Meditation and mindfulness have officially gone mainstream. The pressures of modern life now make us feel even more stressed and anxious than the generation before us. Lack of sleep, anxiety, OCD, ADHD and concentration are said to improve through the practice of meditation and mindfulness. However, the sceptics amongst us still don’t believe the benefits of meditation and what it can do for our overall health. Here is a rundown of how meditation works and how it can improve your mental health.
What is meditation?
Meditation is an incredibly old practice, used to help train and calm the mind. Meditation is said to help cultivate a healthy perspective on your thoughts and observing them with judgement rather than try to shut off the thoughts we have. Mindfulness goes hand in hand with meditation as it helps the mind stay in the present moment, stopping you from overthinking, calming the mind. Many people use meditation to improve their concentration, self-esteem, mental health and even sleep.
How do you meditate?
There are many types of meditation that you can practice. The two most common types of meditation are guided and unguided meditation. Guided meditation is great for beginners as you will have a teacher guide you through the practice. This can be in a class or via an app or video. Guided meditation is great for newbies as the teacher can explain how the mind behaves through each phase of the meditation practice. Unguided meditation, or silent meditation, is great if you want to have some alone time. For most people who practice unguided meditation, this involves sitting comfortably in a quiet place and observing their thoughts for as long as they see fit.
How can meditation help with anxiety?
According to Anxiety UK, around 1 in 10 people experience debilitating anxiety at some point in their lives. And with the increasing popularity of social media, it may only be set to rise. Meditation can help alleviate anxiety as it intentionally focuses the mind on the here and now. Practising meditation teaches you to notice what thoughts trigger your anxiety and allows you to sit with them and let them go. Scanning the mind and the body whilst meditating allows you to assess how anxiety makes you feel physically and mentally. Observation of the body and the mind slow your thoughts down alleviating your anxious symptoms.
How can meditation help with stress?
Meditation is a great opportunity for the mind to stop and take a pause. Modern life has never been as stressful and busy as it is in this day and age. Meditation has been shown to not only reduce stress after eight weeks of practice but it can also rewire the brain to have more capacity to handle stress. Meditation allows the mind to be more open and less reactive to our surrounding environment. The less reactive we are to external variables the more we can control our stress and understand what triggers our stress response. This newfound understanding we have of our minds can significantly reduce stress, purely through observing our thoughts whilst meditating.
How you can make your meditation practice that little more special
Our BeYou Sleep Pillow Mist has a naturally calming scent. The French essential lavender oil in combination with the chamomile, ylang-ylang, vetiver and jasmine, have been expertly blended to help you naturally relax the mind before your downtime. For your meditation practice, simply find a comfy and quiet spot for your practice and spritz the air with the BeYou Sleep Pillow Mist. Then deeply inhale through your nose for 4 seconds and then slowly breathe out for 7 seconds. Repeat this breathing technique, making sure to focus on the breath and drift into a calming meditation.
How do you guys practise meditation? Comment below and tell us how you meditate! Share this blog on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and get your friends talking about their mental health.
Jess is our Content & Community executive who writes about, well ...everything! She loves talking about period positivity and body positivity and, let's face it, loves a good debate. When she isn't talking about all things BeYou, she has probably got her nose in a book, cuddling her Jack Russell Terrier, Buster 🧚♀🐶📖