Why Has CogniTea Started Meditating?

May 28, 2014

I've recently  begu meditating as a way to relax the mind , but I've experienced a whole slew of  benefits that  I never expected .
 
As a pleasant surprise, m editation has been shown to help you focus, mitigate  a nxiety  and  depression , help you think more creatively, feel more compassionate, improve memory, and  reduce stress. 
 
This all sounds great (and it is!),  b ut where do you begin so you can  experience these positive effects for yourself ? 
 
For my own practice,  I've started  by  building  the   habit  of meditating daily ( for at least 10 minute s )  and have  shared some tips for how you can get started as well L et me say:   Meditation . Is. Awesome. 

 

What is m editation? 

When I first heard of  m editation it  seemed a bit obscure and other- worldly. The practice  conjured up images of sitting in a dark  room bathed in  candlelight  with wisps of incense swirling about.  But, it turns out meditation is really accessible --  no incense required.  

At a basic level, meditation is a way to train the mind and cultivate mindfulness, but t here are a broad variety of ways to practice . 

I've chosen to  begin  with  mindfulness meditation.   In this practice,  the   goal  is  to become fully aware  of  the present moment , and  I've started  with  Sam Harris' 9 minute guided meditation  

During this meditation, you concentrate on your breath, observing each inhalation and exhalation. The idea is to  become aware of the  thoughts, feelings and sensory stimuli around you.  In Sam's words,  "m indfulness is simply a state of open, nonjudgmental, and nondiscursive attention to the contents of consciousness, whether pleasant or unpleasant." Or, more simply, to be cognizant of what you think and feel, and to recognize this  without judg ment or active thought -- j ust experience it. 


I like this practice because focusing on my breath gives me something tangible to concentrate on, which helps to keep me attuned and centered. 

 

Benefits of m editation 

I find that  meditating  clears my  mind  and lets me think  unobtrusively  about how I want to approach the day . I practice shortly after I wake up, before my mind gets cluttered with the days' activities. It   puts  m e into a more positive m indset and  all o ws me to key in o n the priorities that I need to get done. 


Interestingly, d ifferent  types of meditation  have varying  benefits . In a study p ublished in the journal Mindfulness, researchers analyzed three types of meditation practices and their effects:  
 

  • Mindful yoga was associated with greater increases in psychological well-being than the other two practices. 
  • Sitting meditation and mindful yoga were both associated with greater decreases in difficulties with emotion regulation than the body scan. 
  • Sitting meditation was associated with greater increases in the tendency to take a non-evaluative stance toward observed stimuli than the body scan. 
( via Lifehacker )   
 
And here is a nifty infographic that outlines additional benefits: 
 

 

How t o's 

Here are some resources that I've found to be particularly helpful in starting out:  

 

Is m editation for you?  

There's only one way to find out! We challenge you to meditate for 2 minutes a day for 7 days straight. We know you'll find it enlightening ;) 


And once you've done so, we'd love to hear about your experience!

 
As you know, h ere at  CogniTea, we  want to hear about what inspires you, what moves you, or what you're working towards. If you're an avid meditator or just getting started , share your advice, questions or insights  in the comments below or on Facebook!

 

 


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