How to Meditate
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines meditation as "engaging in mental exercise (such as concentration on one's breathing or repetition of a mantra) for the purpose of reaching a heightened level of spiritual awareness" but it is so much more than that. Let's find out exactly what meditation is, how to meditate and why so many people are turning to it for guidance in 2020.
What is meditation?
Ok, so the definition above, is pretty spot on. Meditation is a way of clearing the mind and focusing on our inner thoughts to achieve a sense of peace, calm and mindfulness whether that be spiritual or personal.
The first ever documented evidence of meditation was found in wall arts in the Indian subcontinent, showing people in meditative poses with their eyes half closed. These are thought to be from around 5000 to 3500 BCE! For many (and traditionally) it's about tapping into a spiritual connection, however, meditation has evolved over time to become a little less spiritual as it once was, and more focusing on personal peace within.
People meditate in many different ways. Some sit cross legged and listen to natural sounds, others lie down in bed before sleep, focusing with nothing but their thoughts to keep them company. It varies between person, as most activities do. Whatever feels most comfortable for you is always best.
What are the benefits of meditation?
Scientific studies have shown that meditation provides the following health benefits, physically, mentally and emotionally:
- Stress reduction
- Helps control anxiety
- Enhances self-awareness
- Increases attention span
- Helps combat memory loss
- Increases empathy and kindness
- May help fight addictions
- Improves sleep
- Can help control pain
- Decreases blood pressure
That's a whole lot of healing and restoration of balance for the mind, body and soul if you ask me.
What can I use to help me meditate?
I'm glad you asked! There are quite a few tools that can help you achieve a meditative state when you're looking to reach deep within and restore your inner peace, calm and spirituality.
Meditation always seems to be at its best when there's a natural repetition to focus on. This is why settling into a quiet room with some soft ocean, rainforest or other natural sounds playing can help bring on the desired meditative state. Couple this with deep, slow, consistent breathing and you'll be in the zone in no time.
Some foods and beverages have been known to help enhance the ability to meditate including:
- Green tea
- Herbal teas
- Fruits and vegetables
- Nuts and seeds
Have you noticed the pattern? These are all foods that are generally healthy and have benefits associated with them that help in reducing stress and promoting a positive wellbeing.
Last but certainly not least, essential oils are one of those effective enhancers of bringing about and fully utilising a meditative experience. The natural aromas of certain oils promote calm, peace and inner serenity like nothing else.
We've recently introduced a seriously relaxing Meditation Essential Oil Blend to the Natural Aromas store. It combines the oils of orange peel, bergamot, patchouli, lavender and ylang ylang with a soft, delicate fractionated coconut oil. If that doesn't sound like the most calm inducing mix of scents, I don't know what is.
So, sit back, relax and take a few deep breaths. Give meditation chance - you might just find it's the best thing you'll ever do.
Choose Natural Aromas when you buy your essential oils and meditation tools online!