Stress getting the better of you? Thoughts in your head doing rollercoasters? How about going down the road of esoterics a bit and try meditation? It's virtually free and can the benefits of meditation can prove effective for you.Om Mani Padme Hum!Lately I have been on a full-blown run of psychological exploration. The fitter I got, the more important I found it to be to also take care of your psychological health - it all starts from within, doesn't it? That some time ago brought me on the subject of meditation.There has been a lot of research on meditation, and by now we can pretty much agree that it's not just a waste of time that people only do when they are bored (that was my belief many years ago). Therefore, while on here we normally talk so much about working out our bodies, let's today also look at some simple meditation techniques that anyone, and I mean anyone, can implement into one's life. Maybe you'll try it out and find it a nice, if unusual addition, to your fitness arsenal.What Does Meditation Do?First of all, I think a lot of people are prone to the misconception that in order to meditate, you have to be good at it or you must have some kind of skill. As in being a Shaolin monk who practiced the art of meditation for 40 years before finally getting somewhere with it.Not so. While at first sitting or lying down and closing your eyes and, well, doing nothing may seem strange, meditation beginners can learn to let thoughts go and relax without actually sleeping comparatively quickly. You really don't have to be a master yogi to use meditation, because there are so many simple yet effective techniques that absolutely anyone can do and not all of them require for you to sit in lotus position and see infinity and the meaning of life in a mandala.I personally compare the necessity of meditation similar to the necessity of sleep. Sleep recharges your body and mind, meditation does exactly the same thing, but on a more conscious level. The calming effect it has can help sort out all those tangled "thought clusters" that built up in your mind. This in turn can help keep your nervous system in check, which has a huge impact on your overall health, as stress often comes with unpleasant bodily symptoms. In short, meditation can help make everything flow better.Super Simple Walking Meditation So let's start out really, really simple, and that is with walking meditation, which especially in the beginning helped me along exploring the world of meditation.Ah what, walking meditation? Yes, you can meditate while walking and this is perfect for beginners. It was the first method I started with many years ago. Go for a walk outside, preferably somewhere with more nature and less hectic life. While walking, all you have to do is focus on your breath and observe nature around you. This is a very easy technique and if you have trouble quieting your thoughts, it is the one for you. Deep breath and observing tranquil nature will help you calm down and create a connection with the structure of your thoughts.Positive Affirmation Meditation Another very simple technique can be done in 5 minutes here and there throughout your day. Pick a positive word, which can be anything that makes you feel good, and repeat that word inside your mind while taking deep breaths.You can lay down for it or simply sit in a chair with your palms up (there is a belief that if you have your palms up, you allow for easy energy flow, but of course you don't have to buy into that).If any thoughts come to your mind don't push them away - just let them be and focus on your positive affirmation and breathe. I can guarantee you if you try this for just 5 minutes a day, you will start feeling a change within your self.Relaxing MusicThis one is my favorite: I love listening to relaxing music with alpha waves sounds. Those waves may or may not do something, but, heah, I find it pretty relaxing, even if it's just the music. You can do it sitting or lying down and I also use this when I have a really hard time sleeping. For me it works best when I use headphones.A Few Final WordsMeditation has really helped me deal with anxiety and sleep problems, but most importantly it helped me to explore more layers of my self. It also helped me to keep calm in very difficult situations of my life. There is a saying that I love very much, "know thyself", and to me meditation does exactly that. If we learn to know ourselves, we unlock something within, some kind of guiding light that helps us flow instead of struggling through life.Pictures courtesy of Nickolai Kashirin and "midiman".
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