How to benefit from meditation… Without any mumbo jumbo

Meditation has many benefits such as reducing stress, improving breathing and increasing your mental focus. For the less spiritual amongst

Meditation has many benefits such as reducing stress, improving breathing and increasing your mental focus. For the less spiritual amongst us though, meditation sometimes involves too many religious or philosophical references.

Chanting, prayer beads and mantras can be a little much for certain¬†people. Instead, here are some practical tips on how to approach meditation, without any “mumbo jumbo.” You don’t even need to sit cross-legged!

1. Focus on an object

Gaze at a candlelight, calming painting or wind chime. You may alternatively wish to gaze over a natural landscape, such as a particular spot on the horizon or a plant in your garden. Focusing on the intricacies of one object can help your mind become incredibly focused. Sitting comfortably during these observations will also help you achieve a meditative state.

2. Visualise a scene

Picture yourself standing on the beach, or at the top of a mountain. You might even visualise a flowing creek-bed and mentally place yourself in the middle, as your thoughts run past like water. Mentally positioning yourself at the centre of a calming scene can relax your mind, and reduces any feelings of stress. Visualisation is a popular meditative tool.

3. Concentrate on one body part

Find a comfortable seated position, then close your eyes. Slowly choose to concentrate all your energies on one part of the body. You might focus on how your hand feels resting in your lap, or how your shoulders rise and fall with each breathe. Paying particular attention to your body, will help slow your breathe. This will leave you feeling centred and revitalised.

4. Count your breathe

Breathe in deeply, filling up your lungs and lower belly. Now gently exhale, letting all your excess breathe go. Next time breathing in, try to fill your body with even more air. Count how long each inhale and exhale takes. Slowing your breathe can increase circulation, lower blood pressure and also pushes oxygen throughout the body. Proper breathe is essential to good meditation practices.

What methods do you use to relax? Do you enjoy meditation or find it beneficial?

  1. Just breathe deeply for 10 breathes while blocking out every thought and concent on the deep breath in and out.
    Don’t overdo it or you can get giddy.

  2. Meditation of any sort is not my cup of tea…but good luck to those who can do it and who benefit from it.

  3. Meditation allows the concious or right brain to ignore the thoughts of the left brain. It’s the so called left brain that causes us so much stress and anxiety, by focusing on an object and applying a breathing technique it’s possible to relax and become less stressed, often worthwhile when trying to sleep.

    • Oooh Fred. I think you had better check on your statement about left/ right brain functions. I do agree, though, with the latter part of your statement.

    • Merran, your understanding of left and right brains may well be correct, my comment is from the description provided by my psychiatrist who did highlight that it was a term used losely and not literally, he was making the point that a part of your brain is thought creating, memorises and to a great degree uncontrollable where the other part handles now and has no memory or creativity. I acknowledge that my comment is not from any formal education and am happy to be corrected.

  4. Meditation allows our mind and body to relax. When meditating we let go of the pressures, anxieties and constant ‘doing’ of our everyday life. It is a natural, healthy way to reduce our stress levels and increases our inner peace.
    Meditation does not have to involve the acceptance or any particular religious or philosophical belief. Many medical professionals recommend this practice for our well being

  5. To self soothe is to take responsibility. Find some guided meditations on Tara She puts them all up for free. She is a psychologist who uses Buddhist principles. Brilliant woman. Great meditations.

  6. Frank  

    ‘count your breathe’ – ah – soooo !

  7. Pingback: Franklin College offering class on breathing, silent, mindful reflection

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