What do we do every night in the two hours before going to bed? Have dinner, watch TV, connect to the internet, look at the messages on the mobile; these are the most common responses. Very few choose to meditate, a very healthy habit that hides multiple benefits for physical and mental health.
Find out below why we should spend some time every night meditating. When you try it, it sure becomes a very healthy habit in your life!
What is meditating?
Meditation is a practice by which you try to take control over yourself, silence your mind and achieve another state of consciousness. There are many esoteric schools that refer to this practice and propose different ways to achieve it.
In the following lines, we will explain it for those people who do not know it, but who would like to start getting into it. As in any other activity, it takes practice, patience and perseverance to achieve results.
Silence and darkness
The fundamental key to starting to meditate is to get a dark and quiet space. What for some people is something easy to achieve, for most it is an almost impossible task: life in the city, the rest of the family, neighbors, the street, etc. Obstacles always appear when we set out to start meditating.
Sometimes we do not realize that we are never silent until we try, since there are many habitual noises that often go unnoticed. For this reason, we must find the quietest place in the house, or opt for good earplugs.
We have heard many times about the importance of knowing how to clear our minds, but do we know how difficult it really is? During all the hours that we remain awake – and often when we are asleep – the mind does not stop working, turning over the things we have done or have left to do, what we are going to do tomorrow, the troubles that we have had, etc.
When we manage to silence the mind for a while each day, we may begin to notice some benefits:
- We will sleep and rest better at night, as indicated by a 12-month study published by Explore . As a consequence, we will wake up with more energy and in a better mood.
- We will reduce nervous system disorders, such as stress, anxiety or depression, according to a study published in Clinical Practice and Epidemiology in Mental Health .
- We will be more focused and have a better memory capacity, according to research published by Consciousness and Cognition .
- We will be able to make better decisions, almost as an overall result of all of the above.
In addition to the above positive consequences, according to a publication on the specialized WebMD site, meditating also contributes to improving blood circulation. In this way, cardiovascular risk is considerably reduced.
Techniques to start meditating
To begin to learn to clear the mind, we can follow different techniques. Once we are in the dark and silent place, we can choose one of these three exercises:
Become aware of the breath
Breathing is a wonderful tool to start meditation work and, incidentally, improve health. Unfortunately, most of us forget to breathe as fully as we can; rather we do a shallow and rapid breathing.
The simple act of breathing slowly and calmly, pending only inspiration and exhalation, feeling the movement of the belly, diaphragm and chest, is an excellent meditation exercise.
Focus on a candle
Although we will be in the dark, we can use a candle as a point of concentration. We will avoid any type of thought while we look at the candle directly and observe all its details: the flame, the movement, the profile, the sound, the light it gives off …
Visualize the body
We will do this meditation lying down or sitting comfortably. We will close our eyes and visualize our own body, while we are concentrating on relaxing each part we think about.
We will start with the feet and end with the head. We will do it with as much detail as possible, including, if we wish, the internal organs.
Meditating is a process, take your time
The first few times you may notice some difficulty doing these exercises that seem simple. It is possible that you lose concentration easily and all kinds of thoughts appear. Do not lose hope and be consistent.
Remember that, by doing it for a while every day before going to bed, you will be able to concentrate progressively and you will obtain all the benefits that we have mentioned. You will be surprised how good it will make you feel!