationships with others gets stronger resulting in increased empathy towards others as you continue doing meditation.
Ability to understand people by putting yourself in other’s shoes is the most important aspect in a relationship which is also called empathy and the more empathetic you are the better your social and public relations get.
Hence you will transform into a person who is the more calm, composed, empathetic, kind, compassionate, understandable, rational guy.
Eventually, you will grow as a better person with increased focus levels, calmness, better performance in stressful situations, a human with compassion and love, etc.
These benefits of meditation are only experienced with regular practice of it.
Benefits of meditation.
As you have got a brief understanding of how meditation influences mind and does changes in mind, in this part, we will discuss what are the top benefits of meditation both physical, mental, and spiritual aspects of it covered all in detail with facts and proofs.
5 Physical benefits of meditation.
1. Meditation lowers blood pressure and helps you relax physically.
You see, when you are doing mindfulness meditation, you are not physically active, you have to sit at a place and just being aware of your thoughts and not performing any action.
Blood pressure as we all know if gets high creates a strain on the heart and consistent high blood pressure can lead to heart diseases and poor heart function.
There are possibilities of high BP in resulting in a heart attack as it narrows the arteries.
You become more relaxed after every meditation session you practice and get calmer.
2. Meditation helps slow down the aging process.
The prime reason why or how meditation helps slow down the aging process is that it reduces the stress, you see, when you meditate, cortisol, which is the hormone responsible for tension in the body gets small and thereby controlling stress and eventually decreasing aging process.
You see, essentially stress impacts in shortening length of the telomeres which are protein caps in chromosome part of cells in our body.
When there is high stress in the body, the telomers get shorten to a point where cells cannot replicate it during the division of cells and that results in an increase in wrinkles and signs of aging-related issues.
You start appearing more older than your age.
By doing meditation it is proved that among the topmost benefits of meditation is reduce stress and increase calmness and with reduce stress obviously there will be reduced in shortening of telomers and reduction in the aging process of the body.
All of these are correlated with each other.
If you are interested in learning in detail of how telomeres deal with stress and how meditation influences the aging process, click here.
3. Strengthen the immune system and fight against diseases.
It is no brainer to understand the influence of stress in the body with that of the immune system.
It is not necessary to mention again and again the impact of meditation on mind and changing different parts of the mind, forming new connections and pathways to new parts of the brain, we all discussed it in meditation and mind part of the blog.
When there is a reduction of stress in the body, your immune system will definitely get better, and as the immune system gets better, you will stop catching flu and regular sickness frequently.
In my personal experience, I have not caught any sickness or flu for 1 year so far as I have been doing meditation for more than 2 years so far.
Just give it a try in meditation when seeing if you are one of those people who catch flu, sickness quite frequently.
If you are holding one of these signs, you might be having an issue with the immune system.
Make sure to check that out and act quick.
4. Increase in kindness and empathy which improves your relations.
Well, I have explained theoretically how meditation influences the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex of the brain which processes information related to perceiving people empathy-related aspects of it.
This part gets strong, there was a study conducted on will meditation increase positive feelings and actions towards yourself and for others or not.
In that study, Metta, which was a type of meditation on loving and kindness aspect of life, was tested on 100 people and the result was the more effort people put in developing thoughts on kindness the more they experienced.
5. Improve sleep.
You will sleep fast and long as you do meditation because one of the major reasons of insomnia among people if overthinking of things and while doing the meditation, you with time, get control over your thoughts and your mind as discussed earlier then there is no question about overthinking and nothing as insomnia.
Continuous practice of meditation leads to a reduction of stress, better immunity, the reduced aging process, better sleep, better relationships with people, etc.
These are some of the best physical benefits of meditation you will experience in your life as you do meditation.
Now, let’s discuss the 5 psychological benefits of meditation.
7 psychological and spiritual benefits of meditation.
In this part as mentioned earlier, we will discuss some important benefits of meditation on the psychological level of the brain and humans.
1. Increase in attention span and will power.
Due to social media and access to instant gratification tech, the average attention span of a human being today is close to 8 seconds.
You see how bad it is, it is lower the attention span of goldfish which is 9 seconds.
Increasing the attention span is like weight lifting, every time you drift away in your thoughts during meditation when you consciously bring back the thoughts to your focus object you are actually training the brain muscle to get stronger and not get distracted with other thoughts when focusing on something.
There was a study conducted where a bunch of people was asked to practice mindfulness meditation for 8 continuous weeks, the result was that the people who practiced meditation had more attention span and remembered the details of their tasks for better than people who did not practice any meditation.
2. The decrease in memory loss.
As per some research, it is seen that regular meditation practice will increase blood flow to cerebral cortex part of the brain which is responsible for mental functions like learning, concentration, and memory, what meditation does is it strengthens the network of blood vessels in the cerebral cortex part of the brain and improves the capacity of memory along with focus and learning ability.
3. Less anxiety and depression.
In the earlier part of meditation and mind, I have explained in detail how meditation influences the brain, different parts of the brain.
