We live in a stressful and competitive world that requires us to be constantly active and ready to adapt to news and changes in the environment.
The lifestyle we leadBoth at work and in private life, it can be hectic and cause us stress, tension and a feeling that not everything is happening. We need to disconnect from time to time and focus on the essentials, which is why it is very useful to practice meditation and relaxation techniques.
In order to contribute to personal well-being in this article I have selected about ten very useful meditation exercises, In addition to indicating some of the benefits of these practices.
Meditation: concept and benefits
The term meditation refers to focus attention on a specific element, Whether inside like his own thought or outside, in a state of deep concentration and reflection. It is generally said that in meditation one seeks to free the mind from its usual worries and to focus on the present. It is usually based on a total focus on the present by focusing on aspects such as breathing, thinking or self-awareness.
Meditation is for serving help the individual to connect with himself, Understanding oneself and capturing one’s own potential. It also allows us to observe reality more objectively, as well as the values and goals that govern us.
The origins of this practice
The practice of meditation originated in India and typical of Buddhist and Hindu beliefs, having become popular in the West relatively recently. These practices can serve several purposes. Originally of religious or mystical orientation, meditation is even today part of the repertoire of techniques used in psychotherapy, especially in the form of Mindfulness.
Mindfulness as a technique is based focus on the present moment and what is happening without trying to interpret, Accept both the positive and the negative, give up trying to control and choose goals and values in which to work.
The benefits of meditation are numerous: various studies show that it improves the capacity of concentration and memory, allows a physical and mental relaxation as well as a better management of stress and even has a beneficial effect on the medical level. Stimulate the immune system.
It has also been shown that helps improve mood, Combat mild depression and anxiety, as well as reduce blood pressure and the possibility of cardiovascular disorders. Finally, it has also been found to be helpful in improving the quantity and quality of sleep.
A dozen meditation exercises
There is a wide variety of meditation exercises that can be performed. Some of these are done statically (this is the best known and most traditional type of meditation) while others require movement.
Likewise, some focus more on the life of the moment while others emphasize the idea. self-provoking sensations through elements such as visualization. Below we leave you 12 exercises that you can do comfortably in various situations and that will allow you to meditate while focusing your attention on different aspects.
1. Clear the mind
It is a meditation centered only on the breath. With half-open eyes the subject he focuses on his own breathing without trying to control it, Focusing on the feeling of air entering and exiting. The individual will try to focus only on that. Different types of thinking can arise, but you shouldn’t try to block them, just don’t follow them.
Over time, the individual will be able to concentrate on their breathing and avoid other thoughts, so that they can experience feelings of calm, tranquility and placidity.
Although this technique may seem very simple, it is very useful in improving concentration. With eyes closed and in a relaxed position you count down slowly, from high numbers (fifty or even a hundred) to zero. It is about focusing your mind on a specific element so that the rest of the stimuli disappear.
3. Body examination
This technique is based on a detailed examination of the different regions of the body, taking into account the sensations that are perceived in each of them. It is recommended to find a comfortable position that allows bodily relaxation. sitting on the floor with your back straight and legs bent with each foot on the thigh of the other leg (in what is called the lotus position). Once in this position, close your eyes and leave your mind blank.
In this state, you will gradually move your mind through the different muscle groups, paying attention to the sensations that arise from them. It is focus on what the body itself is telling usAt the same time, we connect better with him and we observe ourselves by accepting the information that comes from him without judging them. We usually proceed with the ascent from the toes to the head.
4. The conscious pause
A quick exercise proposed by Dr Ryan Niemiec, Which can be done anywhere. This exercise is based on concentrating on the breath for between fifteen and thirty seconds, focusing our attention only on this process. You have to inhale and exhale deeply.
Once we have focused our attention on the breath, we will be asked which of our own strengths can be applied to the situation we are in. This way we can help each other make decisions and deal with stressful situations.
5. Observation in dynamic meditation
This exercise is based on observing and contemplating what we are able to observe. We first find a comfortable position to relax, to close our eyes for a few minutes, focused on breathing. At this point, we take a look and take a quick look at what’s going on and around us.
He closes his eyes again and he reflects on what has been seen, What are the different perceived stimuli that surround us (for example a dog, a roommate preparing to go to work, an open window through which we see a tree …). Once the stimuli are listed, they remain silent for a few minutes.
