Meditation Guide

What is meditation?

Meditation is a continuous process of training your mind to concentrate on your thoughts. Originally, the word “meditate” means to think deeply about something for a long time. Meditation is also referred to as dhyana in Sanskrit. It is commonly used in Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism and Jainism as a spiritual practice for hundreds of years as a way to calm the mind. As per Wikipedia, Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear, calm and stable state.

Meditation is a mental exercise for providing relaxation, concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, calmness and awareness. We think a lot and most of our thoughts are negative and these thoughts can affect our mental state of mind. Thinking too much can make us feel crappy sometimes. So, any kind of mindfulness activity can keep you out from your thoughts about the past or the future and you can easily live your life in the present moment.

We’re more stressed and under more pressure than ever before. Meditation is a powerful natural antidote to stress. It can help us cope with the pressures of everyday life. Generally, the purpose of meditation is to raise personal and spiritual growth, in addition to calming the mind. Meditation gives us access to the mind’s inner wealth. So, we don’t need to depend on the external world for fulfillment and well-being.

Types of meditation

There are many types of meditation and I have analyzed the most common practices to help you get started.

Focused Meditation

Are you just a beginner to meditation or want to improve your focusing skills? Try to learn focused meditation. It is also described as attention meditation techniques. In this type, an individual focuses on one particular object during the entire meditation session. There are many things we can choose to focus or concentrate on for this meditation-like focusing on the breathing, object, flickering flame, flowers, sound, visualization or sensation.

You can select anything that activates your sense. For example, if you choose a flickering flame, sit in a comfortable position in front of it and try to pay attention to its different colors or the smells or the sounds. You want to think as deeply as possible about the flame, being fully present in the moment.

The most common forms of focused meditation include Chakra meditation, Kundalini meditation and Zen meditation. It can be challenging for beginners. So, if your mind begins to wander, redirect your thoughts back to the present. If you are doing it regularly, it will help you to strengthen your sense of focus.

Researcher has found that it can:

  • Improve memory and focusing skill
  • Increase inner peace and serenity
  • Achieve self-awareness

Spiritual Meditation

Are you looking for spiritual growth and need absolute silence? Then, you can consider spiritual meditation as the best option. In this type, it will allow you to see inside yourself at a deeper level and begin to experience pure consciousness. It involves pure silence or some spoken words or phrases or a prayer. This meditation can help you establish a deeper connection with the divine or god and make you realize the eternal truth of the universe. In Buddhism and Taoism, meditation is more focused on self-awareness and self-actualization. It will make your life more meaningful.

This meditation technique, which has become extremely popular in Eastern religions, such as Hinduism, Daoism and Buddhism. It can be practiced at home, your preferred place of worship or in nature. Begin by sitting in a comfortable position, remain quiet, close your eyes, listen to the silence around you and recite a prayer or a phrase slowly. It is the best way to develop a strong sense of awareness.

Researcher has found that it can:

  • Increase spirituality
  • Increase self-awareness
  • Discover life purpose
  • Increase positive energy

Movement Meditation

Are you more action-oriented or can’t sit still? Try to consider movement meditation. Movement meditation is not your usual meditation where you sit still and focus on your breath. Instead, with a mindful and slow pace, you are moving through different positions. It is an active kind of meditation in which we combine mindfulness with physical activity. During the day, when you are feeling restless or disturbed, movement meditation can help you to gain a sense of mind-body awareness.

It is a good choice for those who have difficulty staying still for long periods and for those who are action-oriented. Because it allows you to get moving while still focusing on an object of awareness. Yoga is the most well-known form of movement meditation. But you can also try Tai chi, Qigong, Rhythmic exercises, walking, dancing or other gentle motion. In each situation, the movement of your body is the object of meditation.

