Why Guided Meditation is so powerful?
The average individual today is faced with so many challenges in an ever dynamic and fast paced technologically driven world. You just can’t seem to catch a breath and keeping up with finances, career, family and relationships takes its toll on everybody. All of these challenges breed anxiety and stress and if not properly taken care of can lead to a lot of negative physiological and mental health issues. Everything becomes a mechanical routine and we are just happy to live one day after the other without any real fulfillment or joy.
Everything you need to be happy or sad, joyful or angry, every single emotion you can think of is within you. You need to be able to harness the powers of the positive emotions and find a way to let go of anything that will drag you backwards. You are deserving of that happy and peaceful life and you have the ability to move from a place of constant stress and anxiety into a more relaxed and peaceful state. One of the ways to achieve this is through meditation.
So what exactly is Meditation?
There is a lot of misconception about meditation out there and this has discouraged a lot of people from engaging in it. Meditation is simply a practice of creating harmony between your mind, body and soul. The power to do this is simply in the ability to harness the power of self-belief that you can manifest in life what you truly desire. A lot of the terms you will come across like guided meditation, deep relaxation and mind body techniques have actually been researched and proven to have real life positive impacts on physical and mental health.
How does it work?
There is no hidden secret to guided meditation. All you need to know is how to listen carefully and you will easily navigate the constant flow in your subconscious mind. The subconscious mind is very powerful and it controls trillions of cells in your body. It also coordinates the functions of all 12 systems that keep you functional. Some of these systems are the cardiovascular, respiratory, nervous, reproductive, urinary, skeletal and muscular systems. We also have the endocrine gland, digestive system and lymphatic systems. Obviously these are all life impacting systems that need to be in the best shape they can be at all time.
The power of the subconscious
The power that resides in your subconscious mind is raw energy that can be tapped into for healing, growth and self-development. The subconscious mind operates mainly on your belief. It has direct access to all your thoughts, feelings, attitudes and moods and it will have a response for every single one of them regardless of its nature. Knowing this, you have to take control of what you allow your subconscious feed on. Rid your thoughts of self-limiting beliefs and negativity. At the end of the day, you become what you think because your feelings are communicated to all those cells your subconscious controls and this eventually manifests itself physically.
You have to practice the art of implanting positive, goal driven thoughts in your subconscious. Your mind will pick up on these cues and align itself with your intention to make it manifest in your life. All you have to do is to be a believer.
Meditation allows you to tap into the limitless power of your subconscious mind and this allows you to see those intentions clear as day in your mind, manifest positive goals in both the imaginative and real life realms and this translates to better experiences. This potential is inherent in every living soul. All you have to do is learn how to exploit it.
What are the physiological effects of meditation?
Mainly, guided meditations and deep relaxation have been found to have a lot of positive effects on your body and hormones. Some of these will be highlighted below:
• Better Sleep
Very few people are getting the right quality of sleep that they should. Better quality of sleep is one of the most sought after benefit of meditation. We all want to rest better and wake up invigorated. We all suffer from sleep issues at one point or the other in our lives and we have felt the effects of tossing and turning all throughout the night without getting any real sleep. Almost 90% of US workers have said they lost sleep due to stress at work. Research has shown that those people who engage in mindful meditation get to have better sleep than non-meditators. According to further studies, just ten minutes of guided meditation and related practices daily for just two weeks resulted in an enhanced quality of sleep.
• Controlled levels of stress and anxiety
Perhaps the most important benefit of meditation is getting rid of stress and anxiety. Stress and anxiety are as a direct result of challenging situations and there is no escaping these two players. There is a stress hormone that your body secretes called cortisol. It is controlled by the hypothalamus in the brain and it secretes this hormone every time we are faced with a stressful situation. The levels of secretion of this stress hormone has been found to be minimal in the brains of people who engage in mindful mediation as compared to those who don’t. When you have less stress, you get better rest, lower blood pressure and a better overall mental state.
• Reinforces the immune system
The immune system is an integral part of your physical wellbeing and it is composed of a complex structure of cells and biological processes with a sole aim of fighting off disease and unwanted foreign bodies in your system. According to studies carried out in 2003 from the University of Wisconsin, consistent mindfulness seemed to have a positive effect on the functions of the immune system in the body. They also resulted in positive changes in the brain.
• Cardiovascular health
Research has proven that mediation can contribute to the overall health of your heart and improve blood circulation in your body by maintaining an optimal heart rate. According to a study posted by psychosomatic medicine, frequent meditations have lower amounts of lipid peroxide in their systems when compared to non-meditations. This substance has a negative effect on your arteries and leads to a condition known as atherosclerosis.
