Click on the photo for a cool infographic from Live and Dare.
Now that you know what meditation is, maybe you are wondering how it would benefit you.
This is an endless open question. Meditation can be applied to help with all kinds of problems sprouting from body, mind and spirit.
If you look at the attached infographic, you can get a pretty extensive overview of what meditation can do for you.
Instead of repeating that information, what I want to present to you is my experience with meditation.
When I was in middle school, I met my first best friend in the new town I had moved to. Her name was Nadia, and her mother owned a shoppe that sold crystals, incense, jewelry and more. They also held weekly events. The first time I ever meditated was at one of their meetings.
This was all new to me. Because I had never previously been exposed to not only their beliefs and practices, but also the items that were used with these practices (like crystals and singing bowls), I found it quite strange. I remember that first time very well.
With New Age background music, Nadia’s mother guided the group into a meditative state and gave us instructions for how we would return to the present. The whole time we were supposed to be meditating, I didn’t see anything. I couldn’t stop thinking and peeking. I was restless.
We came back to the group after about a half an hour. Everyone had stories to tell about their journey in the spirit world. Once again, this was something I was not familiar with. I had a hard time believing or accepting the ideas at first, but part of me found it mysterious. I desperately wanted to experience these lucid visions.
I kept coming to the meditation sessions, and I never really journeyed. I didn’t know how to open my mind to it, to quiet my thoughts. Sometimes, in the comfort of the pillows, incense and silence, I would fall asleep…dreamlessly, I might add. However, with continued exposure, I got better and I learned about spiritualist ideologies that opened up my understanding of the world.
Meditation, especially for spiritual purposes, takes practice. That was 10 years ago. I didn’t quit then, and I am thankful for that now. About once a week, I clear a space in front of my makeshift altar and I connect my energy with the spirit realm.
How is this beneficial?
I’ve lived with depression, anxiety, and anger problems my whole life. I’m deathly afraid of death. I never wanted to be on medication. I believe in my own raw experience. Meditation helps me overcome these obstacles without forking over money to the pharmaceutical companies and helps me believe there is something more to life.
Not only that, its helped me adopt a healthier lifestyle in general.
After quelling (mostly) my mental tensions, I was able to approach diet and exercise with more clarity as well as improve all dimensions of my personality. I’ve been able to deal much better with concepts and situations that before frustrated me. I have a positive outlook that I never thought was possible.
I’ve also used meditation for healing purposes. For instance, I recently did some spiritual work to gather help for my aunt who was struggling with what we thought was cancer (we still aren’t sure what ails her).
Any kind of deep thought is meditation. Meditation is easier in some ways for people who aren’t trying to meet their spirit guides and journey into a different plane of existence. More often, I meditate with non-spiritual goals like:
- to calm anxiety
- to reduce stress before an exam, class, work, etc.
- to cure episodes of insomnia
- to conquer fear or insecurity
- to enter a state of lucid dreaming (my favorite – look out for a post soon!)
- to help ease creativity, get rid of writer’s block
Let’s say your mental health is completely in check and you are not looking for a spiritual fix – meditation is still for you.
Scientific studies support claims that meditation can improve your immune system, increase your physical energy, reduce your blood pressure, improve your breathing and heart health and lessen inflammation – and that’s just naming some of the bodily health issues that you can improve through this practice. It can even help slow the aging process!
The point is, there is always a way to fix or think more clearly about your problems with meditation. And once you start to do it, you will want to keep doing it even when there are no problems to deal with.
It becomes a part of your lifestyle process, and it is your key to unlocking so many other opportunities for growth and change, health and wellness.