If you’re thinking about getting started with meditation, there are some things that you need to know before jumping into it. Although meditation can certainly change your life for the better, it will only do so if you go into it fully prepared and with as much knowledge about mediation as possible. So, here are 6 things about meditation you need to know today.
6. There Are Different Types Of Meditation.
There are many types of meditation, and every one of them is a little different. There are three primary types of meditation: open monitoring, focused attention, and automatic self-transcending. Within these, there are many other types of meditation that you can do, including heart rhythm meditation, guided visualization, and Qi Gong.
Each type of meditation is different and has various purposes and benefits. That’s why it’s important to take some time to determine exactly what you want to get out of meditation before you jump into it. You need to make sure that the type of meditation you choose fits your lifestyle and beliefs, and is something that will benefit you. There are some types of meditation that target specific problems such as anxiety, heart disease, or stress.
5. You Don’t Have To Stick With One Type Of Meditation.
You’re by no means stuck with the first type of meditation that you choose. In fact, even if you’ve taken the time to decide which one is right for you, it still may not end up working for you. The good news is that you can keep looking for another type of meditation to try until you do find something that works for you. You can also learn several types of meditation to gain the different benefits and use them for different situations.
We recommend taking time to learn one type well before moving onto another type of meditation. Because each type requires time to learn and practice, it’s better to keep your focus on one type until you’ve mastered it before you decide to learn another one. However, once you have mastered several types, you’ll be ready to use them when you need them.
4. It Doesn’t Require A Certain Posture Or Position.
When most people think of meditation, the first thing that comes to mind is a cross-legged guru with their hands resting on their thighs, fingers, and thumbs forming circles while they hum. However, there really aren’t any specific rules about how to meditate, and you certainly don’t have to sit rigidly the whole time.
Actually, meditation requires you to be as comfortable as possible so you can keep focused on what’s going on in your mind instead of your body. Sitting upright is generally the best position so you don’t fall asleep while meditating, but there are some types of meditation that require you to be laying down, like body scan meditations and meditation for sleep.
3. Meditation Physically Changes Your Brain.
Although meditators have known that there are profound changes that happen in your mind when you meditate, only recently have researchers taken the time to study the physical changes that take place in your brain because of meditation. Some studies that have been done looked at the differences between meditators and non-meditators, while others looked at the changes that occurred in a group of people who started meditating.
One of the changes seen in the brain of those who meditate regularly is that there’s the more gray matter which means more brain cells. Another change involved the amygdala which is where the “fight or flight” reflex is triggered. In those that meditate regularly, this area was physically smaller which means they’re more likely to handle stressful situations without reacting with fear.
Another interesting thing to note when it comes to physical changes that happen when you meditate is the brain scans done of people who have been meditating for many, many years. Their scans when they were not meditating looked like an inexperienced meditating while in a state of meditation, meaning that the changes that occur during meditation eventually become permanent.
2. There Are Many Health Benefits To Meditating.
The health benefits that occur in the brain from meditating are only the beginning of the many things that meditation can do for your body. Meditation has also shown that it can increase blood circulation which helps lower your blood pressure and your risk of developing heart disease, which is the leading cause of death for people in the United States.
One of the reasons that meditation has such an impact on your health is that as you become more aware of your inner self, you become more protective of it and begin to make healthier choices for your body. Many people have successfully used meditation to quit smoking or get out of other addictions because meditation allows them to deal with the underlying reasons for their addition.
1. You Might Fall Asleep During Meditation.
Even if you’re not doing meditation specifically to fall asleep, you may find yourself falling asleep while meditating because it puts you into such a relaxed state, especially if you’re doing it at the end of a long day at work. The good news is that this is totally normal and if you do, don’t worry too much about it. If it does seem to be turning into a problem, then you can try a few techniques to keep yourself alert during meditation.