• Keeps you away from bad habits
A lot of us have vices that we are addicted to and meditation can help us out of that addictive spiral. Smoking is one of the most dangerous habits that a lot of people are addicted to and mindfulness can help so many people quit this habit completely and giving them the tools to avoid relapsing.
• Better memory
One of the consequences of aging is the decline in memory functions. From studies carried out amongst the aging population, it has been discovered that a consistent practice of meditation amongst the subjects can led to better brain functions and ultimately better memory. It has even been proven that meditation sessions can improve brain functions in those with early-stage dementia and other related cognitive issues. Meditation also improves mental agility and alertness.
• Better health for Women
Women are faced with a lot of changes in their body on a consistent basis with their menstrual cycles. This has an effect on their emotional and physical wellbeing and the symptoms can range anywhere from irritability to depression, appetite changes, fatigue and anxiety. These are all ripe grounds for stress to camp on. Thankfully meditation can also be of benefit to these women. Studies have shown that women who meditate have reported better pain tolerance and emotional strength. Also, with meditation, women are better skilled at accepting their bodies and being in tune with it.
• Improved spirituality
On the surface of it, meditation seems like more of a spiritual activity than a physical one. Being in tune with your body and searching for meaning outside of yourself always results in a positive outcome. You don’t even have to be religious to tap into the immense power that resides within meditation. Meditation will ultimately improve your quality of life.
Are headphones required?
You can mediate without headphones as they are not a requirement. However they can improve your audio experience ad stimulation so use them if you want to. But, no they aren’t mandatory.
Should the eyes be closed?
There is also no rule against meditation with your eyes open but it can be very beneficial to close your eyes as you are limiting distractions and external mental stimulation. With your eyes closed, you might find it easier to slip into the meditative state. Eyes closed or eyes opened, either way, it works if you do it properly. Do what you’re most comfortable with.
Any specific positions?
No there is no special position you have to be in to get it done. All that is recommended is finding a quiet place where you’re comfortable to either sit or lie down. Remove all forms of distractions from the room including your phone.
Can we all visualize?
Not everybody will be able to visualize. Just about 5% of the population can visualize in 3D. We can all visualize to a certain degree but we won’t get the same level of clarity. Some of us are built more on the auditoria side, some more on the kinesthetic side and some on the visual side. A lot of people are a different blend of these three attributes. Thus we experience guided visualizations in different ways and you should just go with the right way for you.
Do I need to focus on one particular thing?
No you don’t. The most important thing is to let go and not over analyses any one particular thing. Just flow with your thoughts, the music and the guiding.
How much time is required for guided meditations?
There is no hard and fast rule here. Invest whatever amount of time you are comfortable with. The most important thing here is consistency. It is recommended that you engage in guided meditation at least once a day for a full month to achieve best results. If this isn’t feasible, you can just do as much as you can as long as it feels good.
According to studies, neurological signals are reinforced to the point where they become a part of you after 30 days of consistent engagement. This is what NASA uses when training their people for missions in space. They have to learn and train for a minimum of 30 days straight. This isn’t a binary rule however as you can also see the effects of your learning process the very day you start to focus on positive affirmations and commit to being better.
Is it safe to listen during sleep?
It is absolutely safe. We have a custom made guided meditation for sleep and insomnia that is tailored for you to sleep whist you’re listening to it. Some other guided meditations themes will offer you more when you stay awake listening.
What if I’m uncomfortable during the guided meditations?
It is natural to experience some discomfort especially when you are new to guided meditations. This can be an as direct result of you actually resisting the process or you’re simply not used to relaxing. Some people overwork themselves into the need to do it perfectly the first time and this can also lead to an uneasy effect. Also, it might not be your comfort zone and that is perfectly okay. Just move with the flow and stick with it. When your mind and body start to heal and respond to the affirmations and visualizations, it is natural for it to stir up emotions and this is a part of growth and self-development.
Hannah Edmonds is a creative and enthusiastic freelance writer who has been loving this gig for 8 years now. Her personal mission is to encourage a happier, healthier and more fulfilling life experience for people through her writing, and this is her true passion. She is very adept at details, produces only first-rate work, and avoids fluff as well as redundancy. Hannah's goal is for people to grow their knowledge so they can keep evolving and growing. She has gained a lot of experience and has honed her craft through several years of work with different websites and blogs. Aside from writing, Hannah absolutely loves to travel, read, and loves anything that pertains to sports.