Quiet the mind, live in the now: The benefits of meditation

(Photo courtesy of Pixabay user Wunderela).

Meditation can lower blood pressure, improve blood circulation, and lower heart rate. So why isn’t it a part of everyone’s daily routine? Meditation has many different names and has been practiced in many different cultures. It has even been proven that meditation can cause changes to the brain and reduce anxiety and stress levels.   

But what exactly is meditation? It is a practice that requires you to relax your body and to clear your mind of all thoughts and focus on the present moment. You focus on your breathing and the sensation you feel in your body while keeping your mind clear of your thoughts or worries of the day. 

It may sound impossible to not think of anything, but meditation is a skill that can be learned and is abstract in a sense that you can personalize what mediation is to you. Some people meditate for as little as five minutes, while others meditate for longer.  

There are different types of meditation that have different focuses and types of methods. One that I normally do is called body scan, I start the meditation by closing my eyes, taking some deep breaths, and then focusing on whatever sensation I’m feeling in my feet. Then I start to incorporate the rest of my body from the bottom of my feet, until I get to the top of my head. 

When I first started, I found my mind wandering off to other places, but as time went on, I became better at controlling my thoughts. Beginners trying this new experience might find it challenging. To improve at it, you must practice and eventually it will become effortless. 

From personal experience, the benefits of meditation, like any exercise, become more noticeable when they are done consistently. I can feel a big difference from when I’m meditating regularly and when I am not. Meditation has some misconceptions; some people think of it as being part of some religious or spiritual practice 

Meditation can be used to aid in whatever you need it to. My reason for getting into meditation was to help me relax at night before I went to sleep. It helped me, so I got into it more and eventually started to like it. When I do it regularly my thoughts are clearer, and I feel less stressed about things like school or other daily responsibilities that I have. 

I know it’s not for everyonebut in a world where we are constantly going from one thing to the next, I find it nice to put my phone on silent and not worry about deadlines, but simply relax in the present. As a generation where we’re saturated by technology and at times when life’s stresses seem to be inescapable, try taking some time to be with yourself in the moment and find your zen.