Find Inner Peace: Simple Techniques for Meditation

by Martijn
Find Inner Peace: Simple Techniques for Meditation

What you will find in this article

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Lately, quite a few people have asked me to talk about meditation, specifically about how to meditate. That can be quite complex to explain because there are a lot of varieties and possibilities within the practice of meditation. And speaking to many people and reading your comments it was obvious to me that for many people it’s not very clear what mediation is.

So, in this article, you will learn exactly what meditation is, and what benefits meditation has, both scientifically proven and potential benefits. You will learn about the most well-known types of meditation and you will find out what the best time of the day is for the goal you have for your meditation practice. And if you want to find out what my preferred meditation technique is you’ll have to stick around until the end, because I’ll share what my favorite method is and why.

What is meditation?

So many people talk about meditation and how it has helped them to improve their lives in one way or another. But when you ask them what they do and what meditation exactly is, they often respond with a pretty vague definition.

I believe that to be able to meditate properly and reap all the benefits from it, you first have to know what it is. What is it that you do, or are supposed to be doing when you meditate?

It’s very simple: Meditation is the practice of intense focus on one or more very specific topics or objects. That’s all it is.

The focus can be on a certain topic you have previously established in your mind, or on a specific object in your external surroundings. Through this intense focus on one specific thing, you can reduce the noise and the chatter from your mind. You know very well that when you are extremely concentrated on a certain task, like, for example, when I was playing an important game back in my days as a professional volleyball player, you act on auto-pilot, your intuition takes over and you don’t actively interfere with your thoughts. You simply are fully present in the moment and act accordingly to what you feel inspired to do.

That’s what meditation is: The act of narrowing down your attention to a singular thing, which consequently reduces your active thoughts and creates space in your mind. This will allow you to experience what is also called “the gap”. Meaning the gap between your thoughts. The bigger the gap, the deeper the relaxation, inner peace, and benefits you will get from your meditation practice.

If you are one of those people that says you don’t know how to meditate, you simply haven’t found your ideal technique yet. But it simply comes down to finding the best way for you to focus on one specific thing. That’s all.

Benefits of meditation

But before we look at the most common types of meditation techniques, first let’s find out what all the benefits are of having a regular meditation practice.

I’ve created two lists of the most commonly known benefits. Let’s start with the first 10 scientifically proven benefits of meditation:

  • Reduced stress and anxiety
  • Improved emotional well-being
  • Increased focus and concentration
  • Improved sleep quality
  • Improved immune function
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduced symptoms of depression
  • Increased gray matter density in the brain
  • Increased self-awareness
  • Reduced chronic pain

I’d say only these already make it well worth your time and effort to make meditation a daily habit for yourself. But there is more. I have 10 more potential benefits that are not yet fully proven such as:

  • Improved cardiovascular health
  • Increased longevity
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Help with addiction and impulse control
  • Increased creativity and productivity
  • Improved relationships and social connections
  • Help with weight management
  • Improved athletic performance
  • Help with symptoms of PTSD and other mental health conditions
  • Improved gut health and digestion.

That is pretty amazing. And all of that can potentially be achieved by simply dedicating some time every single day to focusing your attention. It’s free, it’s simple, and the more you do it, the better you get at it.

Types of meditation

There are many different types of meditation, each with its unique benefits. Some of the most popular types of meditation include:

Guided meditation: This type of meditation involves listening to a guided audio or video recording that leads you through a meditation practice. A very common type of guided meditation is the body scan, where a voice guides you to center your attention on specific areas of your body to achieve overall relaxation. It can be a great starting point for beginners.

Mindfulness meditation: This type of meditation involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.

Transcendental meditation: This type of meditation involves the use of a mantra or word to focus the mind and achieve a state of deep relaxation.

Loving-kindness meditation: This type of meditation involves focusing on feelings of love and compassion towards yourself and others. It can help increase feelings of empathy and compassion. You can also do this for gratitude or any other word that inspires a loving, compassionate, and grateful feeling within you.

Yoga meditation: This type of meditation combines physical postures, breathing techniques, and mental focus, to promote physical and mental well-being. It can improve flexibility, balance, and strength, besides all the previously stated benefits.

It is difficult to say which type of meditation is the best as different types of meditation can make a different impact and may be more suitable for different individuals. The best type of meditation for you depends on your personal preferences, goals, and what you are looking to achieve from your practice.

As a general rule, I would say, choose the practice that makes it easiest for you to narrow down your thoughts and focus to a singularity. Some people achieve this more easily through physical activity, yoga, or walking barefoot in nature. Others find it easier by focusing on their breath, staring into a flame, watching the waves on the beach, or listening to music while sensing the smell of incense. Give it a try and see what works best for you. None is better than the other, they all can provide you with many of the benefits I mentioned before and can boost your inner peace and feelings of well-being.

Best time for meditation

The best time of the day to meditate can vary depending on your personal preference and schedule. Some find morning meditation to be refreshing and focused, while others prefer evening meditation to relax before sleep. Research suggests different times of day may have different benefits for meditation, such as morning meditation leading to more stress relief and positive states of mind, and evening meditation leading to better sleep quality.

There is no standard perfect time of the day for meditation. You have to see what works best for you and how you experience the most benefits from your meditation practice. I do believe that a minimum of 10 to 15 minutes a day is necessary to start seeing some significant changes in your life. But I’m sure you can fit 15 minutes into your schedule. And if you can’t, just wake up 15 minutes earlier or go to bed 15 minutes later. The benefits will far outway the loss of 15 minutes of sleep.

My preferred meditation technique

My preferred mediation techniques vary from day to day. But I’ve experienced the best results while in “savasana” after an intense yoga session. Some years ago I also managed to remain in an extremely deep state of relaxation, and no thoughts at all, for over one and a half hours while touching an amethyst geode with my right hand. I tend to reach a deep state of meditation quicker and easier while laying down on my back, all the while I consciously lengthen my in and out-breath, holding it for a bit longer in between. On days I find it hard to concentrate because it was a hectic day at work or I simply am not able to fully control my thoughts, I find that guided meditations help me a lot to at least get to my daily dose of inner peace.

I have created several guided meditations for myself and I find them very useful. I have been thinking of creating some guided meditations to make them available to the public, to you. If you are interested and would like a guided meditation from me, please let me know via the contact page and tell me what you’d like the topic to be. Maybe, if there are enough people that are interested, I will create some for you.

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