For example, how practicing meditation influences the part of the brain called ventromedial prefrontal cortex which is responsible for the thoughts of anxiety and depression gets small and the neural paths get weak and less, similarly, you see in meditation there is the same thing, every time you meditate there is less anxiety which is obviously a byproduct of less stress and as you are aware of thoughts you can solve thoughts which are creating conflicts in your system.
Depression and all these big mental issues are created right from a thought which has gone unnoticed back in the brain.
As you do meditation you have awareness of your thoughts and with the time you will be in charge of your mind and thereby your life.
4. Increase in self-awareness.
The practice of meditation is essentially about self, as you meditate you will sit at a place and observe your thoughts, your pattern of thinking, your likings and your disliking, your love and passion, your values, your commitments, the grudges you held back in your mind which are resulting in tension and stress in your life, you never had put so much emphasis on what is there inside you.
This is the most important benefit if you look at meditation as a spiritual practice in the spiritual benefits of meditation.
As you do meditation, you will put more effort into your inner stuff and thereby becoming more aware and conscious of your life.
Your inner conflicts will get reduced, your self-esteem will increase along with your self-confidence,
5. Control anger from switching in fight or flight mode, and help in thinking logically and rationally in stressful situations and make better decisions.
I have explained how the lateral prefrontal cortex part of the brain is important and that it changes in size and increases the neural pathways to the amygdala which is responsible for emotional responses like fight or flight.
But not all the time fight or flight is not required our basic instinct has not evolved.
In those cases, by doing meditation the parts of the brain which is responsible for the behavior of fight or flight will get reduced to small and hence in tough in emotional situations where the probability of a person of getting frustrated with anger increases but in place of you will think it more logically and rationally rather than being an emotional fool and being reactive to every situation of life.
6. Happiness and better emotional health.
It is very important to understand the secret of life that,
Happiness lies in thoughts and in mind, not in materials.
Happiness is a state of mind but not a state of a material thing.
For some people, this small yet most important lesson of life is never realized throughout life, they continue chasing for money, fame, recognition, and happiness for the rest of their life, some succeed but many fail.
By the continuous practice of meditation, there is an increase in the grey matter of right precuneus of the brain which is responsible for increase in good feelings and happiness in mind.
Meditation is more or less like an exercise and training to the brain.
The way physical exercise is important to stay in shape and healthy likewise meditation helps your brain stay active, healthy, and happy.
Meditation helps in clearing the mind and a clear mind is the best place for solutions and creativity.
As I mentioned earlier cerebral cortex part of brain which is responsible for learning, concentration aspects help in boost and give new ideas in the brain.
We will not get into details of it but if you are interested in how meditation helps in creativity read the article of a study done on few people on meditation and creativity.
Meditation to different people.
You see, essentially, meditation will improve your performance, making you stress-free, and anxiety-free human being, full of focus, concentration, calmness, compassionate, patient, and empathetic.
Why meditation is important for parents?
If you are a parent and have a child you need to be patient and calm yet composed at the same time in this tough situation.
These qualities are very much crucial in parenting a child, especially if you have a stubborn child on top of that in the COVID pandemic where there are so many additional tensions on your head like job security.
It obviously gets hard for any parent to be as patient and compassionate as now in the corona as they were before corona.
If you have grownup children, you can get them to do meditation along with you so that they can stay away from this era of social media and increase of depression as a byproduct of the technology
You see, children are to be taken care of gently with care and if you are not in the right state of mind and patient you would fail in parenting your child which would seriously affect the future of the child because the child will restore all those things which he experiences in his childhood as beliefs in the subconscious mind and as the famous line in bible goes.
According to your belief, be it onto you.
Meditation will not just help parents but people of all professions to live a life of stress and anxiety-free and think clearly in tough situations and be more focused and compassionate to others which will help you in improving your relations.
Why meditation is important for students?
There are many benefits of doing meditation for all the people especially students.
You see the most important thing in studies is concentration and attention span but in this social media conquering world, where the students are addicted to instant gratification, the attention span is really very less.
Meditation really helps in increasing the attention span of the students as we talked before, and due to easy access to social media like Instagram and Facebook, there is an increase in depression chances in students who get influenced by the fake lifestyles of social media influencers.
By practicing meditation, it helps to decrease the depression thoughts and helps the mind to look at things more rationally and boost critical thinking.
There are numerous benefits of meditation to students like boosting creativity and helping in kindness and optimism.
More of such awesome benefits are discussed above, with facts make sure to read that as well.
Why meditation is important for people of all professions?
Meditation is important for professionals to reduce stress of work and increase their efficiency in work, help to boost creativity, increase their strength in the immune system, and energy with positive thoughts.
Meditation will help people to think and act clearly in tough situations and help in increasing empathy which will improve relations with others.