Researcher has found that it can:

  • Release physical tension
  • Stimulate blood circulation
  • Deep muscle relaxation
  • Increase in concentration

Mindfulness Meditation

Do you prefer to practice alone or don’t have access to a meditation teacher? Mindfulness meditation might be useful to you. Mindfulness meditation originates from Buddhist teachings and is the most common technique of meditation in the West. It is a basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing. Instead of dwelling on the past or thinking about the future, it encourages awareness of a person’s existing surroundings.

Mindfulness meditation is something that people can do almost anywhere, including while you are walking, talking, doing household chores or waiting in line at the shop. It means you are 100 % involved in the task you are doing, not concerned about any distractions. Initially, many people may struggle with this method. That’s why beginners start their practice with formal mindfulness meditation.

For the formal practice, sit on a cushion on the floor, with a straight and unsupported back. Pay close attention to the movement of your breath. Breath is the best-known focus of mindfulness meditation. When you are breathing, notice the sensation of the breath as it comes and goes. It can be as little as 10 minutes each day. Sometimes your mind will get distracted from the present moment. Whenever it happens, recognize it and bring the attention back to the breathing.

Researcher has found that it can:

  • Reduce stress and anxiety
  • Get better sleep
  • Improve health and well being

Transcendental Meditation

Are you looking for a more structured form of meditation or are very serious about doing a meditation practice? You can consider transcendental meditation. It is a popular type of meditation with over 5 million practitioners around the world in which we have to focus on a specific mantra or phrase by reciting it silently. For beginners, the mantra acts as the object of awareness, just like breathing is the object of awareness for mindfulness meditation. A mantra can be as simple as saying “Om” or a phrase like “All is well”. You can get the best result by doing it two times, twice a day.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a great teacher from India who introduced the TM technique to the entire world. The goal of transcendental meditation is to transcend above your current state of being. It allows the mind to experience pure consciousness easily, effortlessly and enjoyably.

Researcher has found that it can:

  • Improve overall well-being.
  • Calmness throughout the day

Benefits of Meditation

The psychological benefits of meditation are:

  • Increase concentration
  • Increase productivity
  • Increase mental strength and focus
  • Reduce stress & anxiety
  • Reduce negative thoughts
  • Promote emotional health and well being
  • Enhance self awareness
  • Increase happiness

Along with many psychological benefits, a number of physical benefits are also available such as:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Slowing of the aging process
  • Improve sleep quality
  • Straighten immune system
  • Reduce the risk of heart attack

How to meditate-mindful

Choose a quiet and peaceful environment

It should be practiced in a calm and peaceful environment. Try to find a place where you will not be interrupted for the duration of your meditation. You need not be worried about the place. You can do it in the corner of the room or even in your office or in nature as long as it’s somewhere private.

Set a time limit

If you are just a beginner, you can meditate for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes every day. You can start with even less. When you get comfortable with the practice, you keep increasing your time. You can also keep alarm during meditation. So, your mind won’t be worrying about time. As experts suggest, the quality of meditation is more important than the length.

Pick a time

You should decide on a particular time of the day, like waking up in the morning or in the evening. Researcher shows that it’s very easy to adopt any new habit when we do it every day at the “same time”, “the same place”. For many people, the morning is often considered to be the best time to meditate because the mind is quiet and refreshed. Try to stick to it if you have decided the time.

Sit in a comfortable position

It is very important that you sit in a comfortable position while meditating. You can sit on a cushion, chair or meditation bench with or without crossing your legs. Any seated position is fine as long as you’re comfortable. Relax your shoulders and keep your back straight, so that your head and neck are in line with your spine. Meditation can be performed with the eyes open or closed. However, as a beginner, I would recommend meditating with eyes closed to avoid visual distraction and use earplugs to avoid surrounding noise. This is one of the most common meditation postures.

Focus on your breath

Breathing is considered to be the most powerful and insightful of all meditation techniques. You should just breathe normally and try to keep your attention on breathing. Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes in and as it goes out. Don’t judge or criticize yourself over the content of the thoughts that come during meditation. Be kind to your wandering mind and bring your attention back to breathing.

