by Nick Lim-Howe (HERE)
Following the success of our meditation seminars, I thought it would be a good idea to recap and share some of the benefits of regular meditative practices as well as a few practical tips to help maintain them.
Meditation can provide a safe and relatively simple way to assist balancing physical, mental and emotional states with numerous benefits. Here are just a few –
1. improved concentration/focus
2. reduced levels of stress and anxiety
3. increased levels of serotonin which influences our mood and behaviour
4. pain management
5. assists with recovery
6. better sleep
7. promotes a sense of calm and control in our lives
8. lowers blood pressure
9. better relationships
10. improved immune functioning
While the principles of meditation have been used for thousands of years, it is only relatively recently that the science behind it has begun to catch up. Neuroscientists have found that regular meditators shift their brain activity to different areas of the cortex; with brain activity in the stress vulnerable right frontal cortex moves to the calmer left frontal cortex. This shift in brain activity decreases the effects of stress, depression and anxiety.
So how do we ensure we keep practicing meditation? Here are 5 suggestions to help maintain regular practice.
Be realistic - It is hard to master meditation the first time round. It is important, much like anything we first try, that we persist in practice. Start with smaller goals before working our way up, eg – start with a few minutes of meditation before increasing. Also a common question we may ask ourselves while meditating is “Am I doing it right?” If you are feeling more relaxed and calmer then you have more than likely answered your question.
“It’s like riding a bike” – If I had never rode a bike before, and you gave me the best description on how to ride a bike would I still fall off? I think most would agree that I probably would. That is because it is a task that we learn through practice and repetition. The same can be said for meditation.
Guided Meditation - It is very hard to meditate for the first time without a guide or tape. You may find it more rewarding to start by attending an introductory seminar and practice using meditation tapes.
Form a group- Being part of a collective can often ensure that we practice regularly, as well as provide or more powerful medium for meditation. The encouragement from other group member can help motivate us to practice regularly.
Make it part of your routine- Practicing being in the ‘here and now’ whilst doing daily routines such as driving, cooking, showering or even brushing your teeth can be a form of meditation. Try to consciously stay present in these routines, by asking yourself what you can hear/see/smell/taste/touch?
I hope that these tips help you continue to develop your practice!
If you have any further enquiries about meditation, or would like to organize a one on one session with Nick, please contact me on 02 9231 2522 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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