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How to Relax and Enjoy Meditating

Updated on June 20, 2013

Meditation is a personal and disciplined practice that leads to a state of consciousness, and also brings about serenity, clarity and bliss.

The Misconception of Meditating

Most people have the wrong impression of what meditation is all about. I'll admit that I too, was one of those people. I thought meditating was for the birds - for the wanna be hippies, yoga fanatics and people who had all the free time in the world.

After all, who has the time in this busy day and age to meditate?

That's a very easy question to answer. I'll tell you - we have all the time in the world to watch our favourite TV shows, to browse the Internet and to sleep - but, we can't spare 10 minutes a day to simply relax without any distractions?

Meditation is not for everyone, some people just don't enjoy it - and that's fine, everyone is entitled to their own option. I'm writing this article because I was one of those that simply didn't understand the concept (or the point) to sitting still and silently for at least 10 minutes a day.

We discover who we are  and learn to let go when we're close to the ocean. (Taken at Cape Point, Cape Town)
We discover who we are and learn to let go when we're close to the ocean. (Taken at Cape Point, Cape Town) | Source

WHY MEDITATE?

  1. It increases concentration
  2. It decreases feelings of anxiety
  3. It promotes a general feeling of happiness

I'm by far no expert, in fact I've only meditated a couple of times so far. I tried meditating this week after stretching and accepting the fact that I might not fully relax. I can't even begin to explain what I felt during those 10 minutes. The emotions I felt included calmness, happiness and acceptance. I was completely relaxed, so relaxed that I felt as though as I was drifting away from my body. Everything was put into perspective in those few minutes and I felt alive with hope and positiveness.

That's the reason for writing this article, because I truly believe in what I'm writing - in the art and practice of meditation. These are just a few tips I've found to start you on your journey of peace, acceptance and happiness...Enjoy!

Meditation allows you to feel calm and at peace with yourself and the world around. (Taken in Cape Town).
Meditation allows you to feel calm and at peace with yourself and the world around. (Taken in Cape Town). | Source

WHERE TO START?

Ok, so you've made the choice to try meditating - well done! That's a great starting point. There are no hard and fast rules to meditation, only what you find most comfortable. These are a few tips to get you started:

  1. Find a quiet area - it can be a room, outside in the garden, on the patio or in the lounge
  2. Make your spot comfortable - sit on a cushion, or even a soft chair
  3. Dedicate 10 - 15 minutes each day to only meditating. Turn off all distractions - this includes cellphones, radios, etc.
  4. Stretch for 5 minutes before meditating. This helps warm up the muscles and relax even more
  5. Light candles and incense sticks of your favourite scents and place them in the room you are using

MORE Benefits to Meditating....

BODY
MIND
SPIRIT
Relaxes the nervous system
Decreases thoughts of worry
Provides peace of mind and hapiness
Decreases muscle tension
Increases focus and concentration
Helps you discover your purpose
Reduces anxiety
Helps with Insomnia
Brings the body, mind and spirit into harmony
Enhances the immunce system
Builds self confidence
Changes your outlook on life
Increases exercise tolerance
Develops will power
Creates a deeper relationship with your God
Life is so beautiful, we need to take the time out to appreciate it. (Taken in Cape Town)
Life is so beautiful, we need to take the time out to appreciate it. (Taken in Cape Town) | Source

How Much Time Do You Spend Meditating?

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"Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit"

- Jeremy Taylor

Feeling the Emotion

You've starting to relax, and you've got into a good breathing rhythm - you are completely calm. All of a sudden a huge wave of emotion washes over you.

Relax! This is completely normal. It's common to experience strong emotions during meditation.

If you are by nature an emotional person, this my be easy for you - however, if you are used to keeping your feelings bottled up inside and not showing your true self - it may come as a surprise, so be prepared.

When our emotions come to the surface during meditation, just let it be. They surface so that we are able to understand them more clearly, and in so doing - manage our lives more calmly and rationally. Fighting to suppress emotions is what often leads to anxiety and using up a lot of energy.

Write down or draw any overpowering, positive emotions you feel after meditating.

Letting Go of Stress

One of the main reasons people meditate is to keep the calm and balance in their own lives. Life is so demanding and stressful, it's important to take time out each day to relax and find some peace and quiet.

