Meditation has been linked to numerous health benefits by a variety of studies. Possible health benefits include:
- Increased attention span
- Decreased stress
- Increased immunity
- Sleep improvement
- Weight loss
- Increased sense of happiness
- Greater appreciation for life
Many people know the benefits of meditation but are still hesitant to practice it. Although meditation seems like it should be simple, it can feel difficult for many people.
There are many myths about meditation that scare people away from doing it regularly. Below are some ways to separate meditation myths from reality!
- Myth #1—You have to meditate for hours.
Reality—Meditating for long stretches of time is not necessary to get the many health benefits of meditation. For busy individuals, fifteen to twenty minutes a day has been shown to be the optimal meditation time. Even five minutes is better than nothing. Everyone can find fifteen minutes in his or her day to carve out some healthy self-care!
- Myth #2—Meditation should feel really difficult.
Reality—Meditating can feel intimidating and foreign to some. Just like riding a bike, meditation gets easier and more natural with every practice. For the first attempt, just focus on your breath going in and out for a few minutes. You will be amazed at how much better you will feel!
- Myth #3—My mind must be blank to be meditating correctly.
Reality—Meditation is not about controlling your thoughts or clearing your mind. It is about learning how much attention you want to give to your thoughts. Do not get discouraged if you have a hard time clearing your mind. Be patient and simply keep trying to focus on the desired object of your attention. The best way to do this is by bringing your awareness to your breath going in and out. There is no right way to meditate!
- Myth #4—I have to sit in that uncomfortable cross-legged position to be actually meditating.
Reality—There are four main mediation positions: sitting, standing, walking and laying down. Try them all and see what feels the best for you. If you get uncomfortable, change positions!
Meditation is a great way to take good care of your health and overall stress level. The more you practice, the better you will get and feel. Reach out to a therapist if you have questions about how to start bringing regular meditation into your life.
LLebovitz @ GROWcounseling.com
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