We were always told that meditation can do wonders for our physical and mental health but we were always sceptical. After all, how can closing your eyes just for a few minutes have such a huge impact on your life? (granted that meditation is more than that but the fundamental is the same.)
If you wanted concrete proof because word of mouth doesn’t mean much, Well you got it!
Thanks to several leaps in technology and research, scientists were able to pinpoint specific advantages of meditations and why it did what it did.
Here are some of the advantages of meditating backed by scientific research –
- Stress control: When we get stressed, our body releases cortisol which is basically responsible for making you stressed. This stress can trigger inflammation in response to stress. A study with highly stressed individuals came to the conclusion that by practising mindful meditation these inflammations were significantly reduced.
- Reduces anxiety: This is a given as less stress usually translated to less anxiety. Several studies showed us that habitual meditation practices were responsible for reducing anxiety levels in subjects and it also helped in the overall management of anxiety over the long term.
- Enhances Self-Awareness: Some forms of meditation may help you develop a stronger understanding of yourself, helping you grow into your best self. For example, self-inquiry meditation explicitly aims to help you develop a greater understanding of yourself and how you relate to those around you. Other forms teach you to recognize thoughts that may be harmful or self-defeating.
- Lengthens Attention Span: Focused-attention meditation is like weight lifting for your attention span. It helps to increase the strength and endurance of your attention. For example, a study looked at the effects of an eight-week mindfulness meditation course and found it improved participants’ ability to reorient and maintain their attention. A similar study showed that human resource workers who regularly practised mindfulness meditation stayed focused on a task for longer.
Now that we’ve seen the proven benefits of meditating there is one aspect that is common to all these studies. The people meditating would only get results if they were consistent. Meditation isn’t a one-time thing in fact if you plan on doing it only once then it’s going to be a waste of your time.
How to develop the habit of meditation?
You can try out things like setting a time schedule or creating a reminder but the fact of the matter is that practising it alone will be a lot harder than gradually developing the habit with a community. The meditation support community of CommuntyZapp is one such a platform with extremely supportive members to help you create and stick to a meditation schedule that will actually benefit you.
The platform’s got a bunch of features which can come in handy during your meditation sessions, For instance, Members can host discussions within the community and get specific answers to their queries. This is useful especially to the new users who are just venturing into the practice of meditation; they can use this feature to clear all their doubts so that their basics are strong.
The deep search tools of the platform are useful for finding fellow meditators from your city or following the same method of meditation as you. Then you can connect with them through private messages for further interactions and support. Users can also find recommendations for local meditation events and get invites (most of these events are usually exclusive) through the dedicated events section.
For those of you that want to start a meditation practice at home, you can look at your community for guidance as you’ll get recommendations for the best online tutorials and YouTube videos to help you get going. If you ever decide to take a break from your hectic life and decide to go on a meditation retreat you won’t have to worry about searching for the best destinations as you will be getting recommendations for the best retreats from fellow members. The meditation community members also host regular meditation challenges which help in engaging different members but also acts as a method to be accountable for your practices. You can also find a meditation buddy to ensure that you retain your motivation long term.
Apart from joining the existing meditation support community, you have the option of creating a private community and inviting selected members. This feature is especially useful for meditation teachers who want to build a community around their classes and students. The teachers can also lead the expert Q&A sessions and build their profile as the leaders of meditation practice.
We’ve gone through the benefits of having a community to guide you through meditation but did you know there were different types of meditation techniques? Depending on what you’re aiming to achieve you can select upon the following types of meditation –
- Mindfulness meditation: This style of meditation originates from Buddhist teachings but has been popularised by the west, here you will have to simply observe your thoughts as they come and go, no judgment- you are just watching them pass by. This type of meditation helps in awareness and also in increasing focus.
- Transcendental meditation: This type of meditation is similar to mantra meditation wherein a person has to recite mantras and hymns along with having the correct posture. However, unlike mantra meditation, the mantras in transcendental meditations are not specific mantras and can be unique to every user/ practitioner. This type of meditation is most commonly practised around the world.
- Vipassana: This style of meditation actually originated from ancient India, the mindfulness meditation actually has roots in Vipassana. The main objective of Vipassana is self-transformation through self-observation. During practice students are told to observe bodily function in a disciplined manner which should result in the interconnectedness between the mind and the body, this connection is what leads to a balanced person.
- Loving Kindness meditation: Loving Kindness Meditation, is the practice of directing well wishes toward others. Those who practice recite specific words and phrases meant to evoke warm-hearted feelings. This is also commonly found in mindfulness and vipassana meditation.
- Zen meditation: The practice of Zen meditation or Zazen is at the heart of the Zen Buddhist experience. Originally called Dhyana in India, Zen meditation is a very simple yet precise method of meditation, where the correct posture is imperative. In Zen Buddhism, the purpose of meditation is to stop the mind rushing about in an aimless (or even a purposeful) stream of thoughts. People often say that the aim of meditation is “to still the mind”.
As you have seen there are various styles of meditation and the best way to select one is by understanding what you want to achieve out of this. Whichever style you choose one thing that will remain constant is the support of the meditation community in sticking to your meditative habits and goals.
So why wait any longer? Become a part of our meditation community by joining CommunityZapp today!