meditation provides clarity and inner peace. It puts an end to the chaos of thoughts, reduces stress and provides psychological balance. It is not an enraptured esoteric exercise or spiritual-religious teaching. The positive effect of the exercises and methods has long been scientifically proven: If you meditate regularly, you are doing something good for your body and soul. Here we show what meditation is, how it benefits you, what exercises are available for beginners and quite simply: How to learn meditation…
What is meditation? Simply explained
Meditation encompasses a variety of methods for controlling attention and mindfulness in order to achieve inner peace, relaxation and psychological balance. Meditating can lead to positive changes in thinking, feeling, and overall well-being.
Initially, it was a religious practice in numerous cultures, including Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism. In the meantime, the religious aspect is in the background, especially in Western meditation. The term meditation comes from Latin and means something like to think or ponder. Meditation is associated with different goals individually and depending on the method:
- Calm the mind The thoughts can gather and the meditator comes to inner peace.
For many, this is the most important effect of meditation.
- Attain enlightenment The meditator can encounter something divine. Thus, prayer can be considered as a form of meditation.
- Reach states of consciousness.
It doesn't have to be spiritual. A state of great mindfulness can also be mind-expanding.
Meditation forms and techniques
It is a movement meditation. With the help of a certain sequence of movements, the meditator should learn to give rhythm to his thoughts. Some also speak of a thought anchor on which one focuses and which protects against distraction. If you wander off with your thoughts, you return to the starting point through the movements. Physically active meditation involves performing slow and deliberate movements. Other examples of the active form are:
- Martial arts
- Prayers and mantras
- Walking meditation
These techniques are used to free oneself from the usual evaluations and fears. It becomes mental clarity while at the same time being absolute Relaxation sought.
Most people think of the passive variant, which is also called contemplative meditation. Meditators sit or stand still, often have their eyes closed and are mentally and physically in a state of calm. Two examples:
- Concentration meditation In concentration meditation (also called peace of mind meditation or samatha meditation) focus Focus on an object or sometimes an emotion with full attention.
- Mindfulness meditation
This form of meditation (also known as MBSR Exercise called “mindfulness based stress reduction”) focuses attention on the here and now. You perceive everything that happens around you in a relaxed and non-judgmental way. They feel the moment and experience thoughts and emotions that arise without clinging to them.
Positive effect scientifically proven
Meditation is often dismissed as esoteric nonsense. A mistake! The positive effects have been scientifically proven in numerous studies. Various effects have been demonstrated, all of which are good reasons to meditate more frequently:
- Better Concentration
- Easier handling of Stress
- Inner balance and mental stability
- More Joy and energy
- More conscious and healthier Lifestyle
- Less pain
- Positive effects on cardiovascular diseases
- Longer life expectancy
Meditating helps against anxiety
An up-to-date Study by Elizabeth A. Hoge shows that meditating can be just as effective against anxiety as treatment with medication. The studies showed that regular meditation through mindfulness exercises has almost the same effect as escitalopram, a drug for depression, panic attacks and anxiety disorders. The researchers hope that their result can lead to the establishment of appropriate exercises as an additional form of therapy.
Meditation for Beginners: Getting Started
If you want to try meditation, you have the necessary motivation and the desire to take the time – but there is a lack of knowledge where to start and what is important. Books or meditation apps can help, which make it easier to get started. In addition, the following tips will help you with meditation for beginners to take the first steps and understand the basics:
1. Start with realistic expectations
Wrong Expectations lead to disappointment and so many stop frustrated after a short time. Especially for beginners, don't assume that the first exercise will be a complete success and that you will feel a great effect. It takes some time and practice before you feel the effects. Start small and enjoy the extra peace and quiet, even if it is not yet the extent you had hoped for in the long term. With each exercise you will get better.
2. Find a suitable place to meditate
If you are trying a quiet meditation, you need a place that is as quiet as possible as a beginner. Experienced learners can Noise and meditate on the hustle and bustle. Don't make the challenge bigger than it is. For starters, retire to a convenient place. You should be able to relax and feel comfortable. It makes sense to have a fixed place instead of changing the place every time you meditate.
3. Eliminate distractions
When you're meditating, there's no room for interference – whether it's emails, your smartphone, or even friends and family bursting in. Turn off electronic devices or leave them in another room for the duration of the meditation. Ask others not to disturb you during this time. The time span of a meditation is not too long, you don't miss anything if you completely withdraw to meditate.
4. Dress appropriately for meditation
Sounds like a truism, but is often forgotten, especially by beginners. Wrong and uncomfortable clothes seem to be only a small, almost unimportant factor? False! When you are in meditation, there are no other distractions and you are fully focused on yourself, suddenly the only thing you feel is wrong clothes and all thoughts revolve around the scratchy sweater or pants that are too tight. Find an outfit that works best for you. Not too tight, neither too cold nor too warmly dressed. You don't feel the optimal clothing at all during meditation and simply feel comfortable in it.
