The Benefits of Meditation
You may hear the buzz words “mindfulness”, “meditative state”, and “higher state” these days often. It is no coincidence that in a fast-paced, ever-moving world, we are desperate to find presence and fulfillment while we steadily add to our to-do lists.
Luckily, many scientific studies have shown that practicing meditation can help us reduce anxiety, depression, and the feeling of emptiness. But, getting started can be a little scary if you aren’t familiar with what actually will happen while you meditate.
Free Guided Meditations
I have created a simple list of what you could experience while you meditate to help ease you into the practice. But, before I get to the list, I also have a really important meditation tip when beginning a meditation practice:
Learn to get comfortable with being uncomfortable!
All my New Orleans native readers can find me in a class where we start our asana practice with meditation, you can check the schedule here.
Feelings To Expect When You Meditate
Many times, we find ourselves replaying a past experience from earlier in the day or maybe even from five years ago. This can feel unsettling, because many times the experience in review is not always a positive one (I have been known to replay embarrassing scenarios over and over in my head). This is normal! If reviewing the experience is upsetting, just allow that feeling to wash over you. Feel sad or mad or embarrassed for a breath and then let that stuff go! Reviewing emotion is normal, the benefits are in practicing moving through them.
We are a people that strive for perfectionism, but you will not find the perfect meditation. There are days that will be frustrating because you cannot seem to settle in or get the mind to stop running. You may feel like you are failing at meditating! But know this is not the case! We are opening up the mind, so whatever thoughts come are all totally okay, and completely accepted. Embrace it! Forgive yourself and know that every meditator has experienced self-doubt.
Meditating is rejuvenating. All the thoughts that roll through the mind are being sorted out and released. This can feel extremely healing, especially when you are able to release an old pattern of thought or a thought that has been plaguing you for a long time. Healing comes with warmth in the body and a generally lighter feeling. This is a wonderful experience to have during meditation.
4. Feeling Sleepy
Many times, being in a quiet and still state triggers the body into feeling sleepy or tired. We may begin to drift off into a dream-like state or actually fall asleep! This is okay too. It happens, especially in the beginning. We are used to being very busy, only slowing for sleep, so it is no wonder that stillness would tell your body it is time to take a rest. My advice: if you need rest take it that day and try again another day. The more that you practice the easier it will become to stay awake in a meditative state.
Try and Try Again
Meditation can feel a bit unfamiliar at the beginning. It takes practice and consistency to begin to reap the many benefits of meditating.
It can, and many times it will, turn on your senses and emotions. Try not to be afraid of experiencing those emotions! Working through and with all the parts of ourselves will help us reap the rewards of a fulfilling, tuned-in, and peaceful life.
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