Meditation is a practice that requires mindfulness. Contrary to what some people believe, its goal is not to empty the mind of thoughts, but to experience them objectively. That is to say, you experience your thoughts, feelings, and memories as if they were leaves floating down a stream. You watch them all come and go, holding on to nothing. You pay attention only to the moment you’re living in, but it’s a deep attention, which accepts both the painful and the pleasant experiences.
In practice, some people try guided meditations, in which a 3rd party helps them to direct their focus on different aspects of the moment they’re experiencing. Others prefer to meditate with music or only silence.
How Does Meditation Make You Feel?
Many people begin practicing meditation to help with anxiety and stress. This is a wonderful motivation, but it’s certainly not the only way that meditating changes you. Here’s how 5-20 minutes of daily meditation changes the way you experience life:
After 1 Week
- Reduces stress and anxious feelings
- Gives you a feeling of relaxation
After 2 Weeks
- Meditation feels natural, and a part of your daily routine
After 40 Days
- Better clarity of mind
- Better dream recall
- Easier to recognize symbols in your life
- More positive attitude
After 1 Year
- More productive
- Better success in meeting goals
- More self-discipline
- Less affected by ups and downs
- Higher value of yourself and your time
- More compassionate
- More grateful
- Overall less anxiety
Some of the many health benefits of Meditation
Studies have shown that meditation positively affects one’s life in the following ways:
- Stress reduction: Centering the mind on positive thoughts and breathing deeply can improve one’s mood and reduce feelings of stress.
- Reduces blood pressure: Meditation relaxes the body, which in turn lowers blood pressure.
- Fights heart disease: Because stress leads to inflammation, by relaxing the mind and reducing the effects of stress, meditation offers an anti-antiflammatory effect on the body. This helps to prevent health conditions like heart disease, asthma and arthritis.