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How to Meditate at Home

Updated on October 21, 2013
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Having a strong immune system is one of the most important ways to safeguard your health and your life. Too much stress can lead to a weaker immune system. I have made many positive changes in my life to improve my health, such as better nutrition, more exercise, and changing my personal care and household-cleaning products to chemical-free alternatives. However, after all this, I realized that I had done absolutely nothing to reduce the stress in my life. Since I could not simply wipe away the stress imposed by finances, children, and maintaining a relationship, I needed to find a way to reduce it. After a lot of research I turned to focused meditation.

I had avoided meditation for so long because I didn't know how to get started. I considered finding a meditation class, but a good one is expensive, so that would just add even more financial stress. I also considered buying an instructional DVD or CD, but I didn't know which one would work for me, and I wasn't willing to invest the days and weeks of trial and error. Fortunately, after a lot of research I discovered focused meditation, which was perfect for me because it doesn't require training and can be done at home without purchasing any equipment. Most importantly, it was very easy to add to my daily routine without affecting my busy schedule.

You can focus on the beautiful image, sound or smell of the ocean.
You can focus on the beautiful image, sound or smell of the ocean. | Source

What is Focused Meditation?

Focused meditation allows a person to relax by focusing on one object while removing and ignoring all other thoughts. The object can be absolutely anything that involves any of the five senses. It can be a beautiful picture, the smell of chocolate chip cookies, the sound of birds chirping or the feeling of a silk shirt. Whatever you choose, it is important to avoid analyzing it in detail, because that will lead back to racing thoughts and possible stress and defeat the purpose of the exercise. Focused meditation requires little time, and can be done for as little as five minutes.You can increase the time to thirty minutes as you become more experienced.

Benefits of Focused Meditation

The benefits of focused meditation are numerous. With an investment of as little as five minutes you can derive these benefits:

  • Improved immune function
  • Improved creativity
  • Calmer reactions to frustrating situations
  • Increased blood flow and reduced heart rate
  • Reduced frequency of anxiety attacks
  • Improved breathing because of increased flow of air to the lungs
  • Increased levels of serotonin (a "happy hormone") providing an emotional boost
  • Improved quality of sleep

An Example of Focused Meditation

Techniques for Focused Meditation

Focused meditation can be done easily without any prior experience whatsoever. Follow these steps and you will descend into a blissful, peaceful state within minutes.

  1. Decide what to focus on. Pick something readily at hand, and which pleasurably absorbs your senses. I prefer a CD with the sound of waves on a beach or the smell of incense. Both of these options allow me to close my eyes, helping me focus my thoughts more clearly.
  2. Find a place to meditate away from all distractions such as husbands, pets, and children. Make sure it is somewhere you feel peaceful and calm, and especially not a place that fills you with anxiety. A messy room that you feel should be cleaned or a basement that fills you with thoughts of remodeling are not good options. Create a nice environment in your chosen location by turning out the lights and finding some soft pillows to sit or lie on.
  3. Focus on the object you have chosen and appreciate it without analyzing it. I like the sound of the ocean because I can tune everything else out and just surrender, feeling like my whole body is being bathed in the ocean.
  4. When your mind begins to wander and thoughts of things you have to accomplish (such as what to cook for dinner) try to enter your mind, breathe slowly and force yourself to focus on your object.
  5. Start with just five minutes at a time and gradually increase to twenty minutes as your technique improves. Consistency and practice will make it easier, so don't give up if you aren't able to stay focused for the full five minutes. You will improve over time.

How often do you meditate?

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My Personal Experience

Because my mind seems to be racing with thoughts day and night I thought I would be completely incapable of any type of relaxation, even focused meditation. It turned out to be much easier than I expected, although it took practice to improve my technique. First, I looked on iTunes for the sounds of the ocean. The first one I found was supposed to be used for newborn babies. I am not sure what kind of babies would like to hear this grating sound of water crashing hard against rocks - it was anything but calming! However, I kept trying until I finally found one that had the peaceful sounds of the ocean and included the sounds of birds. It had the word 'soothing' in the title so it had to be good, right? This one actually was very relaxing, so I downloaded it to my iPod.