After doing this, we open our eyes again and go through a second, more detailed passage of what surrounds us. Here again, the eyes are closed and a new list of observed elements is established. The two lists are compared mentally, to reflect on the differences between what was observed in the first quadrimester and what was seen with a second longer observation.
6. Meditation in motion
While meditation has traditionally been viewed as something to be done statically, it is possible to meditate in motion (although it may be more difficult to focus).
It is recommended that it be in contact with nature, Like in a field or on the beach. It is about walking around while the person is focusing on the sensations they are feeling at the moment, such as the heat of the sun, the breeze, the friction of the water if it is raining or is close to the sea. , the salinity of water or the friction of plants, the movement of their own muscles or the emotions they arouse.
This exercise is based on the visualization of goals and their evaluation through meditation. The subject can play sitting, lying or even standing. With the closed and with the attention put in the breath, the definition of an objective or a goal to be pursued is considered.
Then the subject gradually arose if he really considers the desirable goalThen assess whether achieving it would bring you well-being, whether the The benefits to be achieved outweigh the costs and difficulties, and if you have the means to achieve it, to finally rethink whether the goal remains desirable.
If the result is positive, it will strengthen the will and efforts to achieve it while the person feels their goal is valid, while otherwise effort can be redirected towards achieving new milestones.
8. Meditation with fire
Fire has been used as a symbolic element and as a focal point in various meditation techniques. One of the techniques is to focus attention on the candle of a flame, in a comfortable position while controlling breathing and sensations such as heat and brightness are noticed which contributes.
You can also make a list of the positive things to get or keep and the negative things to eliminate, focusing on the negatives and the sensations they cause and giving them to the fire to observe how they are set and charred and then concentrated. . positive (which are not burnt) under the protection of heat and light.
9. Meditation in the water
This technique is based on the use of water and can be practiced while bathing in a tub or swimming pool. It is about focusing attention on the relation of one’s own body to water while concentrating on breathing, noticing the sensations it causes and the boundaries between the submerged part of the body and that to the outside.
You can try visualize how water carries tension and bad feelings. You can also work with the surface of the water, see how our movements leave their imprint in the form of waves and focus on perceiving the environment beyond the body.
10. Static meditation: the mind as a canvas
The exercise begins by closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing, trying to imagine your mind as a blank canvas. Once this is done, the person must choose one of the spontaneous thoughts or images that come to his mind and must mentally throw himself into this web.
From there we will try to think about why this thought, its origin and its usefulness appeared and what sensations it causes. Once done, the person can try to bring the image to life, mentally incorporating the movement and even projecting into it to analyze it.
Although this was raised as something to do mentally, since art is an important element that can be used for reflection, it can be helpful that instead of doing it mentally, the subject continues to do a graphic representation. in a real canvas. They also serve other forms of art and expression, Such as writing, sculpture or music.
11. Yoga and tai chi
Although both are disciplines in themselves with their differentiating characteristics, yoga and tai chi can be used as a form of meditation through the performance of various movements. Visualization is also important.
For example, you can imagine projecting an orb of energy out of our body, giving it a feeling of warmth and weight and performing different manipulative exercises with it like rotating it, passing it. Place it over your head and around your torso and slide it over your arms and legs. This orb was the element on which we focused our attention., And can represent our physical energy or a quality that is unique to us or desired by us.
12. Metta bhavana meditation
This type of meditation it focuses on the cultivation of love and positive emotions.
First of all, the user should sit down and pay attention to the body, relaxing each muscle as much as possible. At this point, you have to focus on the emotional sensations, focus your attention on the heart, and try to discern the emotions being felt at that time. You have to accept them, whether they are positive or negative. It is recommended to try to smile in the face of possible changes in the emotions felt.
After that he tries to attract positive emotions. For this we can use mantras or phrases that bring us feelings of peace, love or positivity, or imagination.
This exercise is done by thinking first of yourself, then of a friend, then of a person whom you do not like good or bad, then of someone with whom you have conflicts, and finally of all living things. It is identify the sensations and try to promote the right ones, By accepting and not judging or limiting the bad. After that, he gradually returns to the outside world.