Tips about meditation
- As I said earlier, if you want to experience the real benefits of meditation like control over your thoughts, anxiety, and depression, increase focus, empathy, calmness, compassion towards others you will need to practice meditation every day consistently and that happens when you decide doing meditation at a very specific place and a very specific time for at least 21 days and after that new neural path are created in your brain and the place will act as a trigger or signal of doing meditation.
- If you are good at doing meditation with your legs crossed and eyes closed then you should make sure your back is straight if not you might fall asleep, it is not mandatory to sit cross-legged it is on your comfort, remember I said it is subjective.
- Don’t meditate after you eat heavy meals as you might feel tired because your stomach is busy in the digestion process.
- Don’t continue in thinking in your thoughts when you get diverted in meditation, you need to actively and consciously move again back to your focus thing which can be breath or mantra or sound and that increases your concentration power and will power.
- Always remind yourself with the practical benefits of meditation like increase in focus and many more which I explained earlier when you are demotivated with no results.
- Remember, success in meditation is not a one-night thing, you have to be very consistent.
- Early morning is ideal for meditation because you will be fresh and happy after you do meditation and your head with clear thoughts and the right mood and your day will be in the right tone.
Some misconceptions about meditation.
What can be misconceptions about meditation, yes there are many of them, many people who think of starting meditation start with a wrong motive or intention and when the intention is not fruited, they quit.
Let’s look at those misconceptions about meditation you should not fall into.
- Meditation does not give you superpowers likeability to influence gravity and elevate above the ground as you heard of happening with monks in the mountains.
- Mediation is not about making your mind empty of thoughts rather it is about understanding your thoughts more deeply and therefore controlling your actions, your mind will get empty when you are dead or you have attained the ultimate state of mind which happens with monks.
- Meditation will increase your focus but it does not mean you will need to concentrate it means that you need to be aware of the things that you are focusing on and be in the present moment.
- Meditation is not a spiritual or religious activity or anything that old aged people do, it deals with yourself and being aware of you, understanding your thoughts, emotions and thereby becoming the master of your life.
- Meditation not just helps you deal with stress and anxiety, it will make you a better person overall improving your sleep, increasing your immunity power, improving your creativity, enhancing your thinking, making you more compassionate, more emphatic and more focussed.
- Meditation, as I said earlier, is not just about being still and quiet as it is pictured in general, I said meditation is very subjective and you can do meditation in the highest and nosiest places possible, it is about being aware, you can meditate while you are eating, swimming, dancing, writing, bathing, working, it is about being aware and being present but not on autopilot.
There you go, I have addressed all the misconceptions and everything related to meditation, now it is your turn and decides whether you want to do meditation or not.
Common faqs about meditation.
What the bible says about meditation
In the bible, the meditation meaning is about reflecting upon self and it means obedience of your breath.
Is it ok to cry while meditating?
Normally people cry when they feel something very intense and if you are getting tears in your eyes during meditation, it could be of joy or bliss which means you are in the highest state of mind and it is totally fine to cry while meditating, you will most probably experience in spiritual meditation or transcendental meditation practice.
I have experienced it in spiritual meditation practice to be very specific.
What happens when we meditate daily?
When you meditate daily for an extended period of time you will start observing some changes in your mind like an increase in attention span, your kindness will increase, you will get calmer, your anxiety levels decrease, you start observing and analyzing situations more rationally and logically.
How do I know if I am meditating correctly?
The best solution for this is to ask someone to guide you in the process and see your self whether you are experiencing the benefits of meditation as stated earlier, if you experience even a few of them in a few weeks like for instance 8, if you experiencing them then it is well and good that you are on the right track.
What is the real purpose of meditation?
Meditation is a very subjective practice.
In that case, the purpose of meditation varies from person to person.
To me it was an increasing attention span, it could be to increase self-awareness about you.
You get the point, but the overall purpose of meditation is to increase self-awareness, for self-development and wellbeing.
How can I improve meditation?
The perfect answer for this is to just be consistent in your approach and increase the time period of practicing meditation.
You will improve better in meditation for sure.
What happens if I stop meditating after a while?
If you stop meditation after a few months then as I mentioned all those parts in the brain which gets influenced and increases the neural connections in parts of brain get weaker and back to default.
You know neuro plasticity, I am talking about that.
You have to keep meditating in order to ensure the neural paths which as I mentioned earlier in different parts of the brain which are useful for you to stay stronger.
Let me assure you, as you do meditation for a while, it becomes a habit to a lifestyle.
You do not need to push yourself to do meditation every day then, it will automatically happen.
There you go, I have answered all the queries regarding meditation in this blog.
Let me know whether you are going to start practicing meditation or not from today in the comments below.
Make sure to share the blog with your family and friends if you found it even 1% of worthy and helpful to let them know about it.
You know sharing is caring.
If you are interested in reading our similar blogs, read the best online business ideas to start from scratch.
Until next time, Peace out.
Hi, I am Praneeth Kumar [19 years aged guy] founder and owner of this blog, I am a blogger and an online entrepreneur by passion and a college student in the Arts Education branch, You can learn my story from a college student to a blogger on the about me page.