Aspects of Meditation
Meditation is a mind and body practice that has been a way to encourage physical relaxation, calmness, psychological balance, and wellbeing for centuries. While there is no single one type of meditation, all practices have a few things in common:
- The elimination of distractions around you.
- A specific, comfortable posture such as sitting or lying down. Some types of mediation can even be done while walking or doing yoga.
- The act of focusing on a specific word, phrase, or object. You can also focus on sensations within your body such as breath.
- A positive attitude. Remember that all meditation practices are judgement free.
The Benefits of Meditation
As outlined by Positive Psychology, here are the health-backed benefits of meditation!
- Improved memory and cognitive thinking
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Promotion of emotional, mental, and physical wellbeing
- Increases ability to focus and pay attention
- Improves mood and increases feeling of compassion and empathy
- Can reduce pain, inflammation and risk of disease
- Improved quality of sleep
Using Meditation for Improved Sleep
You may be wondering how meditation can improve the quality of your sleep. Meditating at any time of the day helps relieve stress which can improve sleep. However, there are a few types of meditation that can be done right before bed that helps quiet your mind so you have a peaceful and more restful night. All of the following techniques require you to remove all distractions, including your phone, from your surroundings and sit or lie down in a comfortable position:
- Mindfulness Meditation: This practice involves focusing on the present. Increase your awareness by focusing on your breathing. Inhale for 10 counts, then hold your breath for 10 counts. Exhale for 10 counts. Repeat this five times, all the while focusing on the sensation of breathing. If your mind wanders, gently direct your attention back.
- Guided Meditation: Guided meditation is when another person leads you through each step of meditation. There are numerous resources out there where you can access guided mediation practices specifically geared towards better sleep, such as Headspace or even YouTube!
- Body Scan Mediation: With this practice, you focus on your body and bring awareness to each and every muscle. Start with your jaw and go all the way to your toes, slowly relaxing each muscle and focusing on the sensation of relaxation. If you are not fully relaxed, you can repeat in the opposite direction.
Health Designs is now offering 15 minute virtual meditation sessions to help you manage stress and anxiety, as well as improve your quality of sleep! Our four types of sessions include breathwork, guided meditation, forest breathing and progressive muscle relaxation. To learn more about this offering, email us at [email protected]!