Hope this will provide you enough guidelines to learn meditation techniques. Did you try any of them? Please feel free to share your experience.

Thank you so much for your kind support.

Nirali.



How to Stay Positive During COVID-19 Pandemic

Today, people are dealing with an outbreak of pandemic COVID 19. The novel Coronavirus has infected 12.4M people across the world and the death toll rate has crossed 559K as of 10th July 2020. It is spreading rapidly day by day. Nations are under quarantine. We hear about the same disappointing news every day on TV, newspaper, social media or talking with friends/family.

In this global pandemic, we are facing difficulties to maintain our mental state of mind because of staying at home, social distancing, isolation, fear of unemployment , economic instability, break in daily routine, fear of getting infected, anxiety, depression and uncertainty. It has badly affected our industries like Hotel, Travel and Tourism, airlines, education and many more. It will be challenging for everyone to stay positive and optimistic in this stressful environment.

Staying positive in today’s pandemic environment must be a priority to all of us. One should try to learn a positive mindset approach towards life and focus on all that is good in their life. This positive mindset will help you to utilize your energy in the right direction. It will help you to accomplish your dreams and goals and bring you happiness and satisfaction even during tough times. It is often said that good things happen to those with good positive mindset.

Here, there are some essential tips to stay positive, focused, optimistic and productive.

  1. Create Fixed Routine
  2. Exercise
  3. Meditation
  4. Take a Break from News
  5. Learning New Skills
  6. Stay Connected
  7. Eat Healthy and Sleep Well
  8. Laugh More
  9. “Me” Time
  10. Playing Games with Your Family/Partner
  11. Do House Hold Chores Together
  12. Cook Special Meals for Your Family
  13. Helping Others

Create Fixed Routine:-

Fixed Routine has become more important for all of us when we are self quarantined and working from home for almost 4 months. It will bring a sense of purpose in our life. You should try to make a fixed schedule about your food, exercises, studies/work, daily activities and sleep. If you are doing work from home, create a dedicated work space to stay focused and limit yourself from distraction. You should try to stick with fixed routine so you don’t feel bored and down. It can help you to be more productive in your task.

Exercise:-

It should be the main priority of your daily routine. It will help you to increase your overall health and well being. It can have a positive effect on your mood by releasing tension, anxiety, fear and depression which are caused by coronavirus pandemic. It can also strengthen your immunity which reduces your risk of illness and infection. During exercises, your body releases chemicals like endorphins which is helpful to improve your mood and make you feel more relaxed. It can act as a stress reliever. You can start with any kind of home based exercises like stretching the body, yoga, weight lifting, jumping jack, skipping, aerobics and walking. So, try to include an exercise routine into your day.

Meditation:-

As per Wikipedia, Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear state. One should start their day with a mindful meditation for at least 15 minutes. It brings our brain into an alpha state which will help you quiet your mind; achieve deep relaxation, increase happiness and positivity. It cleanses and nourishes you from within. So, the mind becomes completely fresh. I generally prefer it in the early morning instead of doing it at any time. It will help you to stay positive throughout the day.

Take a Break from News:-

You could watch a 24 hours news channel or read countless articles regarding coronavirus and overload your mind full of negativity, anxiety and fear. Too much news consumption can also affect your positivity and sleep. Instead, one should try to avoid looking up for the news every time. You should choose a specific time of the day from reliable resources to keep yourself updated from the current news and try to skip watching the news when you wake up or before going to bed to stay away from negativity.

Learning New Skills:-

If you have thought about acquiring new skills, this is the perfect time for us. We should use this time as an opportunity to learn a new skill such as new technologies from online resources to expand our knowledge, any musical instruments, art-craft activities, painting, cooking /baking, reading or whatever makes you happy. Do something creative and be engaged to utilize your energy in the right direction.

Stay Connected:-

Staying connected with friends & family is one of the most important ways to keep your mind positive and manage your mental health during self isolation. There are plenty of ways available to keep in touch with your loved one via telephone, email, social media or video conferencing. Talk with your friends/ families that make you feel better and charge yourself with positive energy.