Although I was alone in the house I had to escape from the stack of dishes in the sink in the kitchen. I also couldn't deal with the homework papers left in the family room by my children or the pile of bills in my office. But the bedroom was clean, the bed made, and I felt safe there. So I turned the lights out and laid down on the bed. I decided to make my first goal just 5 minutes, so I looked at the clock, turned on my iPod, and closed my eyes. Within seconds I was wondering if my older son played too many video games. I then shifted back to the sounds of the ocean and cleared my mind. I became distracted several more times, but with a little effort always turned my attention back to the peaceful sounds of the ocean. It proved very relaxing, but after 5 minutes I just couldn't stay focused any more.

I did this every day for a few weeks, and worked up to 10 minutes. I still get slightly distracted, but every time it is a little better. I am now ready to try 15 minutes. Even 5 minutes helped, and after my sessions, the rest of the day seemed a little calmer. As my time increases, the overall stress in my life somehow seems more manageable, and I can't help but believe my body is healthier.

Most of us have busy lives but it is always possible to find just a few minutes a day to do something for yourself. Focused meditation is free and takes little time and effort so give it a try. This is one more small change that can lead to big results. Cheers to good health!!

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    • healthylife2 profile image
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      Healthy Life 3 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Thank you Kerlund74. I have to return to meditating. It makes such a difference in my day.

    • kerlund74 profile image

      kerlund74 3 years ago from Sweden

      Another great hub:)

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I'm glad you are enjoying the benefits of meditation Gratitude Journal! Meditation requires very little time and absolutely no financial investment to reap the benefits. Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you again!

    • Gratitude Journal profile image

      Gratitude Journal 4 years ago

      Excellent hub. Since I started meditating daily, most of the benefits you've listed, I've manifested. If you're interested in meditation, this hub is a great place to start!

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @Louisa.. Nice to see you again! How great that meditation is a part of your life! Even ten minutes a day really does seem to reduce stress levels. You gave me a great idea to look for a meditation group in my area to stay motivated. Thanks so much for taking time to read this and for the vote.

    • Louisa Rogers profile image

      Louisa Rogers 4 years ago from Eureka, California and Guanajuato, Mexico

      Thank you so much for this. I have been meditating since the 90s, after I saw the positive effect meditation had on my husband. We are part of a group, which also helps to maintain the habit. I liked reading your personal experiences with it. Voted up and useful.

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 4 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Thanks for your kind comment carol7777. So glad you value meditation. It's amazing how beneficial it is to my emotional state. I find myself much more relaxed when I take ten minute to meditate. I really appreciate the vote and share!

    • carol7777 profile image

      carol stanley 4 years ago from Arizona

      I just found this hub and I am going to bookmark as I really believe in meditation. Thanks for taking the time to write this great hub. Voting up and sharing.

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @Brett Tesol...Thanks so much for the validation. It's so nice to hear that you successfully use this technique. I learned to do this technique without any prior experience and it takes minimal time. I so much appreciate the share,tweet, and pin!!

    • Brett.Tesol profile image

      Brett Caulton 5 years ago from Thailand

      Very useful information for anyone suffering from stress. Having used this technique myself, I can say that it is very easy to do and very beneficial.

      Sharing, up, useful, tweeted and pinned.

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @tinamariemiller...Thank you for reading and commenting! I hope to see you again.

    • tinamariemiller profile image

      tinamariemiller 5 years ago from Peoria, AZ

      Great hub.

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @rajan jolly...There are no downsides to trying it and you don't need any special equipment or prior experience so I hope you give it a try. Thank you so much for the vote and the share. It is appreciated!!

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @Midget38...Thank you so much for your kind words and support. This one can be done for just five minutes so it is convenient for anyone with a busy schedule. Thanks so much for the comment and the share:)

    • rajan jolly profile image

      Rajan Singh Jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

      healthylife, this seems a pleasant way to ease stress. It's new for me. Guess I need to try this out soon.

      Thanks for sharing. voted up, useful and sharing.

    • midget38 profile image

      Michelle Liew 5 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for these great tips, Healthylife!! We should really touch base with ourselves through meditation. Thanks for the wonderful tips! I share here on HP!

