We all know that meditation is good for us and that we should probably be doing it more regularly.
Meditation is all about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective, according to the makers of the top meditation app Headspace.
In the hectic modern world in which we live, it has become increasingly difficult to find activities that can help to calm us down.
It seems that the more technology and gadgets we are surrounded by, the faster the pace of life becomes. Sometimes it’s good to take a step back and be fully present.
In this article, we’re going to cover some meditation basics, and answer some commonly asked questions about meditation with expert Niraj Shah.
So, let’s get started by covering some meditation basics.
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What Is Meditation?
If you’ve landed on this page, then the chances are that you already know what meditation is – but let’s define it quickly in its broadest sense anyway.
Simply put, Meditation can be defined as a range of techniques that are intended to encourage a heightened state of awareness and focused attention.
It’s all about becoming more connected to yourself and the way your mind works. It’s not about trying to stop your thoughts or feelings.
Instead, you can learn to observe them and give yourself space between the stimulus and the response.
There are many different types of meditation techniques out there, and if you’re interested in getting started with meditation, then it’s important that you try as many of them as possible before settling on the one that’s right for you.
Meditation Questions Answered By Our Expert
We spoke to Mind: Unlocked founder Niraj Shah to get his take on some commonly Googled questions about meditation.
Niraj is one of London’s leading meditation guides and is a big believer in integrating regular meditation practices into 21st century life to help deal with the stresses of our hectic modern world.
We asked Niraj to answer the following four commonly asked questions about meditation, according to Google.
How Does Meditation Make You Feel?
It’s really difficult to answer that because it’s going to be different for everyone, but I would say that the two common things are:
1) It will definitely make you more aware of what’s going on and how your mind works. That’s a hard thing to explain but an easy thing to experience.
2) It will help you feel more in control, because once you become aware of what’s going on, then we can start choosing our responses.
Can Meditation Help Depression?
It absolutely can, but when somebody has a clinically diagnosed condition like depression or anything like that, it has to be administered by a professional who is trained in that specific modality.
Mainstream meditation, like the stuff we do at Mind: Unlocked, can actually make those conditions worse.
So I think this is actually an area where the meditation industry actually needs to get a bit better and have the appropriate warnings.
It’s similar to not putting someone with a broken leg on a treadmill. By the same token, somebody with a clinical condition shouldn’t do mainstream meditation.
Can Meditation Make You Cry?
It absolutely can. It can because I’ve been there and a lot of my friends have been there. It can be like an emotional release, because sometimes we just don’t stop long enough to have those pauses and downtimes.
Can Meditation Change Your Life?
One hundred per cent, it absolutely can. In the same way that exercising our body can change our life, exercising our mind can change our life.
Meditation Basics and Benefits
Below, expert Niraj Shah explains some of the basics and benefits of meditation:
When we talk about meditation being a foundational benefit, it has those benefits around stress and anxiety, sleep, focus and even creativity. That’s partly why we go on about meditation so much.
Once you start to notice the benefits yourself, then it doesn’t matter what the evidence says. Once we know something is doing us good, we do more of it. There will be a point where you will know [it’s working] and that you were about to react with anger or something else.
It’s not about becoming more zen, it’s about becoming more resourceful so that we can choose the way we react to suit our goals and needs better than how we instinctively react.
Just because one meditation session didn’t work or you don’t feel it did anything, it’s really important to try a variety of different meditative techniques. They are as different for the mind as boxing is to swimming or to running.
It’s really important to start small. There are some really good apps out there. Our favorite is Insight Timer because it has such a wide variety of meditations on it and it’s also free to access.
Anything Else To Consider?
If you’re looking to get started with meditation, then be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Niraj Shah, where he discusses some of the basic points to bear in mind if you’re a beginner.
We do recommend starting off with some form of guided meditation so that you can learn some basic techniques and get started. Headspace is a great place to start if you have a smartphone and some free time.
As with so many other things in life, you shouldn’t expect to see huge changes immediately. Meditation requires discipline and regularity for you to be able to feel the benefits over a long period of time.
If you’re unsure about whether meditation is right for you or not, then it’s worth chatting to a certified medical professional to get their advice.
You should not meditate if you have been diagnosed with a clinical condition such as depression. We recommend that you speak to a certified medial professional if you are unsure.
Wrapping Things Up – Final Thoughts
So, that brings us to the end of our look at some of the most commonly googled questions about meditation.
We explained the basic things you need to know about meditation and also brought you some expert comment from Niraj Shah as he answered some commonly-asked questions about meditation.
If you’re looking to find out more about meditation, head over to the Mind homepage here at Human Window.