Relaxation and stress relief are some of the top benefits and reasons many of us begin a mediation practice. Learning how meditation helps you relax and understanding the why behind it can help enhance your experience.
In this article, I want to explore a little into how meditation helps you relax. Also, what you can expect as benefits of consistent meditation practice.
Numerous studies have shown that there is a direct link between meditation and relaxation. What distinguishes this from the other techniques is that with meditation, your mind continues to be focused and alert when you learn to focus on an object, thought, or by visualization.
But which should you focus on?
The answer depends on the individual. The important thing is that it is something that they are comfortable with.
One of the simplest things to concentrate on is your breathing. In fact, most meditation techniques start out this way to help your muscles relax and your mind and body become one.
Sometimes, using visualization and staring into an object can produce similar results. It doesn’t have to be a “physical” object because when you are trying to get some sleep, you can focus on a cloud or the open ocean.
If thinking about an object is not your thing, then you can try to focus on sounds or words. This is the reason that there are CDs that you can buy that play calming music or with someone in the background talking to you during meditation and relaxation sessions.
When such things are used, this is better known as mantra mediation or transcendental meditation. This technique has been studied widely in the medical field because the body gains a state of profound rest. As you wake up, your brain and mind become alert ready to get back to work.
Challenges Of Meditation And Relaxation
The biggest challenge with meditation and relaxation is the fact that you will often be distracted with other thoughts as you try to block them out. When you are doing this at home, it is beyond your control if a car drives by or there are other sounds coming from the outside. The same goes if you feel an itch and the tendency is to scratch it.
Since ignoring it won’t do any good, you just have to accept it. Through practice and learning to have a passive attitude, these things will no longer affect you.
Let’s face it. All of us need time to relax when the pressure builds up otherwise we crack. You can drink a beer after work or watch television when you get home but the truth is, such activities do not truly relax the body.
For that, the best answer is meditation so you not only relax the body but also the mind. You should do your best to stay awake because instead of concentrating on your breathing, you could already be dreaming which is not what this exercise is all about.
You’ll eventually feel more energetic with meditation and should do this on a daily basis. After all, it only takes 15 or 20 minutes or so to recharge your batteries.
Does this change who you are as a person?
For me, that’s hard to give a definitive yes or no. You become more calm and disciplined when everyone around you is going crazy. You will have an increased ability from this to better make the right decisions at the right time. Soon, people will notice the change in you and say something about it.
Some might even ask how you do it and when that happens, you will know that this activity has paid off.
As you mentioned, drinking and watching TV after work isn’t the best way to relax. So, I meditated when I started a new job after graduation. It’s helping and an excellent way to make me focus on things that matter instead of some chores. I will also recommend busy people do a quick meditation whenever they feel stressed. 5-10 minutes are okay if you keep practicing.
Do you prefer a specific type of music when you meditate? It will be nice if you can also recommend some. 🙂
Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment.
yes, concentration is certainly a benefit of meditating. I have found it’s helped me be in the present moment, and be a better listener as well.
I don’t have a preferred type of music per se, I do listen to classical music often, different guided meditations, and ambient sounds. Also, I live near a park and do a lot of running and hiking. I often stop in the middle of the forest or near a stream and mediate with no music, just the natural sounds of what’s around me.
Lee, thanks for this post!
I love meditation, especially I like to have mantras in the background with music, like that of the ocean. It does not totally relax me on a physical level, but now after years of practice I completely abstract myself from my surroundings and my mind is much more focused (sometimes I even have some brilliant ideas!), So I recommend meditation to absolutely everyone!
So glad you loved this post and thank you for adding your insight.
Yes, I love your approach to meditation and it’s true, the more you practice the better results you will see.
Very interesting article! I would love to master meditation skill. I’ve tried to meditate in the past but I just it to difficult to concentrate for a long time- I actually fall asleep every time I try. Do you have any tips on how I can succeed meditation?
Thanks for commenting, and if you are falling asleep, how long are you trying to meditate for? Perhaps, you can begin at a shorter time period for your sessions.
Also, you can try guided meditation and focus on the person’s voice guiding you through your session. That may help prevent you from falling asleep and also improve your concentration and being present in the moment.
This is a super article and so informative! I have often said to friends, to try and meditate for at least 20 minutes when they get home from a hard days work, just to lie down on their bed shut their eyes and imagine they are lying on a deserted beach and listen to the waves coming in and out, the sun warming their faces and just let go……… but do we do it? I am guity of this!
I love your studies and videos on the subject and find your post easy to follow.
I once looked into the Silva method, many years ago which focuses alot on the Alpha and Beta brain waves and how you can achieve so much in life with this training and there is alot of evidence to support this.
Thanks for this easy and well written article. O’h coincidently, I have been looking at British supplements they look like they are hard to beat as good supplements to take and they believe alot in how genuine they are which is reasurring!
Keep up the good work.
So glad you took the time to read and provide your insight.
We are all guilty of this, as you mentioned. Although taking 20 minutes a day to meditate is a relatively short time period and incredibly beneficial, the 20 minutes can always seem like a challenge to find. That’s just the way life is with many of us.
It’s about creating that habit and making it something we look forward to, instead of just another chore.
A very knowledgeable and helpful article that can help relax. My personal opinion and experience so far is that it’s not bad to play a CD or something like the sound of rain ☔ and light thunder that helps us sleep more easily if we live in an environment where cars or trains pass by 🙂It’s the only way we can rest and renew the energy we need for the next day. This is just one example, but your methods are much betteR and I wish you well 🙂
Thanks, and I agree. I often enjoy the sounds of nature while I mediate, rain, the ocean, waterfall, and other “water” sounds are very common and used by many.
The right sound can help enhance or get our minds in the right spot.
Thanks for taking the time to read and comment!