What does meditation bring you
Self-experiment: what is the point of meditation?
“Half an hour of meditation is absolutely necessary. Except when you're very busy. Then you need a whole hour. ”This quote from St. Francis de Sales (1567-1622), which I read in a magazine, never got out of my head. Meditation - until then, it always had a purely spiritual character for me. Yoga pants, incense sticks, tie-dye shirt, om. Those who meditate seek enlightenment. Because I was absolutely convinced that this was nothing for me, I never tried it.
A stressed society discovers meditation for itself
But for a while now I have been feeling rushed and stressed and have tried various relaxation techniques. I took a course on progressive muscle relaxation (great!), Analyze my sleep (absolutely recommended), go to sports regularly (that kills stress hormones). And in my relaxation research I repeatedly came across the topic of meditation. Meditation has made it out of the yoga niche and into everyday life. Apps, podcasts, books, blogs - nothing that doesn't exist on the subject today. Much of it is modern and without any esoteric touch. I'm surprised. Is meditation all of a sudden hip? It seems so. Maybe because meditation is a way to train mindfulness. The absolute buzzword of our stressed society. I do not disguise myself - I, too, am prone to anything that promises relaxation and inner peace. So I decide to give meditation a try.
Less stress, better sleep: meditation has many positive effects
Because meditation is considered an effective relaxation technique. Regular meditation should include:
- help switch off
- Reduce stress
- improve sleep
- promote concentration
- make it more relaxed
If only three things are correct, I am convinced. Without further ado, I download a meditation app and do a little more research.
Meditate - what is it actually?
Put simply, meditations are exercises of perception and concentration. It's not about convulsively turning off your head, but about concentrating on the moment and learning to let thoughts come and go without clinging to them. You always focus on one thing during meditation, for example your breath, an object (like a burning candle) or a mantra (a word or phrase that you say or think softly to yourself over and over). This one thing acts like an anchor during meditation that you always consciously return to. You let thoughts that inevitably come by. In meditating, the goal is to be in the moment, to just perceive what is happening, but not to evaluate anything. Actively letting go and creating space for new things and becoming more relaxed about your own thoughts is the motto.
Everyone can find the form of meditation that suits them
There are many different forms of meditation. Some are ancient and religious, such as Buddhist Zen meditation or Chakra meditation. But today there are also very modern forms of meditation without religious reference, such as mindfulness meditation. In addition to passive meditation, which is carried out while sitting or sometimes lying down, there are also active forms of meditation such as walking meditations. Most common, however, is sitting meditation in the lotus or cross-legged position. You do not need any previous knowledge or even athletic skills to meditate. Just a place where you are undisturbed and a good dose of patience. Because you have to practice meditation.
Meditation apps: Practical helpers on the way to a relaxed life
If you want to learn to meditate, you can, for example, take a course, there are many offers online and offline. An app can also help you get started with the topic. That helped me a lot. The app I use gave me basic and background knowledge and there was a one-week introductory course for meditation beginners. During the first week I only had to take a few minutes each day and was guided through short meditations on specific topics by a pleasant voice. Sometimes it was about stress, sometimes about feelings, sometimes about how to stay focused in everyday life. The shortness of the individual sessions and the voice guidance helped me a lot in finding an approach to the topic. I actually had a lot of fun!
I used the Balloon app for my test. But there are many other apps, such as Calm, Headspace or Breathe. Just see which one suits you and your needs best!
Meditate: a little bit more relaxed every day
My app's recommendation was to meditate at the same time every day. Best in the morning when I'm still rested and relatively free of thoughts. At first I felt weird to sit down so consciously and take this time. In the first few days the thoughts shot wildly through my head. Let you go by? Nothing! But at every moment of uncertainty, the voice in my app caught me. The biggest mistake you can make as a beginner to meditate is to think that you are not allowed to think. Doesn't work anyway! Over time, I actually found it a little easier not to judge thoughts and to let them go again. Now, after only a few weeks, I cannot say that I am relaxed at all times. It does not work so fast. But even if I still have to practice a lot, I am now looking forward to my meditation units. These daily little moments of calm, in which I take time for myself, are just really good for me. I just don't want to be without them on particularly stressful days. Who would have thought it - but Franz von Sales really hit the nail on the head with his sentence.
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