Numerous studies have shown that meditation helps to improve gray matter density, which is responsible for memory, learning, and emotions.
That is probably one of the reasons why meditation has become so popular worldwide. Richard Gere, Hugh Jackman, Katy Perry, David Lynch and this is just a small list of famous people practicing meditation.
Meditation as a general statement can be broken down into categories. In practice, there are various types of meditation methods that experienced people usually refer to as "meditation techniques". To choose the most suitable one for you, you need to know what techniques there are and how to mediate correctly.
1. Mindfulness meditation
This technique is also known as secular meditation. It is practiced by Google employees and taught at Oxford and Harvard. It is aimed at acknowledging the way your body feels.
- Take your seat finding a comfortable spot. Keep your back straight and stable.
- Take some deep breaths. With each breath you should feel a tension relief in your body. And as a result, you should be completely relaxed. Concentrate on this idea.
- Focus on the tips of your toes and the appearing sensations. Imagine that you direct the flow of breath to your toes and they are filling with the warmth.
- When your lower body is completely relaxed, begin to shift your attention from the bottom up to the top of the head, going all over your body (knees, arms, spine, face).
- Feel the warmth that fills your entire body. Now you are full of energy and able to cope with any tasks.
2. Loving Kindness Meditation (Metta Meditation)
This meditation technique is more than 2.5 thousand years old. Metta meditation is the practice of directing well wishes toward others and it's suitable for people of any faith or religion. Scientists have confirmed that Metta evokes warm-hearted feelings, reduces self-criticism and helps you feel happy regardless of any circumstances.
Metta consists of 5 parts and each part lasts five minutes:
1. The first part is self-awareness. You begin to focus on feelings of calm and serenity, gradually allowing them to develop into feelings of trust and then love.
2. The next step is thinking about your close friend. Think about their looks, about good qualities they have. Feel the connection and love that exists between you two. Try to make these feelings stronger by repeating the phrase "Let him or her be healthy and happy.
3. Then remember someone you don't care about. It may not be a very close acquaintance of yours. Your feelings towards this person are neutral, you just think about their human qualities.
4. Now think of your enemy. But focus not on the hate you feel towards them but on positive thoughts regarding their personality.
5. When you reach the last stage, first think about all the people in the first four parts. Gradually start spreading your feelings to the people around you, your neighbours, all the people from your city, country, and all over the world. Feel the love that comes from your heart for all living beings.
3. Transcendental meditation
This technique is based on a personally assigned mantra, such as a word, sound, or small phrase, that is persistently repeated in a specific way. The brain appears to be in its resting state. This type of meditation is practiced by many Hollywood stars.
- Get into a sitting position, not leaning on anything
- Choose the most appropriate mantra for you
- Repeat it out loud or in your mind
- If extraneous thoughts keep popping into your head during mantra chanting, don't try to get rid of them. Just watch the processes that are going on inside you as a bystander and keep repeating the mantra
To learn to meditate you just need to begin practicing it. Try each technique. Eventually you will find out what you like best. You may decide to supplement one technique with another or alternate them. Start devoting just 5 minutes of your time to meditation every day, and after a week of daily practice you will feel happier, calmer and stop getting frustrated over nothing.