How to Meditate Effectively

Learning to meditate is a required skill in today’s busy world. Many people are stressed and over-worked with their mental physical and emotional health at risk as a result. Meditation has been proven to help reduce cortisol levels (the hormone released during stressful periods) resulting in a overall feeling of happiness and well-being. Some other benefits of meditation include enhanced creativity and problem solving ability. There are different styles of meditation practiced throughout the world and all of them produce peaceful results.

Using a Mantra in Meditation
You are probably most familiar with the use of a mantra during meditation. Many yogis are pictured chanting “Om” while they sit cross legged with their eyes closed in deep relaxation. This meditation technique is used to focus a wandering mind and is ideal for the beginning meditator. Choose a simple to repeat word and repeat it over and over while allowing your mind and body to totally relax. The word you choose for your mantra should be a positive word or one that has no meaning for you. You don’t need to repeat your mantra out loud but you can if you wish.

Breath Awareness Meditation
Another form of relaxing meditation is to simply become aware of your breathing. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes and without trying to change your breathing, just notice it. That’s right; just notice the sensation of your breathing and how it feels moving in and out of your nostrils, your lungs and how it travels down to your abdomen. Take note of how your breathing sounds and if a distracting thought comes to mind, gently acknowledge the thought and return your attention to your breathing.

Loving Kindness Meditation
The loving kindness meditation uses the expression of gratitude as the focus. While sitting in meditation, we remember all the wonderful people, animals, places and things that have helped along our journey. We express our gratitude and love for them and offer them our blessings. What is important here is to get into the space of deep appreciation and gratitude for all who have touched our lives.