Thinking Nice Thoughts: Meditation and You
By Gary Picariello
Think of the term meditation and an image may come to mind of Shaolin monks chanting in monotone while wafts of incense burn in the background. There might be an element of truth in that scenario but you can reap the same benefits as they do without traveling to Tibet. More than ever, men and women use meditation to maintain a life-balance and enrich their minds.
Weight loss, improved memory, stress relief and even improved breathing capacity are just some of the results of meditation.
The benefits of meditation can be achieved without any great expense or outlay of time. A comfortable, quiet environment is all that you need. A current article aimed at beginners narrows down the important elements of successful meditation to a few crucial elements: an environment conducive to relaxing and proper breathing.
Where you meditate should be a comfortable spot that is quiet and free from interruption, a location where you can sit down and relax for at least 15 minutes. You can sit on the floor with your legs crossed (sit on a cushion) or on a chair with your feet touching the ground. And no slouching! It's important to maintain the natural curve of your back. Meditation veterans point out that the stereotypical lotus pose isn't important if you are just starting out.
Waiting to Exhale
Now that you're comfortably seated, and away from interruption, take a deep breath. Breathe slowly and deeply. Close your eyes. Systematic breathing involves taking deep breaths: inhaling with your nose and exhaling from your mouth. As you allow more air to fill your lungs each time, your breathing will gradually become deeper and fuller. While you're in the "breathing zone" you'll find that focusing on your intake/outtake will help keep your mind clear.
As Good as New
It's that simple. When your session is over, just open your eyes and take your time standing up. Gather your thoughts. Maybe some light stretching is in order after prolonged sitting. The great thing about meditation is that the basic foundation of breathing and relaxation can be applied to all facets of work and life, allowing you to stay calm and stress-free (or close to it) throughout the day.