What should one focus on during meditation?
Entry into the practice of mindfulness: How do you meditate correctly?
The thought of an ommon on your lips is kind of strange? You will become more relaxed and calm if you meditate regularly. But how do you meditate properly and what do you have to consider as a beginner? We'll tell you.
Whether at home, in the yoga studio or even at work: More and more people swear by meditation. You don't have to come to spiritual knowledge first in order to learn to meditate. More and more top managers from Silicon Valley but also from Germany swear by simple mindfulness meditations against stress and for more concentration. Find out whether meditation is also something for you and get to know the basics here.
The origin: meditation in Buddhism
The term meditation comes from the Latin word "meditatio", which means something like to think or to ponder. And that is exactly what it has been about since the beginning of meditation: to rest in yourself without rushing too many thoughts. The mind is completely awake during this, but at the same time relaxed.
This spiritual practice has its origins in many different religions and cultures. One of the most important sources is probably Buddhism, which can be traced back to the 1st century BC. Meditation and mindfulness practice is a very central part of religion and is still practiced today. In order to attain the goal of enlightenment, the "Bodhi", one has to climb the following levels: the concentration and calming of the mind, the conscious perception and cultivation of compassion as well as the dissolution of the ego.
In our modern western world, however, meditation is also practiced completely detached from any spiritual thought and is often used to reduce stress or is part of a yoga practice. Once you've internalized the basics, you can easily meditate at the end of a stressful working day or relax more efficiently in your hotel room on your next business trip.
What does meditation do?
Science has long confirmed the positive effects of meditation. Proven effects are, for example, the following:
- Become more alert and more active
- Feel more energy and more relaxation
- Get more self-confidence
- Reduce fears and negative thoughts
- Increase concentration and focus
- Strengthen the immune system
- Improve the awareness of your own emotions
- Reduce the feeling of stress and make it easier to come down
- Feel inner balance
- Feel happiness even more
We all worry a lot every day - about our jobs, our relationships, our health. These negative thoughts are one of the biggest triggers for anxiety and depression. Meditation against anxiety can help break this mechanism and better control one's worries and fears. Meditation can help you to keep your focus, especially during periods of stress and pressure at work.
How to Meditate: 3 Types of Meditation
There are three different methods of meditation: breathing meditation, mantra meditation and guided meditation.
- Breathing meditation: Simple meditations are, for example, exercises that focus purely on breathing. Full attention is paid to inhaling and exhaling. This is really only about the practice of concentration, there is no content that is part of meditation.
- Mantra meditation or transcendental meditation: Here a mantra, a certain formulation, is mentally visualized repeatedly. The term does not have to have a specific meaning and be easy to pronounce so that the brain can make associations. For example, a personal mantra could be “I'm fine”.
- Guided Meditation: This form of meditation is conducted under the guidance of a meditation leader who gives instructions in a soft voice. There are now a lot of apps with which you can carry out such guided meditations, for example Headspace. Beginners in particular who want to learn meditation can be optimally accompanied in this way.
Short, guided meditations can also be integrated into everyday work. In times of stress, take ten minutes from time to time and sit in a quiet room or outside, for example. The short break from mindfulness will give you new energy and focus.
Your guide for meditation and sleep: Simply relieve stress with guided meditations.
Instructions for meditation: This is how it works step by step
Now it's your turn - with our instructions for beginners, we will show you how you can easily start with mindfulness practice.
- Find a permanent place and ensure peace and quiet: A quiet place is particularly important for beginners in order to be able to concentrate fully.
- Choose a meditation position: The basis is that you sit down and relax. One of the classic poses is the lotus position. But there are plenty of other seats that are also suitable for meditation. You should not meditate lying down, otherwise you run the risk of falling asleep.
- Pay attention to your posture: An upright back opens the chest. So you can breathe freely and let the energy flow well. You can simply drop your arms in your lap or place them on your knees. Let your shoulders loose and straighten your head. In general: relax the whole body.
- Set up an alarm clock: So that you don't have to look at the clock in between, set a timer for ten minutes with your mobile phone. That's enough to get you started. Then calm down, close your eyes and start breathing.
- The meditation: Take the first deep breaths. Remain consciously on your breath with your attention. Feel it slowly flowing in and out of your body. Pay attention to what is happening to your body. Feel how your stomach expands as you breathe, and how the draft of air leaves your upper lip. Pay attention to every detail - this will help you focus on the present moment and calm down.
Pretty quickly, you will likely find that your mind is wandering and distracting. Do not worry, this is not a problem and it is completely normal. Then just try to get your attention back.
- The awakening: When you are through with the meditation, slowly come back to the moment. Don't jump straight up, just sit quietly for a moment and stay aware of your breath.
If you want to learn meditation, you can also take beginner courses in yoga studios or meditation houses. Such a guided meditation helps to learn the correct practice. Many companies now also offer joint meditations at work and if this is not the case with you, suggest it to your supervisor! And if relaxation meditation isn't the right way for you to get down, you're sure to find a technique that works for you - after all, there are enough ways to relax.
Natalie has been an editor for 15 years. In addition to lifestyle topics such as cooking and traveling, her focus is on medicine and health. Among other things, she writes for the online portalheil-vital.de and the Ratgeber-Verlag Graefe und Unzer.
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