12 Ways That Meditation CAN Work For You (Yes, It’s True)

06
Jan

 

The plea is everywhere:

Meditate. Meditate. Meditate!

Benefit, Benefit, Benefit!

So you sit on a chair, close your eyes, and breathe deeply.

Then you wait for the benefits to arrive.

Nothing happens.

You are so DONE with this nonsense.

 

I Get It

Meditation is mysterious. Its benefits are elusive.

I tried to meditate (for first time) a few decades ago. At that time it made NO sense to me. I wasn’t ready for it, didn’t understand it, didn’t have time for it, didn’t care about it.

I do now.

Thanks to years of practice I can now say that meditation can significantly reduce the effects of anxiety and depression.

The biggest issue for most people is how, when and where to find these seemingly intangible meditation benefits.

 

 

 Meditation Has Requirements

You can’t just sit, meditate, and expect results. This may work well for the experts. But it’s not that simple for the rest of us.

From my own experience I’ve discovered that the following requirements are necessary in order to realize meditation benefits:

 

  • You must devote lots of time (initially) to the practice of meditation.
  • You must have a reason to meditate. For example, the need to relieve debilitating stress or anxiety.
  • You must be able to find meditations that ‘resonate’ for you, speak to you, move you, enlighten and calm you. But. ONLY YOU can find meditations that resonate. Meditation is a highly personal, individualized experience. 

 

This is why so many people have trouble with meditation – they can’t source meditations that actually resonate.

I hope I can help.

 

 

Finding Meditations That Resonate

 

1. First Ask Yourself A Question: WHY  Do I Want To Meditate?

This is an essential first question. If you don’t want or need something specific from meditation, why do it? Deciding on ‘why’ to meditate helps establish a foundation for your practice. Maybe you need help with stress relief. Or with worry. Or with both. If you have a reason to meditate, you have established an interest. That’s an important first step.

 

2. Start With “Guided Meditations”. 

Guided meditations feature a person (or persons) who narrates the content. Your job is to lie down, listen, and follow the guide’s suggestions. This is the easiest way to begin a practice. (When you become more experienced, you can meditate any way you choose.)

 

3. Select A “Venue”.

This is where you will source meditation material. There are thousands of free guided meditations on YouTube. There are apps, such as Insight Timer which offer (free of charge) a huge variety of meditations on wide ranging subject matter.

Once you know where to find good quality meditations, you’re on your way.

 

4. Choose “Subject Matter”.

It helps, in the beginning, if your subject matter jives with why you are meditating (See #1). It will give your practice some meat, some context. For example, if you choose meditation subject matter that focuses on stress relief, and start meditating with that subject matter, the ways in which your stress can be relieved will become apparent.

 

5. Pick A “Genre.” 

Or, a few. Again, consider selecting genre that jives with why you are meditating. (See #1.) Mediation genres are vast in quantity. They range from progressive muscle relaxation, visualization practices, breathing exercises, all the way to positive affirmations and body scans. Try some out. See which ones you like. Never be afraid to try something new.

 

6. Be Prepared To Listen To MANY, MANY Meditations.

This is so important at the beginning. It allows your personal preferences to develop. For example, you may decide that you like background music with your guided meditations. Or, a strong male (guided) voice versus a soft female one. Or, the sounds of nature. It’s all about finding your preferences.

Also, be ready for some meditations to turn you right off. This is also normal and part of the learning process. The background music, guided voice, or content may be irritating, jarring or annoying. Sometimes meditation guides decide – out of the blue – to clang loud bells or ding gongs that completely shatter focus (so irksome). Don’t waste time on sessions that don’t appeal to you. Find others. You will never run out of choices.

 

7. Location. 

Always meditate in a private, quiet area where there are no disruptions. Meditation is intended to be quiet, spiritual and calming.

 

8. Comfort.

I recommend lying down on a bed in a darkened room to meditate. Make sure your clothing is loose. Have a blanket or heating pad handy to keep you cozy and warm. Make comfort a big priority.

 

9.  Always Use Headphones.

Headphones improve sound quality and allow for a more intimate session. They also allow benefits derived from binaural beatstheta or delta waves, which are sometimes included as foreground (or background) enhancements in meditation sessions.

 

10. Expect Inconsistent Results.

That’s right, inconsistent. This part trips people up. But this is meditation ‘reality’. A meditation that calms and relaxes you blissfully on a Tuesday may annoy you on a Friday. This can be disappointing. But meditation is finicky, just like your moods. Results and benefits are not identical from one session to the next. When a given session doesn’t resonate, simply move on to another one without judgment. In time, you find sessions you like more easily.

 

11. Fall Asleep During The Session.

Go ahead. There is no harm done. Some say that you should be fully alert for the duration of a session. And for the most part, that’s ideal. But if you’re exhausted from stress, and desperately need to rest, falling asleep is a bonus.

 

12. Make Sure To Keep A List (or Bookmarks) Of Your Favourites.

Once you find a few meditation favourites, you are on your way, and you are sure find more. And more. This is the beginning of understanding how meditation can (and will) work for you.

 

 

Now Let the Meditation Magic Begin

If you follow the above process, and are open-minded and patient, your Eureka Moment will arrive. You WILL come across sessions that resonate, that mean something to you, that help you, that mercifully calm you.

You are on your way.

I can’t tell you when this will happen. I just know that it CAN happen.

When it does, you will understand why there is so much hype about meditation.

The benefits will start to appear. You will find that you more tolerant, more accepting, less dramatic, more self-assured.

You will feel blessed by your new sense of calm.

Rain, shine, holidays, weekends, deep into the night, first thing in the morning, especially if anxiety strikes, meditation will be there to meet your needs. This alone provides a deep sense of comfort.

Meditation IS a godsend when you’re finally ready for it, when you understand its basic requirements, when you finally ‘find’ it.

Because when you find it, you find yourself.

In its own time, in its own mysterious way, meditation delivers.

Meditation always says: “I am here for you. I can help.”

 

 


If you have any questions or thoughts about meditation, feel free to comment below, or, send a question to my contact link, above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 6th, 2018 at 1:37 am and is filed under Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

comments

2

While I don't publish all comments, I welcome and appreciate your feedback and participation. If you'd prefer to keep your comment 'private,' please use my contact form (located on my website menu) and indicate this. I will happily respond to all comments and questions.

  1. January 16th, 2018 | Jean Walmsley says:

    Excellent article on meditation. Especially when it says that you will not ‘get it’ in the beginning.That it takes time and process to learn it.But that the benefits are incredible. Also, you mention not to judge yourself if you do not get it at first…..it will come. Of all the benefits I have earned is a state of calm at most times, and an ability to be non reactive in times of stress. To be balanced and equanimous. The peace it brings my mind and soul is priceless.

  2. January 17th, 2018 | abby says:

    Thank you for the comment, Jean, and “priceless” sure is the word. Not to mention essential, in these times of high uncertainty and worry.

leave a comment

While I don't publish all comments, I welcome and appreciate your feedback and participation. If you'd prefer to keep your comment 'private,' please use my contact form (located on my website menu) and indicate this. I will happily respond to all comments and questions.

Are you struggling with
the stress in your life?

I offer unique coping tips not found elsewhere.
I've been there.


  1. Subscribe to the Stress Bubbles Blog - free, right to your inbox!
  2. Follow me on facebook for inspirational quotes, mental health updates, and laughs
  3. Follow me on twitter for real time commentary, engaging chats, special shares.