When people hear the word ‘meditation,’ most think it’s a way to become a better, new, or a different person. However, that’s not the concept of meditation. Instead, it’s the practice of disciplining oneself to have a healthy sense of perspective and awareness.
Through meditation, you can better understand your feelings and thoughts instead of shutting them out. That’s because you’ll learn how to be mindful of your thoughts and feelings without judging them—and that takes time and practice. As an overall result, you can improve your physical and mental health.
During trying times, everyone is encouraged to practice meditation since practitioners believe it provides the following:
1. Improves Sleep
Insomnia or having difficulty sleeping is becoming a more common problem, especially during this pandemic. One of the reasons for such is because most people can’t quickly ‘turn off their brain’ during bedtime. They lie in bed overthinking and over-analyzing their thoughts.
With meditation, you can help quiet your thoughts so you can sleep better. If it’s your first time to practice meditation to improve your sleep, don’t fret because there are various meditation techniques to orient you.
For instance, guided meditation can help you attain a quiet mind with the assistance of a skilled guide. You can listen to powerful audio by an experienced meditation practitioner like shamans. A shaman definition is not limited to practicing tribal rituals, but they’re considered spiritual human telephones. It means they help heal damaged emotional or physical conditions by applying what they gather from the spiritual world. It’s like they’re the communication link between this world and the ethereal world.
There are many shamanic guided meditation audio programs you can listen to when lying on your bed. The secret is to focus on listening to the voice and go back to listening to it when you need to quiet your mind.
2. Recovers From Addiction
Another use of meditation for some is to help beat addiction. With meditation, recovering individuals can avoid relapsing, cope with triggers, and feel calm. That’s why meditation is a practical holistic approach aiding a comprehensive addiction treatment program in many rehabilitation facilities.
For alcohol and drug addiction, relapsing is common because many people can’t easily cope with the stressors surrounding them. They need to adjust to going on with their daily lives without depending on substances, which leads them to drug cravings, depression, sleep deprivation, anxiety, stress, and the like. If the person can’t overcome these symptoms, they become triggers, resulting in their relapse.
But with the help of mindfulness meditation, which is the examining of experiences, feelings, and thoughts and letting them pass without subjecting them to ‘right or wrong’ valuation, people recovering from addiction can reduce those symptoms of relapse. When they know what they feel, think, or experience, they can better control their emotions.
3. Generates Caring Behavior
Meditation can also encourage compassion toward other people because of its positive effects on the mind and body. Being compassionate is now becoming difficult to achieve since you need stronger willpower. That means putting others’ needs before yours, which experts say is not an automatic act anymore in modern times.
But with the help of meditation, you can cultivate reflexive compassion. First, you have to focus on yourself by doing the following loving-and-kindness meditation techniques:
- Mantra: This meditation technique is the simplest because you only need to repeat a loving phrase or words internally. For instance, if you want to become happy and well, say ‘May I be happy and well.’ It’s a form of positive self-reinforcement.
- Visualization: In this technique, you need to visualize someone or yourself being happy because of you. This form of positive reinforcement is the visual version.
- Reflection: Lastly, focus on someone’s past acts of kindness or positive qualities. You can also apply it to yourself by enumerating your good qualities or saying positive statements about yourself. It’s like a self-love reminder.
These mental exercises, when done regularly, could eventually enhance actual positive feelings. Then, when these positive feelings arise, focus on them, and mentally project that you’re practicing it in the real world. You can do this by imagining yourself spreading such kindness and love to your community or people you know.
By meditating daily, you can generate such feelings quickly, and you can apply them automatically.
4. Develops Self-Awareness
Having self-awareness means you can manage any mental illness you may have without being consumed by it. That’s why it’s vital to develop self-awareness to understand what saddens, frustrates, and depresses you. When you know why you sink deeper into your mental health issues, you would know how to address them adequately.
With meditation, you can develop self-awareness, although it may take time. Being mindful of your outer and inner experience helps you maintain your mental health. For instance, if a thought arises that you’re good for nothing—which may have been your parents’ words—you can address it by reminding yourself that it’s just a thought. It’s not you because you only heard such words from other people. With such, you can distance yourself from overthinking it, which may be one cause of your depression.
Moreover, you can even turn these negative thoughts into positive ones through the meditation techniques mentioned above. Even though developing self-awareness may be difficult at first, you can achieve it by meditating regularly.
Training the mind and body is one of the biggest challenges for many human beings. Some people are more attuned to their inner feelings, while others tend to shun their emotions and choose to go on with their day. As a result, many succumb to developing addictions, emotional problems, mental illnesses, or being stressed all the time.
Practicing meditation may help you address and manage such negativities in life. By practicing meditation in your daily life, you can control your thoughts instead of the other way around. With regular meditation, you can also improve the quality of your sleep and the way you negotiate your feelings with yourself and others. What’s even rewarding is you can enhance the practice of being loving and kind to other people. Most importantly, meditation can help you develop self-awareness, which you can use to cope with any hardships in life.