5. Introduce a regularity
A one-time meditation can work and help reduce stress or calm down. However, you can only use the full potential through regularity. Many build them as part of their Morning routine one. However, the time is irrelevant. Meditate at fixed times, whether daily or in another fixed rhythm. If this becomes a habit, it will not only be easier for you to really maintain your meditation. It will also be easier to relax after a short period of time if you stick to a fixed schedule.
6. Set a time frame
As a beginner, it is not important to meditate as long as possible. Continuity plays a much bigger role. In the beginning, about 10 minutes a day are sufficient for meditation. If you realize that you would like to extend this time period, you can always do so at a later date. To stick to the time limits, you can set an alarm clock. But you can also rely on your feelings and not set an exact time, but meditate as long as it is good for you and you manage to switch off and come to rest.
7. Find the right posture
Right Posture and Sitting posture are important factors. An upright back and a straight spine are essential. Both ensure that the chest and abdomen can move freely while breathing. At the same time, the position must be comfortable and the surface must be warm enough. This is the only way you can sit relaxed for 10, 20 or 30 minutes. You can place your hands in your lap like two bowls inside each other or on your thigh. You have several options for a suitable sitting posture:
- Cross-legged When
sitting cross-legged, you cross your legs loosely.
- Heel Seat
In this position, you sit on your heels. For convenience, you can also place a yoga block under the buttocks.
- Lotus position In the lotus position
, either one foot (half lotus) or both feet (whole lotus) is crossed on the thighs.
If the other seating positions or the surface are unsuitable, sit on a chair.
Under yourself you can put a blanket, a yoga mat or a meditation cushion. The lying position is not recommended for meditating, as you may nod away.
8. Take your time at the end of the meditation
The time of your meditation is up? Then you don't jump up abruptly in the same second and rush back into everyday life. Take a few more moments to slowly return from meditation – in technical jargon, this is often referred to as waking up. Leave the meditation slowly, open your eyes only after a few seconds and get used to your surroundings again.
9. Geben Sie die Meditation nicht vorschnell auf
Zahlreiche Anfänger verlieren schnell die Lust an der Meditation, weil sie frustriert sind, dass nicht gleich alles auf Anhieb funktioniert. Lassen Sie sich davon nicht entmutigen und geben Sie der Meditation ein wenig Zeit. Die meisten brauchen Übung und Training, bis sich spürbare Effekte einstellen. Geduld fällt zwar schwer, doch geben Sie dem Vorhaben ein wenig Zeit. Dann werden Sie merken, wie Ihnen die Meditation vermehrt hilft und die Übungen besser gelingen.
Learning to meditate: 5 easy exercises
You want to meditate, but don't really know what to do? Don't worry, that's how it is at the beginning for many who are not accompanied by a course or trainer. Just sit down, calm down and meditate – that sounds easier than it is. The following exercises will help you start meditating.
Meditation through breathing
First steps into meditation are above all Breathing as an introduction. Consciously pay attention to your breathing and block out external influences or stimuli. A simple breathing exercise for meditation is the 4-6-8 method. Sit up straight or stand upright. Place your hand on your stomach and try to inhale through your nose into your stomach – if possible without your chest rising far. Follow the 4-6-8 rhythm: inhale slowly and deeply, count to four, hold your breath, count to six, exhale slowly through your mouth and count to eight.
Repeat the whole thing at least five times and keep your attention on your breathing. Try to feel how the oxygen flows through your body and leaves it as you exhale. With this meditation you can breathe away stress as well as frustration or Fury.
Meditation through mindfulness
After you have found a meditation position, it is now a matter of breathing calmly and consciously perceiving all sensory impressions. You can do this with your eyes closed and focus on everything else – or you can look around the room and process what you see. What do you feel? What muscles are tense? Can you smell something or do you hear sounds? Where do they come from? What can be assigned? What emotions do you feel?
It is important to: Mindfulness does not judge, but only perceives curiously. It's not about whether a feeling is positive or negative. Just note that it is present. The same applies to other impressions. Don't try to judge them, but accept what you feel.
Meditation through affirmations
Affirmations are beliefs or affirmations that you can use as a basis for your motivation. Either out loud or in your mind, you always repeat them to yourself and concentrate fully on them. For example, during meditation, keep telling yourself, “I'm good the way I am.”
Meditation through visualization
For meditation by means of Visualization there are different possibilities. Especially suitable for beginners: Get into your meditation position and make sure you breathe calmly, evenly and deeply. Begin to imagine how you absorb energy with each breath and blow stress and anger out of your body as you exhale. Imagine this as figuratively as possible in your mind's eye. This may be difficult at first, but the more you get involved, the more you feel how you are actually developing more energy.
