Imagine being able to enter a meditative state quickly, anytime you need to recharge. No need to seek the help of a professional or to use fancy props or take lessons to learn how to relax.
Sound like a pipe dream? Too good to be true? Well, think again.
What if I said you could enter a meditative state right now, right where you’re sitting?
As impossible as it may seem, the truth is, the ability to enter a meditative state is much easier than you think. And you can do it anywhere, anytime.
And that’s good news because meditation has the power to enhance your life in a myriad of ways.
All you need are some simple tips to get you started. And you’re in luck because we’re going to show you just how easy it is to slip into a deep meditative state.
The remarkable ways meditation enhances your life
You may already be aware of the many ways meditation improves your daily life. If not, here’s a short list of some gentle reminders of the benefits of spending time in a meditative state:
• Reduced stress
• Improved concentration
• Encouragement of a healthy lifestyle
• Increased self-awareness
• Heightened levels of happiness
• Slowed aging process
• Improved cardiovascular health and immunity
So you can see from this list that there are indeed many great reasons to tap into the power of meditation. And this list is only the tip of the iceberg.
And what’s more, recent studies have shown that meditation enhances the brain’s ability to change and optimize.
Consider this quote by Zoran Josipovic, a research scientist and adjunct professor at New York University, who studied the brains of Buddhist Monks:
— Meditation research, particularly in the last 10 years or so, has shown to be very promising because it points to an ability of the brain to change and optimize in a way we didn’t know previously was possible.
When one relaxes into a state of oneness, the neural networks inexperienced practitioners change as they lower the psychological wall between themselves and their environments.
This reorganization in the brain may lead to what some meditators claim to be a deep harmony between themselves and their surroundings. (Matt Danzico, BBC News, 2011, Brains Of Buddhist Monks Scanned In Meditation Study.)
Crashing through self-imposed obstacles that prevent you from entering a meditative state.
So if meditation is so good for us and improves so many areas of our lives, why is there still resistance to the idea of meditation? And how can you push past that resistance?
The time constraint.
Time is one of the most frequently cited obstacles to meditation.
For many people, the thought of taking time out of their busy days to stop and meditate seems unthinkable. There’s just too much to do that can’t wait.
In fact, the opposite is true.
First, the time you spend in a meditative state of mind doesn’t have to be extensive. And believe us when we say it’s time well-spent.
Taking a few minutes for meditation out of your day can increase your productivity and help prevent you from being distracted.
Rather than putting you behind, you’ll find that after a short meditation break, you’re able to get more done, with less difficulty. You’ll also feel refreshed. It’s amazing what a difference a few meditative minutes can make.
But don’t just take our word for it. Take a look at this passage from a noted psychologist quoted in Psychology Today:
— Don’t wait until you have 30 or 45 minutes to meditate. Even five to ten minutes can make a difference in your state of mind. Sure, it’s nice to sometimes have longer stretches, but just like any exercise program, the effects are cumulative.
You could even try short sessions a couple times a day. (Barbara Markway, Ph.D., Psychology Today, 2014, 8 Easy Meditation Tips For Beginners.)
The wandering mind concern.
Another concern we often hear is that meditation is impossible because you can’t keep your mind from wandering.
Rest assured, there’s no need to try and rein in your mind. Let it go where it wants to go. That’s part of the beauty of meditation. You never know where it will lead.
So don’t worry about a wandering mind. Rather, pay attention to what pops into your head. Some of your best ideas and creative moments will happen during a meditative state.
Enjoy the process.
Discover the surprising ease of learning deep meditation techniques.
As we’ve already said, you can learn to settle into a meditative state anywhere, anytime. Your practice can be as short in duration as a few minutes or as long as an hour. Or more. It’s totally up to you.
There are many ways to make the process of entering a meditative state of mind easier.
One easy method that is conducive to meditation is listening to the sounds of nature.
Think about how a walk amongst the trees, out in nature, relaxes and calms your mind. There’s just something about the green trees, the breeze on your face, the solitude and sounds of nature that is very calming.
Taking a walk in the park or a hike outdoors is good for our brains in more ways than one — the University of Washington reports that spending time in nature helps to conquer mental fatigue and even boost cognitive functioning. (The Huffington Post, Healthy Living, 2013, Walk Through Green Space Put Brain In State Of Meditation.)
Nature sounds recordings to aid in meditation.
It’s not always possible to take a walk in the woods, as you know.
Instead, nature sounds audio downloads or streaming nature sounds that simulate the sights and sounds of nature are a convenient alternative for achieving a zen-like state of mind, enabling you to experience nature’s soothing effects no matter where you are.
Music that soothes the soul.
Another easy-to-access tool for tapping into meditative breathing and consciousness is music. Music has the power to soothe the savage beast. Certainly, it can also soothe your soul.
Researchers at Stanford University (press release 2006) have said that “listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication.” They noted that music is something that almost anybody can access and makes it an easy stress reduction tool. (University of Nevada, Reno, Releasing Stress Through The Power Of Music.)
The surprising effects of music on the mind.
Let’s discuss music and its effects on your mind and body because it’s truly a fascinating concept.
Consider for a moment your mind’s response to different styles of music. Loud, fast-paced music wakes you up and makes you want to move.
Quieter, more soulful music calms your mind and helps you relax. It might even put you to sleep.
Using music to help you enter a meditative state is an easy way to get started. It’s recommended meditation music that relaxes and quiets your mind made by composers who have experience in creating music with this effect.
Some simple steps to get started.
So here are some simple steps to help you get started on learning to enter a meditative state so you can enjoy its benefits right away.
When first getting started with meditation, start out with small bites of time, as short as five to ten minutes.
Waiting until you have 30 minutes or more to meditate is a recipe for defeat. You’ll feel overwhelmed, and you’ll resist carving out the time. You’ll stop before you even get started.
Remember, the effects of meditation are cumulative. Start small and add more as you become more comfortable with the practice.
Pay attention to what’s happening.
As you get comfortable with meditation and experience its benefits over a longer period, you’ll begin to notice positive changes. You’ll start falling asleep faster and sleeping more deeply, for example.
Keep a simple journal and jot down behavior changes. Are you less stressed, not as quick to anger? Do you feel more in control?
Anything you notice that is a positive change will help to ensure that you stick with your practice and continue to reap the benefits.
Be flexible in both mind and body.
There’s no need to have a special pillow or chair to meditate. You don’t have to sit in any particular pose. Sit in whatever posture you’re most comfortable. Sit, stand, lie down. Do whatever feels best. Change it up as needed with every practice.
When you’re comfortable, you’re less likely to be distracted. And that will only enhance your meditative state.
Don’t go into your meditation practice with expectations that
your life will improve 100 folds in 30 days or less. Remember that even small changes, over time, add up to huge dividends. Be happy with the progress you make at whatever pace it happens for you.
And don’t be afraid to take a break, if you need one.
Stressing over meditating defeats the whole purpose. Be gentle and kind and follow your instincts. If you’re sick, overly tired or emotional, you won’t find it easy to settle into a meditative state so don’t force it.
Come back to your practice when you’re ready.
Understand there’s no wrong way to meditate.
If your mind wanders or you have trouble quieting your thoughts, it’s all too easy to think you’re not doing it right and give up.
Always remember to be kind to yourself.
You can’t get meditation wrong.
Light of Mind – Create Your Ideal Reality