If anxiety has got you down, read my meditation 101

Meditation

Lauren Wensel

Lauren Wensel meditating in the mountains of Arizona.

Meditation involves sitting in a relaxed position and clearing your mind, or focusing your mind on one thing and clearing it of everything else. It has been around for centuries, but it has become a major lifestyle trend in the past year. 

It can seem silly, especially for beginners, but it is proven to be very beneficial. These are some of the main reasons you should try it and how to get started based on your desires. 

1) Meditation lowers stress. 

There is lots of evidence that stress leads to illnesses and worsening of illnesses. Meditation does the opposite of what stress does to your body. It triggers a relaxation response, restoring calmness in the body. 

2) It helps you to understand yourself better. 

Meditation allows you to sit down and tap into your subconscious mind, increasing self-awareness. According to “Meditation helps you create a deeper understanding of yourself” by EOC Institute, meditation allows you to withdraw yourself from the external world. It puts you at peace and gives you the ability to see yourself as you truly are. 

3) It can clear background chatter in your brain.

Spinning Mind
Minds become too busy.

We live in a busy world. The average person has a constant voice in their head, never leaving them alone about the past or the future. Meditation can help you become more present and give you a break from the background noise in your mind. 

4) Meditation improves focus and concentration. 

The brain is a muscle, and meditation is an exercise for it. Strengthening your brain through meditation can make it easier for you to focus your attention in any situation.

You don’t need a lot of time to meditate. If you are a busy person, you could start by doing even just ten minutes of meditation once or twice a week. It can be very effective very fast.

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Another wonderful aspect of meditation is that you can do it in the comfort of your home. You don’t have to travel anywhere for a good meditation, and it does not require any special equipment. 

Not to mention, meditation is easy and free! There are many platforms you may use to meditate, from YouTube to countless apps on your smartphones app store. I have tried several meditation apps and given my thoughts on them so you can choose the app that sounds most appealing for your mental health needs.

Calm – This app has several options, allowing you to focus on gratitude, happiness, reducing anxiety, reducing stress, and more. It has guided meditations, breathing exercises, and soundscapes to listen to for the more advanced meditators. In the guided meditations, there are peaceful nature noises behind the speaker’s voice that are very appealing. This app, in my opinion, incorporates the most inspiration into their meditations than any of the other apps I have tried. The only downside to this app is that there are limited free meditations on it and there are a lot of quiet pauses in their meditations, which can get boring for some people. 

Headspace – This one also has limited free meditations, but I love this app because it is great for beginners. When you first download the app, it makes you answer a few questions so it can personalize meditations for you. A cool feature is that you can choose between a male or female voice for every meditation. This app does an amazing job at boosting your mood and is a great one to try.

Oak – This app does not have as much content as the other apps. Although, it does

Visualization
Meditation is a great time to visualize anything that puts your mind at peace.

have a few really cool meditations on it. It includes meditations on mindfulness, kindness & self-acceptance, and alertness. Also, it has unguided meditations that you can choose your own background noises for, which is unique. “Oak” was the most customizable of the apps, and I recommend it for fans of visualization.

 

Unplug – This app is awesome because you can search for meditations by time, topic, or teacher. It is perfect for if you don’t have much time, because you can easily find a meditation that will fit in your time frame. Another cool feature of the app is that it has a journal feature, which in my opinion is a perfect way to end a meditation. You can also create playlists of your favorite meditations, and set goals for yourself within the app. This one highlights self-discovery, reducing stress, and getting better sleep. I would recommend this one if you are willing to invest some quality time towards meditation. 

What are you waiting for? Meditation is one of the easiest, yet greatest things you can do to boost your mental health. Search up a meditation routine online, take a seat on your carpet, and set your mind free. 

 

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