How often should I meditate?
We love meditating, for us, it is a very intrinsic part of daily life. We love the state of beingness as we practice it. We believe that the more we meditate the better. Daily practice is ideal in order to sustain neuroplasticity, the brain loves repetition and consistency. We think even a 5-minute daily practice to start with is fantastic! Just gradually increase the time.
Instant benefits of meditation and benefits over time.
The instant benefit of meditation is we finally feel we can breathe as we begin to slow down our racing minds. We can begin to calm down the sympathetic nervous system, the vagus nerves, the endocrine system and the ripple effect of all of this on the entire body is significant. People will experience, lower levels of stress, better sleep, better metabolism, better blood pressure, more responsive vs reactive, increase in concentration, more positive thoughts, more kindness, more tolerance, less physical conditions, etc. The list goes on! The benefits of meditation over time could be overcoming physical and mental conditions if combined with other healing modalities as well.
Different ways to meditate.
There are so many different forms and styles of mediation. Ideally, try and see what resonates with your heart. The point is to practice. There are some research studies that suggest not to practice focusing on the breath if suffering from severe depression and anxiety. We recommend other forms of meditation to our clients since it is one of the main components in our psychotherapy practice. The key is to promote focused attention while keeping attention within.
We can have focus awareness by paying attention to an object; something we see, the breath, a physical sensation, thought, emotion, sound, a word, etc. Or, we can have open awareness and sense thought, physical sensation, emotion, and the environment- all at the same time. We highly recommend body scan meditation which eventually will help connect with physical sensations as well as emotions.
Silent meditation vs. guided meditation?
We think perhaps guided meditation would be more suited for beginners and ideally move into silent meditation. There is no right or wrong answer really. The most important is to practice and from there, follow your inner guidance. We prefer silent meditation because it allows more internal exploration of thought, physical sensation, emotion, etc.
How meditation helps with certain mental health conditions
It appears to me that many of our mental health conditions stem from a lack of focused attention and lack of inner connection. Therefore, the more we can entrain our mind and brain to focus and sense inward, the better our mental health.
How do I get started with meditation?
There are a great variety of meditation centers where one can explore and find what resonates with one’s heart or be guided by somebody with experience. We think it is important to have some guidance when beginning this practice. Oftentimes there are misconceptions about it. One of them is meditating with a goal which is actually the opposite of this practice.