Meditation is a technique that has been used for thousands of years. In a meditation session, a person can connect with the present harmoniously.
The result of meditation can be compared to that of restarting a computer: the brain releases external problems and has the opportunity to release stress.
This is an increasingly frequent problem in today’s populations, even more so for those who live in large cities. Meditation may be the key to solving this problem.
This article describes the relationship between meditation and the stress hormone cortisol. As well as a meditation technique for beginners.
Meditation to lower cortisol
A study carried out by a group of scientists in Thailand (7) confirmed a direct relationship between meditation and cortisol. In this study, the stress hormone levels were evaluated when meditating every day.
The average of the students who participated in the study decreased their blood cortisol levels by 20%.
This study suggests that the meditation technique effectively lowers stress and cortisol levels in the blood. They also claim that meditating can prevent psychological disorders such as anxiety and depression.
Experts also suggest that meditation is used to treat mild symptoms such as headaches and peptic ulcers. However, it is essential to clarify that scientists claim that the meditation technique should be used as a supplement in cases of severe depression. In these cases, medications should not be substituted, but meditation should combine them.
Meditation technique for beginners
The meditation technique should begin by sitting in a comfortable position. The cross-legged lotus position is recommended for beginners.
If you are not flexible enough to do this, a beginner can help with a unique cushion. The main idea of the position when meditating is to maintain a posture that allows a straight back without tension in the neck.
The position should be natural; keeping your eyes closed and your hands on your knees and palms up is recommended. In the meditation technique, the middle and index fingers can remain closed. While it is not a mandatory rule, This is the meditation position recommended by yoga teachers.
You can also meditate on the floor and your back. Although, for a beginner, this will significantly increase the risk of falling asleep, and it is not the most recommended when starting.
Benefits of meditation
Current studies (4,5,6) suggest that meditation restores neural connections and positively affects cortisol levels as well as it is an excellent technique to improve cognitive skills.
Research claims that the benefits of meditation can be compared to exercising outdoors. Although it is not a substitute for psychological therapy, it is an alternative way to prevent anxiety and psychological disorders in some cases.
One of the benefits of meditation is significantly increasing the ability to concentrate. This is especially important when a person is constantly exposed to external stimuli (smartphones, traffic, marketing). By practicing meditation regularly and consistently, your ability to make long-term decisions is improved.
Can you listen to music while meditating?
The answer to whether you can listen to music while meditating is yes, but it is not just any Spotify playlist. The ideal is to listen to mantras or sounds of nature. For example, the sound of a waterfall, ocean waves, or the sound of rain in the forest. However, according to yoga experts, the best to guide meditation is the use of the teacher’s soft voice.
The secret of the meditation technique is to free the brain of any thoughts. The easiest way to do this is to focus on the breathing process. Ideally, when meditating is to reach the “spectator” mode. Observe how the body breathes and exhales the air completely.
Yoga and meditation
Yoga and meditation are brothers. Some consider yoga a form of active meditation. In yoga, the mind concentrates on the exercises. The person only thinks about the movements, freeing the mind from the environment surrounding it.
Finding the ideal space when doing yoga and meditation is essential. Dedicate a room exclusively to the daily practice of meditation. This space must be silent and protected from external stimuli.
It can be decorated with candles, stones, or other objects that inspire beauty and balance. While it is not strictly necessary, you can significantly improve your ability to concentrate by learning the technique.
What time is it better to meditate?
Meditation in the morning is usually the most effective for a beginner. This is because, at the beginning of the day, the brain is not overloaded with everyday thoughts and problems. Also, in the morning, it is more difficult to fall asleep.
A beginner is advised to meditate in the lotus position, concentrate on the breath, and release the thoughts of all the tensions that worry him. Ultimately, a calm mind is the one that will be able to solve critical dilemmas.
Meditation at night can improve the quality of your sleep. However, it is not the best idea for a beginner. It’s harder to clear your thoughts and anxieties in the latter part of the day. Also, there is a higher risk of falling asleep.
How long should a beginner meditate?
When starting with meditation, it is not necessary to focus on time. But in the regularity and the technique. A beginner is recommended to start with as little as 5 minutes a day. Meditating daily for short periods is more helpful than trying to meditate for an hour once a month.
When the meditation technique is good, a few minutes is enough. A beginner is recommended to start with 5 minutes of meditation several times a week and gradually increase the time. There are no maximum times.
Meditation is a method of freeing the mind from thoughts and worries.
The most straightforward meditation technique for beginners is to start in the lotus position with your palms facing up.
In meditation, a more extended amount of time is not always better. Meditating for 5 minutes a day is more effective than meditating for 1 hour once a month.
Meditation and cortisol are closely related. A correctly performed meditation can lower cortisol levels by more than 20%.