  • Close your eyes
  • Breathe deeply in through your nose for 4 counts - hold for a count of 1, and breathe out again through your mouth for a count of 5. Repeat
  • Don't feel discouraged if your mind is busy during the first few minutes, or even the first time you meditate - just keep going
  • You could imagine that each time you breathe in, you're bringing in positive feelings - and each time you breathe out, you're letting go of all the negative feelings, stress and depression
  • Focus on your breath if your mind starts to wonder - really, listen to the sound you are making breathing

Comments

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    • Suelynn profile image

      Suelynn 5 years ago from Manitoba, Canada

      Hi MelChi

      Thank you for picking me up along your way! I am glad to meet you. As people from a part of the world that knows much upheaval, I understand the deep part of you that experiences a wide range of emotions which sometimes threaten and sometimes uplift to incredible highs and lows. I think there is a vast number of people caught up in a sequence of events that find it difficult to give voice to the complex issues in which they find themselves. I look forward to reading more of your work and appreciate the information you have shared in this piece about meditation. Voted up and beautiful. :)

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Suelynn, thank you! I only wish I'd known about this beautiful practice years ago - I'm still overwhelmed with how amazing it is. I'm sure I tire out my friends and family by edging them on to try Meditation! Just imagine what would happen if more and more people did this every day - it could literally be life (world) changing. Thanks for reading :)

    • Vinaya Ghimire profile image

      Vinaya Ghimire 5 years ago from Nepal

      Though not in a routinized way, I have been meditating for more than 15 years.

      Many of my poems and stories are conceived while meditating.

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Vinaya - it's amazing how much we can achieve and how much is possible during and after a few minutes of meditating. It's mind blowing actually - why more people don't do this, I really don't know. I look forward to reading your poems and stories. Thanks for stopping by to comment :)

    • Olde Cashmere profile image

      Olde Cashmere 5 years ago from Michigan, United States

      Such a well written and beautiful hub MelChi. I was the same as you with how I used to look at meditation, now I practice for an hour every day of the week and study all kinds of ancient texts. You provided many useful tips and I love how you are spreading a positive message. Voted up, useful, awesome, and interesting :)

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Olde Cashmere - I hope that I can one day get up to an hour a week! Just 10 minutes a day gets me positive, calm, relaxed and focused. Imagine what an hour can do!! Thanks so much for reading and commenting. Have a great day! :)

    • Brandon Martin profile image

      Brandon Martin 5 years ago from Colorado, USA

      Very clean and simple instructions, love it. I don't meditate often, but the deep breathing and concentrating on being calm while I am focusing on a task has certainly taught me allot. I never understood meditation either until I sat in the quiet and really dug deep through my thoughts. Great article!

      Haha, I don't think I could really stand a whole hour, I've tried lol and for me its gonna take a while before I can reach that time limit :)

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      Hi Brandon - At the moment, I can't go past 10 minutes of meditating, I'm not able to do a full hour either! I think that must take weeks if not months of practicing to get to that point, you'd need to be very focused and really switch everything off for that time.

      I'm glad you've found the same benefits to meditating, it is my saving grace on the really stressful days and just makes me remember who I am and what I want from life. It's amazing.

      Thanks for your comment :)

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image

      Melissa Flagg 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Fantastic hub. Not to mention beautiful pictures. Unfortunately, I've gotten a bit out of the habit of meditating. I was able to focus and was more creative when I was meditating daily. This hub reminded me I really need to get back into it.

      Voted up and awesome, and shared!

    • MickiS profile image

      MickiS 5 years ago from San Francisco

      Great Hub! I've only recently started meditating and, like you, had started out a serious skeptic. I only stuck with it because my friends who do medidate said I should. It took a few tries, but it definitely does make a huge difference to overall well being. Thanks for writing the Hub.

    • MelChi profile image
      Author

      Melanie Chisnall 5 years ago from Cape Town, South Africa

      @Daughter of Maat - It's amazing how much of who we really are and what we're good at is pulled out of ourselves after meditating, especially creativity! Thanks for sharing :)

      @MickiS - I'm glad to hear I wasn't the only one who was skeptical at first! Most of my friends still think I'm crazy doing it, but I don't care - I love it, can't imagine life now without meditating. Glad to hear it's working so well for you too. Thanks for commenting :)

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