If you were only allowed to take up one habit, what would it be? For me, it’s meditation. Unquestionably.
Why? Meditation has helped me perform better in every aspect of life. It helps me be more focused and get more done. It makes me more calm and peaceful so I don’t suffer from emotional fluctuations as I used to. More importantly, I have greater control over my mind so I can master the art of living in the present.
Wondering whether meditation can bring so many positive changes to one’s life? Let’s see what science says!
A Harvard research in year 2011 found that meditation can help increase the density of grey matter in the hippocampus of our brains, which is associated with the ability of learning, memory, self-awareness, compassion and introspection. Such restructuring of our brains can improve our mental health and make our minds sharper.
What’s more surprising is meditation can rebuild our brains in only eight weeks! That means you don’t need to be an expert in meditation to reap the benefits.
▲ Subjects of the study demonstrated significant change of brain structure after practicing meditation for 8 weeks.
Thinking of taking meditation as one of your habits but don’t know how to get started? Here are 6 things you can follow:
Look for a distraction-free environment
While an area with total silence is an ideal environment for meditation, it is not a must for everyone. If you think playing some light music can help relieve your stress and make you more relaxed, it’s definitely fine to do so when you meditate. Studies have shown that white noise can help lower our stress level and increase our concentration level.
If you don’t want to meditate in a totally silent environment but have no idea of what to play, you can try start with this one:
Meditate with the posture you feel comfortable
The Quarter Lotus is the most popular meditation posture. You sit on the floor cross-legged and rest your hands on your lap. And your back needs to keep straight throughout the process without slouching.
But if you are the one with chronic back pain problem, this posture may not be the best choice for you. Actually, what posture you have is not the key for meditation. You can also lie on your bed or the floor to meditate. The most important thing is the posture can make you completely relaxed. Here are some variations for you:
But please be reminded that if you choose to meditate while lying down, you should keep yourself awake throughout the process.
Focus on your breathing tempo
Having the right breathing tempo is important as it can make you highly relaxed and concentrated, which is the ideal state for meditation.
Close your eyes softly. Breathe as slowly and deeply as you can. Inhale with your nose and exhale from your mouth. If you do deep breathing correctly, you will feel your diaphragm is expanded and stretched.
Some people may even feel some…
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