Eat Healthy and Sleep Well:-

You should take care of yourself by eating healthy food that boosts your immune system. You should increase your intake of fruits and veggies which provides you essential vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants. There is a close relationship between diet and mood. Healthy diet can significantly change your mood and well being.

Adequate sleep is one of the influencing factors to stay positive. A good 7-9 hours of quality sleep is essential for reducing your stress. It helps you to forget about a bad day, to feel refreshed, to start your day with full of energy and positivity.

Laugh More:-

This is also one of the most important steps you should do to stay positive and optimistic. Thanks to the huge popularity of YouTube and Web series, there are thousands of funniest videos that can help you to feel relaxed and happy instantly and take off your mind from current events. It is said that laughter is the best medicine. A laugh reduces the level of stress hormones like cortisol, adrenaline, and dopamine and increases the level of endorphins which can help you to feel relaxed. It also improves your blood circulation and strengthens your immune system. You should also try out happiness or laughter yoga.

Me” time:-

Staying at home all the time can be really stressful for everyone. So, “me” time is required to avoid irritability and negative emotions which are generated through global pandemic. Spending time with yourself is a very important thing that can help you to increase productivity, gratitude, happiness and positivity. It also provides you opportunities to look at yourself and prioritize your important tasks. Sometimes we become very busy in our daily routine that we forget about the following questions.

  • What do we want to achieve in our life?
  • What is important for us?
  • What is our goal?
  • What is our plan?

So, we should start taking time for self discovery to find out those answers. We should schedule some “me” time everyday at least 30 minutes just for you. By doing these, you will feel more focused, motivated and positive during these tough times.

Playing Games with Your Family/Partner:-

One of the things couples/family should do is playing games. Playing games keeps our mind engaged during this anxiety producing environment of COVID-19 pandemic. Researchers have found that playing game releases oxytocin (love hormone) when couples spend time together in these activities. It can help us to increase our logical thinking, improve our relationship and make our life more fun. You can play Chess, Checkers, Monopoly, Clue, Jenga, Qwirkle, Pictionary, Dominion, Cards, Ludo, Carrom, Tic-Tac-Toe and many more.

Do House Hold Chores Together:-

Most of the people are not taking any domestic help or maid servant to protect their family from the spread of coronavirus. So, considering these situations, the household chores should be taken care of by all family members. We should make a list of chores and divide the responsibility and duties between each of the family members. So, no one can get irritated and burdened with the workload. It can be really a fun event. According to new research, especially couples who do chores together are happier and create a strong bond between them.

Cook Special Meals for Your Family:-

Restaurants might be closed in your area or you might not be comfortable to order it from outside as a preventive measure against coronavirus. It has given us opportunities to cook a meal for our loved one at home and make them feel special. You can take advantage of freely available information on YouTube and experiment with new delicious recipes and be a master in cooking. It will also help you to protect your family against coronavirus by avoiding outside food.

Helping Others:-

Helping others is not only good for that person but it is an easy way to make you feel better instantly. A study shows that it will enhance your overall sense of purpose and identity. One should protect themselves and be supportive to others who might need some extra assistance. It will help them to live their life comfortable in these difficult times by maintaining social distancing.

Hopefully, with these tips, you will be able to keep from all the negativity and stay positive through tough times. Did you try any of the above tips? Please feel free to share your experience.

Stay at home, Stay positive and follow the government’s guidelines to slow down the spread of coronavirus.

Related: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

Related: https://www.mohfw.gov.in/

Thank you so much for your kind support.

Nirali.

Move On After Breakup

Did your lover/ partner recently break up with you? It’s very hard to face this situation alone. Nowadays, many youngsters are facing same problems. But, it is not the time to watch sad movies and listen sad songs. It’s the time to learn new things. It is the opportunities that you are getting to find yourself and improve yourself for the better future. When we are involved with someone, somehow we forget about our life journey and destination. No one can help you to move on after breakup except yourself.So, one should take a breakup as their opportunities. I am giving you some advice which will help you to get over after a breakup.