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      Om Paramapoonya...I was amazed at how taking just a few minutes to focus on relaxing was so beneficial. Thank you so much for your kind comment and support!

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @always exploring...So nice to hear that my article inspired you! If you have meditated in the past you have the technique so you are starting out ahead of many. Even if you start with adding in only five minutes when you can it is so worth it. Thank you so much for you kind comment!

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @FreezeFrame34...Your comment made my day! I know how easy it is to forget to think of ourselves but I learned the hard way that we can't take care of others if we don't care for ourselves. Thanks so much for the vote and I hope you remember to do something every day that is solely for the purpose of caring for yourself. Even if it is taking ten deep breaths and closing your eyes it helps:)

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      This is such a lovely hub, healthylife. I'm glad you have chosen meditation as a way to relieve stress and improve your health. Your tips sound very practical and inspiring. Rated way up!

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 5 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I used to meditate often. Your article inspires me to start anew. I have a beautiful video that relieves stress. Thank you for the share...

    • FreezeFrame34 profile image

      FreezeFrame34 5 years ago from Charleston SC

      I'm so glad I found this! I'm stressed out to the max and I often joke that I don't have time to relax. This hub gives me the motivation I need to focus on myself for a change! Voted up....useful......interesting.....etc.....

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @Kashmir56...I'm so glad you found this useful. I hope you give it a try. You can start with just five minutes. I really appreciate your vote and kind comment!

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @Lizam1...LOL..I do the same thing. I get really passionate when offering tips about nutrition or exercise then remember it's time for me to get back on track and practice what I preach. Glad this gave you that little but gentle push! Thanks so much for taking the time to read and comment.

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @stessily...Thank you for the validation. It's nice to know the benefits last well beyond the time spend meditating. Glad I gave you a laugh. I'm constantly trying to improve but there are days when there is so much clutter but like everything it is a work in progress but worth the benefit. Thank you so much for your kind insightful comment.

    • kashmir56 profile image

      Thomas Silvia 5 years ago from Massachusetts

      Hi healthylife2 this is all great valuable and useful information to use in ones life daily or when you can make time to do meditation. Well done !

      Vote up and more !!!

    • Lizam1 profile image

      Lizam1 5 years ago from Victoria BC

      Thanks for sharing your expereinces and tips. I totally believe in meditation, recommend it for others and then guess what don't make time in my own life. Your hub is a metaphorical foot on my backside - a gentle meditative one:-)

    • profile image

      stessily 5 years ago

      healthylife2, Meditation is an important part of my daily life. I value the sense of wellbeing which now is imparted to me before, during, and after my sessions, which are of variable lengths.

      I couldn't help but chuckle while reading your description of starting your first focused meditation and then having the thought about whether your son plays too many video games! In the beginning, I couldn't believe the clutter in my head.

      Appreciatively, Stessily

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      eHealer...It's great that you make the effort to meditate and are always working toward inner peace. Focusing and relaxing is a challenge for me also and some days are definitely more successful than others. Sometimes even staying focused for a minute is impossible. There are so many thoughts that race through my mind constantly. It helps me to give myself permission to take a break from it all for just five minutes. Thanks so much for your visit and kind comment!

    • eHealer profile image

      Deborah 5 years ago from Las Vegas

      Great info and thanks for sharing your personal experience. I try meditation but I have a difficult time relaxing and focusing. I continue to strive for inner peace and have made great strides. Thanks HealthyLife2!

    • healthylife2 profile image
      Author

      Healthy Life 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      @dwachira...You don't realize what you have been missing from exercise until you start doing it and I agree that you get an amazing feeling for hours after and feel healthy. Focused Meditation is easy and five minutes is a benefit for decreasing stress for hours after just like the gym. Thanks so much for your comment and vote!

    • dwachira profile image

      [ Danson Wachira ] 5 years ago from Nairobi, Kenya

      Ever since i joined a gym, i have come to realize that keeping fit really matters. You avoid a lot of health problems plus you generally feel healthy. I will have to try this Focused Meditation, looks like it can be even more beneficial. Voted up and useful.