Your Questions about Meditation: Answered!
Soon after "How You Can Make Meditation a Part of Your Life Today (includes Videos)" was posted, your questions came pouring in! First off, let me thank you for getting in touch and for being so interested. It is my pleasure to deliver those answers to you now, starting with the most popular question.
How do I know if I'm meditating correctly?
Further accompanied by "What happens if I lose concentration?" and "Do I have to start over again?"
The answer here is no, you do not have to start over again if you lose concentration. In fact, that is a part of learning how to control your thoughts. If your thoughts start to fill your mind during a quiet moment, this is totally normal. The best thing to do when you notice this happening is to return your attention back to your breath. Make the next few inhales and exhales audible and re-connect with the meditation.
To make sure you are meditating correctly has a lot to do with your environment. Make sure to pick a space that is peaceful and where you will not be interrupted. Next, get comfortable and check your posture. Whether you are sitting or lying down, you want your spine to be elongated, your chest to be open and your shoulders rolled down and away from the ears. If you are experiencing any discomfort in your lumbar spine, you may choose to use a cushion to sit on or under your knees when lying down. You may also choose to cover you eyes or wear headphones to cancel out any noise, fully turning your attention inward.
How do you meditate daily?
If you are a beginner to meditation, you don't need much time to make this a daily habit. It only takes 2 easy minutes per day! The best way to make sure you take this time is to schedule it in your calendar. When scheduling it into your phone or electronic device, choose a 5- minute block and simply call it "Meditation." Or perhaps something that will speak to you like "Time to breathe" or "Close your eyes for just a little bit".
Make sure to set a reminder 10 to 15 minutes before so that you can start to settle in. Finally, schedule it at the same time of day or night where you know you can make a commitment. Consistency is the key factor to building a daily habit.
REMINDER: I created a daytime and night-time meditation of just 5 minutes each on my YouTube Channel for this very reason! During those 5 minutes, I also guide you on how to meditate alone for the 2 minutes needed to call your practice your own. Use my videos to guide you and relax you into a wonderful meditation session.
What happens to the body during meditation?
This next section was inspired by the question: "I can sometimes feel my body twitching, is that normal?"
Yes, it is totally normal to feel different sensations in the body during meditation. Different sensations you may feel during meditation include twitching, tingling, hot, cold, spasms, rapid eye movement and drowsiness. As you begin to unwind, settle into your breath and sit quietly, the body starts to reduce muscle tension and pain. Any muscles, joints or patterns that you may be holding start to let go and circulation is improved. The nervous system starts to slow down and the nerves impulse, or signal, those tense body parts telling them to relax, which can cause light, sporadic spasms. This is why it is totally normal if your body "twitches".
Other major benefits of meditation include:
Improved memory and concentration
Encourages mindfulness, compassion and a healthy lifestyle
Helps with decision-making
Delays onset of Alzheimer's
Helps in fighting addictions
Slows down the aging process
Enhances the body's ability to self-heal
Reduces high blood pressure
Increases endorphins- making you feel happier
Decreases cortisol and stress levels in the body
Oh ya, and it's FREE! That alone is a great incentive to begin meditating. You will feel like you got a massage or went to a yoga class by the end of it and you will thank yourself for putting aside the time.
For more information on the all the wonderful, happy and euphoric sensations you can experience during and after meditating, check out my article "Want to Better Understand Hormones? Now You Can - Part 2". Here you will read about all the happy hormones, how they work and other healthy lifestyle tips to help you continue feeling well.
I hope these answered your questions, keep them coming!