Meditation and Exercise:-
After breakup, we are suffering from the constant pain. We feel like that we are the only one who is facing this problem. So, the meditation will give us focus and concentration of our life journey. It will help us to get rid from negative thoughts. It is the good way to release our pain and frustration. By doing exercise, we will feel healthy physically as well as mentally and it will nourish our life.

Positive Affirmation:-
We should tell a little daily positive affirmation to ourselves. It can help us to remind that we are an awesome person with variety of skills. After a breakup, our mind generates lots of negative vibrations for ourselves as I was not perfect or I did not deserve happiness or I will not be successful for the future relationship etc. The best thing we should do to get rid from these thoughts by constantly feeding self positive affirmations. So, we can find peace and acceptance for ourselves.

Stop Blaming Yourself:-
We regret after a breakup and believing responsible and start humiliating ourselves. We all are taking this as our personal failure. Remember simple rule of life if you love yourself, everyone will love you 🙂 So, this is the best practice to make you feel happy and love ourselves. It is the time to institute unconditionally self love. As a result, it will increase our self esteem and confidence.

Reconnect With Your Friends and Society:-
One should talk with their friends and make new friends. You should share your feelings with them. They might have faced the same situation before and could advise you from their experiences. You should try to reach out them on social media like Whatsapp, Instagram or Facebook which can lead you for online meet up and friendship. You should surround yourself with person who makes you feel comfortable. You will be surprised that how many friends you have with you who really love you and care for you.

Keep Yourself Busy:-
This is the best solution for any pain. If you are busy, you will forget about everything. You should keep yourself busy with the stuffs you enjoy the most like reading books, watching web series, playing games, dancing, listening music, learning new skills, etc. One should start explore what they want to achieve in their life.

Carrier and Job:-
One should take the breakup as an opportunity for their carrier and growth. You have stopped everything while you are in a relationship. Now its best time to think about your carrier. Your life is ultimately your own. And this can be a great opportunities to reflect on your goals and dreams. This is the time to prove yourself that you can do anything.

Spend Quality Time With Your Parent:-
When we spend quality time with our parents, we will get an opportunity to bond with them on deeper level. It can help to create strong bonds, love, connections and in coping with challenges and pain.

Makeover Yourself:-
The end of the relationship means the beginning of the new chapter in your life. You should find out what kind of makeover you want for yourself. You should do something to change your physical appearance and mental state of mind. It may be a new haircut, straightening, joining gym etc, whatever the change you want to feel better for you. You should purchase an outfit that makes you flawless and wear beautiful jewelry. It will help you to boost your confidence level. You can treat yourself for massage,facial,Mani-pedicure etc. When talking about makeover, I am not telling you to focus only on the outward change in appearance. But you must apply this makeover concept to your emotional state of mind by doing meditation and exercises.

Going On The Vacation:-
Travel can be definitely a good thing when you want to forget about the old memories and recreate the new memories. Along the way, you will discover the new things. It will show you how beautiful the world is. So, one should travel to that spot which you have always wanted to go. It can also help you to make new friends.

Block Them On Every Social Media:-
It’s recommended to keep yourself away from your past. This is the only way to stop following that person’s daily activities. For example on whatapp,you will be checking online status frequently and eventually becoming sad by knowing that person might be talking with some other person which will disturb your mind. So, it’s one of the ways to move on.

Start Dating Again With Slowly:-
There is saying that the best way to get over someone is to get under someone else. You will start enjoying hanging out with other person again. Love can happen twice if you are ready to forget your past. One should be optimistic about their life and be open minded to enter new person in your life. One should indulge in relationship with someone else until they forget their past totally 🙂

Hope this will help you to get rid from recent breakup. Please feel free to tell me reviews about my writing.

Thank you so much for your kind support.

Nirali.