Welcome to the life-changing effects of mediation.
The practice of meditation has been present since the beginning of time. Thankfully, we have the beautiful country of India to thank for it. Meditation has expanded over thousands of years, throughout continental plates and is now a leading universal practice across the globe.
Often people have two different versions of how they approach meditation. Either they are interested but they don’t know where to start.
Well, I’m here to tell you how you can start and, more importantly, that every human has the ability to meditate.
The word meditate can come across as somewhat intimidating and kind of foreign, but once you learn the meaning behind the word things become a lot more simple.
So, what does it mean you ask?
The act of meditating is allowing yourself to slow down your thought process. This is often done with breathing techniques, as it’s a great way for you to focus on your body instead of other distractions like school and everything else that’s keeping your brain busy. So, once you are focused on your breathing you can start to notice your own thoughts coming in. The point of meditation is not to shut your brain off or to stop your thoughts, it’s about gaining awareness and noticing each thought as it comes and goes. And trust me, it takes practice like anything else in this world.
What’s really interesting about the expansion of meditation within North America is that it has become a hot topic within the academic community. There has been a lot of successful data to represent the effects of mediation on a cellular and behavioural level. For example, a study done at Harvard University used magnetic resonance images (MRI) to analyze the neurological development of 16 subjects performing meditation. The results of this study are extraordinary. Mainly because the study provides evidence that mediation has lasting results which go beyond simply feeling relaxed and calm. They actually found that meditation increases a person’s grey matter, which is one of the two tissues which make up the brain. In more detail, Harvard University found that this increase is directly related to the hippocampus, where the functions of learning and memory take place. Mind blowing, right? Practicing meditation causes your brain to change its actual form. Please see this link for more information.
So how can you start receiving all the great benefits?
HeadSpace is an amazing FREE app which introduced me to the amazing technique of calming and clearing the mind. I would highly recommend this app to anyone who is stressed or overwhelmed, AKA pretty much everyone on the face of the Earth. This app is really good at explaining the basics and motivating you to continue with your meditation.
Basically, HeadSpace allows you to have 10 free trial days. Each day leads you through a guided meditation session and educates you about techniques of calming the mind. Finally, when your time is up after the 10 days, you are equipped with all the background knowledge you need to meditate on your own.
I hope I have expanded your knowledge of what meditation is and how you can start today! My life, including my responsibilities as a student and my relationships with others, has benefited greatly from my commitment to mediation. I am so fortunate to have had Headspace introduce me to the life-changing practice of mediation.