Another form of meditation through visualization is the thought journey. In your meditation, think of a beautiful, relaxing and empowering place for you. This can be a real place or a pure fantasy creation. Go through this place in your mind and fill it with life and emotions as best you can. Feelings, smells, colours – the more realistic your idea, the greater the effect.
Meditation through music
You can accompany your meditation with music. Especially for beginners, this is a good option if it is difficult to concentrate only on your own thoughts. Instead, you can focus your attention on your breathing and the music. Choose quiet and relaxing Background music. You can also combine background sounds with the above-mentioned meditation through visualization, for example by playing in nature sounds and creating a suitable image internally.
5 Avoid mistakes in meditation
- They obsessively try to think
about NOTHING, but then exactly the opposite happens. Beginners in particular put themselves under unnecessary pressure, but at the same time everything goes through their heads – appointments, job, family… Meditation means that you let go for this time. As soon as you cramp, it doesn't work.
- They squeeze themselves into an uncomfortable sitting posture
Many Youtube videos and books on meditation show yoga positions or the lotus position. However, this is only suitable for experienced or flexible people. Others have forced themselves into a posture that is uncomfortable or even painful. You don't have to take a perfect yoga pose, at first it is also enough if you lean comfortably against a wall.
- They consider meditation to be a panacea
Meditation has undeniably positive effects on health and health. Composure but it cannot perform miracles. Problems don't go away and you can't just meditate away serious illnesses.
- They don't prepare
: switching off from one moment to the next can only be done with a lot of practice. As a beginner, it is not so easy to get into the state of relaxation you need. However, you can support this by preparing for meditation. This includes a ventilated, (in winter) heated room, preferably cheerful. Cultivate some rituals to get yourself in the mood. For example, you can light a scented candle or incense sticks and play appropriate meditation music. Without this preparation, it will be more difficult.
- You practice too many styles of meditation
There are countless styles and ways of meditating. Buddhist, Christian or Indian meditation? Chakra, mantra or pranayama? Transcendental Meditation or Mindfulness Meditation? You can try out what suits you. If a meditation exercise feels right, you should stick to it and practice it regularly. If you are constantly changing, you won't learn any method properly.
Guided Meditation: Instructions and Example
The greatest difficulty of meditation: relaxation and focus without digressing your thoughts. Especially beginnings quickly end up with problems in your head again and brood over problems instead of meditating. A guided meditation can help with just that. You are not alone with your thoughts, but are guided in meditation. Such a guided meditation can be found, for example, in free Youtube videos or via corresponding courses.
For starters, we have prepared a guided meditation for you. You can have the text read to you by a person in a calm voice or you can record it yourself beforehand. You can also use it as a meditation to fall asleep. To do this, simply omit the last paragraph with the return formula.
Sit down, taking an upright position, the back remains straight, the shoulders sag back and down. Close your eyes. With slow, steady movements, bring your arms over your head and back to your sides.
Meanwhile, inhale deeply through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Repeat this four times. Feel the air currents flow in through your nose and your mouth out. You let go of everything unpleasant that appears in your mind's eye by consciously exhaling it. Now come into a steady breathing, in which you inhale through the nose and also exhale through the nose.
Watch your abdominal wall rise and fall, perceive your spine, breathe inwards. The arms rest at your side.
Now direct your thoughts to pleasant things. Imagine walking along the beach in the most beautiful weather. The sky is bright blue. The sun tickles your skin, a light breeze caresses your hair. Under your feet you will feel the finest sand. Their toes dig into the ground, play with the sand.
Wherever you look, there is a soothing expanse and sea. No one far and wide, just you and this relaxing place. Imagine the sound of the waves hitting the beach and lapping the tips of your feet.
Not far from you is a promontory that juts out into the sea. You go there, the water is crystal clear and you wade a few steps deeper into the sea. You'll see tiny fish swimming around smaller boulders in the water. They watch the hustle and bustle.
After a while you go back to the beach. Lie down on a towel in the sand. Close your eyes. Behind your eyelids is an orange, warm color. Feel the warmth of the floor, which adapts completely to your body. You feel the pleasant warmth of the sun – just right – on your skin.
You perceive the salty scent of the sea breeze brushing around your nose. You will hear the calls of seagulls from far away, punctuated by the gentle sound of the waves just a few meters away from you.
A feeling of calm and carefree spreads. You feel warm and relaxed, the limbs rest pleasantly heavy in the sand. Meanwhile, your chest rises and falls calmly.
The previously wet feet dry, the sand that covered them slowly crumbles. They wiggle their toes to shake off the remaining sand. You clench your fists, spread your fingers and slowly come back to the here and now. Take a deep breath and consciously expel the air. Open your eyes, now you are fully awake again.