We celebrate World Meditation Day on May 21st. An ancestral practice, meditation has been around for thousands of years and takes many forms. Above all, it has many beneficial effects on your health.
If you don't know exactly what meditation is, you'll probably have a pretty clear picture in mind: someone sitting cross-legged on the floor with their hands resting on their knees. You might take it a step further and see that person with the index fingers and thumbs of each hand touching to form a circle before you hear a happy whisper: "huuuummmmm". But meditation is more than that. And this has many beneficial effects on your health.
The beneficial effects of meditation
We adopt stressful lifestyles, we are often under pressure and are always busy or we are occupied with our private and professional life. We are no longer in the present moment or in full consciousness. This is what meditation offers: allowing you to refocus, listen to your body, be alone with yourself and with your thoughts, take stock of yourself. And above all to be there, here and now. You will be able to soothe your negative thoughts, feel less stress, be more positive, and increase your creativity. The benefits of meditation on your health have also been proven by numerous studies. Meditating regularly helps prevent cardiovascular problems, lowers high blood pressure, it helps you obtain more restful sleep, improves the immune system and helps you concentrate. What if we started meditating right now?
How to meditate for the first time
There are several styles of meditation, which can be categorised into three broad families. Active meditation, for those who cannot keep still, which combines spiritual activity and physical activity. Transcendental meditation, one of the peculiarities of which is to recite sounds, words or phrases in order to prevent distracting thoughts. Finally, there is mindfulness meditation, arguably the best known, the most accessible and the easiest to implement at home.
You don’t necessarily need materials to meditate or to put yourself in a specific position (like that of the lotus or half-lotus). You can be seated on a chair or lying on your sofa, as long as it is in a quiet location and you feel comfortable. Close your eyes or stare at a point on the ground in front of you.
- Breathe. Pay attention to your breathing as you breathe in. Feel the air entering your nose and moving through your body. Feel how your lungs fill with air and empty as you breathe out.
- Observe your thoughts and feelings. Let your thoughts and emotions flow, but take an observer stance. Feel the sensations of your body. Watch your thoughts, notice them. But don't judge them, let them go. Do not seek to analyse but rather to feel, experience and observe.
Do this for about ten minutes a day to get noticeable effects. After a while, you will notice that you can more easily come into full consciousness at various times of the day and during so-called "mundane" activities, such as eating or taking a shower. Also feel the emotions at this time.