Meditation teaches us to stay in this present moment.
In meditation we practise being fully aware of our actions, thoughts, feelings, and emotions.
Meditation is one of the most ancient forms of mental, spiritual and physical health practices. Meditation spread to Western society thousands of years after it was adopted in the East and is now widely recommended as a stress management tool.
A common myth surrounding meditation is that it is about controlling your thoughts and feelings or emptying your mind. On the contrary, meditation is about learning to observe our inner thoughts, feelings and emotions. Gaining greater awareness and clarity without judgement.
Tips for practising meditation
Try to meditate at the same time and in the same place every day to help you build the habit.
Find a comfortable meditation posture. If possible the head, neck, back and spine should be straight to allow energy to flow correctly. Experiment with using props and cushions to help you sit comfortably. Lying down is not recommended as we have a tendency to fall asleep however you can sit in a chair or with your back against a wall for support.
Return to your breath. Focusing on your breath is a simple way to help keep you in the present moment when your mind gets distracted – and it will! Try bringing your awareness to sensations of breathing in and out of your nostrils.
Read more in 5 tips for a regular meditation practice
Benefits of a regular meditation practice
Mental vitality and happiness
Meditation increases brain activity in an area of the brain associated with happiness and positive thoughts and emotions, and some evidence shows that regular practice brings prolonged positive changes in these areas.
When practising meditation, your heart rate and breathing slow down, your blood pressure normalizes, you use oxygen more efficiently, and you sweat less. Your adrenal glands produce less cortisol, your mind ages at a slower rate, and your immune function improves.
Meditation can relieve physical complaints like headaches and can enhance our immunity.