A Beginner’s Guide to Meditation
When you hear the word “meditation,” the first thought that probably comes into your mind is that it’s solely for older folks. However, there have been numerous studies of the benefits of learning and practicing meditation techniques at a young age. If the adage “It’s never too late to learn something new” rings true, so does “It’s never too early to learn something new.”
Meditation offers several advantages for one’s mental, emotional, and physical health. For students specifically, the practice of meditation can help alleviate the stress that comes with the pressure of maintaining an academic life, which has alarmingly increased because of the limitations that the COVID-19 virus enforces on their social lives.
Before we get started on this beginner’s guide to meditation, it helps to know how it began in the first place. The word meditation stems from meditatum, a Latin term that means “to ponder.” Meditation allows an individual to find a better connection with their body in their daily life and help them become more aware of how emotions influence their behavior. The practice of meditation has become more important in these fast-paced times made up mostly of modern technology and forward thinking.
The exact date when meditation began is unknown, but archeologists and scholars agree it has been around for about 5,000 years. Documented evidence of meditation, however, was discovered in ancient India, stemming from the teachings of Vedas, which is why it is attributed to India as the place of origin.
Now, let’s move on to how you can introduce the wonders of meditation into your life.
Start with the basics.
Whether you’re in school in person or online, allot two to five minutes of your time each day before the class begins to do breathing exercises. Sit up straight as best you can, close your eyes, and breathe in and out deeply through your nose, allowing your shoulders and arms to relax as you go on. Try to immerse yourself completely in the moment, and don’t allow yourself to be disturbed by any distractions. Let your mind flow freely and be one with your breathing.
Do this consistently for a few weeks, and once you’ve become fully comfortable with this technique, you’ll be ready to move on.
Focus on colours.
It’s instinctive for youth to have an ever-curious mind and an active pair of watchful eyes, and this meditation technique will help enhance those abilities even more.
For this one, you can keep your eyes open. Do this technique whether you’re on the bus on the way to school or at home doing your homework. Take some mindful breaths and allow your body to relax. Then look around at your surroundings and focus on a colour you see. Try to view it as if it’s your first time seeing that colour and do your best to think of the colour’s significance in your life. Take more deep breaths, and after five minutes, go back to what you’re doing.
A variation of the basic technique of breathing for meditation is to chant mantras. It can be anything you want, whether it’s a quote from your favourite book or movie, or a lyric from a beloved song. Its message should be positive so it uplifts your spirits, like “It’s up to you how far you’ll go. If you don’t try, you’ll never know” from the animated movie, The Sword and the Stone. Keep repeating it for at least two to five minutes.
These upbeat declarations are a good way to keep a courageous and optimistic attitude alive and make you feel you’re ready to take on the world and make an impact.
The wonders of technology can also be instrumental into turning you into a meditation-savvy individual. There are plenty of meditation apps that can help you with effective methods.
A popular one is Headspace, which promotes calmness and wellness of life through an immense collections of meditation music and nature sounds to encourage your young mind. Calm is also another app that comes highly recommended. This app offers practice breathing techniques, walking meditation, calming and relaxation exercises.
Now that you’re aware of the foundation of meditation, it’s time to put your knowledge into practice. Be calm and carry on!