How to Find Happiness Through Meditation
Do you tend to put pressure on yourself and others around you all the time? Are you finding yourself stressed out the majority of the time? These symptoms can be due anxiety.
Did you know that anxiety is the most common mental illness disorder in the US? According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America, over 40 million people have anxiety in the United States.
When it comes to mental health, self-awareness is the first step toward feeling better. The next step is deciding what to do about it. Some ideas may include implementing meditation and restful breathing exercises. It will take practice before you can master these mind-boosting techniques.
Over time, you will feel calm you and peaceful. If you don’t stay consistent, don’t quit. It’s building a new habit. Encourage yourself the same way you would encourage a baby learning to walk. Keep in mind that it takes 21-66 days to form a habit.
By starting to practice meditation training, you will feel more “present to the moment.” It will help ground you to do what you can about a challenge you are facing now.
Anxiety is bringing the fear of the future into the present. When you focus on the fear of the future, you can self-sabotage or create the circumstances or perspective you don’t want. Meditation training will help bring you back to this moment in the present. At the same time, long-lasting results will take time. Be patient with the process.
For one of the most common disorders affecting over 40 million people, meditation training provides a natural treatment modality for anxiety sufferers.
Meditation Training: Reaching Your Homeostasis
Meditation training has many benefits for brain fitness. It helps you become more present and experience more joy. You may not even have noticed until now how often you trapped yourself in fear of the future. The more present you become, you will realize how much time you wasted in the future or in the present. All you truly have and control is this moment now.
Meditation helps decrease symptoms due to depression and anxiety. Research shows that about 8 weeks of meditation is life-changing. Depression and anxiety are directly tied to our thoughts. The science doesn’t stop there. Our thoughts create neural pathways in our brains. Our minds and bodies are incredible and intertwined.
Until you stop to meditate and go within, you may not even be aware of some of your thought patterns currently causing anxiety. Once you start feeling anxious, your amygdala triggers the release of the stress hormone, called cortisol.
The Scientific American reported a study showing evidence of the amygdala shrinking with 8 weeks of meditation training. Not only will you feel better with meditation, but your brain is getting healthier too.
With time, you will increase your self-control with the fight or flight responses to stress. Your body will produce less cortisol resulting in less stress. This self-awareness is the start.
So, if you haven’t meditated before, start with 5 minutes in the morning and afternoon. Gradually build up day by day. Before you know it, you will be meditating 20-30 minutes a day.
Here’s why you want to start meditation training today.
1. Quiet the Mind
When we get still and quiet the mind, it reduces anxiety. For example, at any moment that you start feeling anxious, immediately take a deep breath.
Ask yourself, am I alive in this moment? Is this situation life or death? Likely it is not. A great indicator of anxiety is if you have a 10 reaction to a 2 situation without asking for clarity.
Meditation Training will help you quiet the mind. If you are new to meditation, start with 5 minutes meditating in the morning and before bed. If you are already practicing meditation, increase the consistency and/or the time.
2. Mindful Music
Mindful music may have a meditative impact too. Whether you are meditating or not, put on some mindful music like ocean waves. You will notice how your disposition changes.
Mindful music helps lower blood pressure and heart rate. Some types of nature, classical and positive music may be particularly calming.
3. Deep Breathing
When we are meditating, it’s easier to focus on deep breathing. When we fill our lungs and bellies, we feel the breath of life in our bodies. Something else you may want to try is practicing deep breathing all day.
There are many benefits to practicing deep breathing. For example, it helps activate our parasympathetic nervous system. This calms us immediately.
There are several types of deep breathing exercises you can do to calm yourself. These include deep abdominal breathing and belly breathing.
The end goal is deepening your breath. Breath in deeply through the nose fully expanding your lungs and stomach. When you feel anxiety, your take rapid short breaths. People that suffer from anxiety tend to breath shallower breaths in general.
By shifting this habit, you will shift your mental state.
4. Practicing Meditation
Start practicing meditation and deep breathing today. The sooner you start, the faster you will experience the benefits. Before you start, write down some things you are grateful for. To add to the experience, write down gratitude before and after to help you increase mindfulness.
To start your meditation session:
- Sit upright in a chair with feet on the floor. Some people prefer lying down.
- Pay attention to your breathing. Don’t change it. Simply observe your pace.
- Continue focusing on your breathing. Perhaps repeat a mantra (such “peace” or “joy).
- Acknowledge the thoughts that come up and gently let them pass.
- Keep meditating for about 5-10 minutes. Calming music will help.
- Open your eyes and observe how you feel. No judgment. Simply observe.
- Write down 5-10 things you are grateful for to seal your practice.
Gratitude helps reducing anxiety. You will likely feel calmer and more present right away. Stay consistent and you will be amazed on how your brain transforms to a calmer state within days or weeks.
Reaching Your Homeostasis State with Breathing Exercises
Meditation training with deep breathing helps you reach your natural homeostasis, a state of mind that is calm, happy, and peaceful.
Learn more on the scientific approach to happiness and ways it may help you.