Meditation is typically viewed as a spiritual experience, but that does not mean it is inherently religious. While several religions have traditions steeped in meditative practices like prayer and daily readings, meditation is not deliberately faith-based.
Many mindfulness instructors have shared their techniques and experiences to help bring more people into the mindfulness fold because the benefits of continuous practice are bountiful. However, while a person might meditate to form or nurture a connection to their spiritual self, they do not have to adhere to a specific ideology or religious group.
Meditation, more than anything, is a period of intense focus on the present. It is a time to shut off intrusive thoughts and feelings, like stress and anxiety. The reason so many people now meditate daily is the numerous health and wellness benefits.
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Understanding the Benefits of Daily Meditation or Contemplation
Mindfulness meditation is an excellent way to separate your feelings from your negative thoughts. Most people spend their days fixating on their challenges and shortcomings rather than taking time to reflect on something positive or taking time to calm down and focus on the problem analytically.
By taking a break from intrusive and negative thoughts, you can return to a problem with a fresh perspective, often finding a peaceful way to resolve your dilemma. If you are not used to meditation, try reading a passage from a book that inspires you. Take five to 15 minutes to reflect on the selection and nothing else. You should find that your body and mind relax during this meditative break.
Well-Being and Self-Confidence
Many people struggle to remain still for only a minute with their thoughts. The idea of change and impermanence are so terrifying they feel that every second of every day must be filled with some activity, some worry. However, as people build the habit of meditation, they begin to develop a healthier relationship with change and fear.
Meditation forces people to be present at the moment, and that feeling solidifies the knowledge that time is ever-shifting. Practitioners become comfortable and at peace with the idea of change and the passage of time, especially when they are forced to acknowledge the importance of each moment. Eventually, practitioners begin to feel an improved sense of self-worth and well-being, leading to enhanced confidence.
Physical and Psychological Health Benefits
Meditation has likely been studied more than any other mindfulness practice. According to the bulk of research, meditation has many physical benefits, including:
Regulating heart rate
Improving sleep quality
Regulating blood pressure
Additionally, meditation can help improve psychological characteristics. Many practitioners explain seeing or feeling an improvement in three areas:
Achieving the benefits of daily meditation means you must first establish a habit. As you begin the practice of meditating, it can feel strange. You do not have to start with 20-minute sessions; many instructors explain that starting with only a few minutes a day is ideal for building a habit and routine.
Do you have any meditation practices to share? Leave a comment below.