More Americans than ever are meditating to calm their minds and soothe their senses. Meditation’s popularity has increased in recent years, with the percentage of adults practicing it rising from 4.1% in 2012 to 14.2% six years later. Now, many people use mindfulness and meditation apps, with celebrities like Harry Styles, LeBron James, Kate Winslet, and Matthew McConaughey providing guidance. However, meditation experts warn that not all techniques are equally effective at achieving inner peace.
Meditation: How Does It Work?
Meditation can induce relaxation and improve emotional well-being by focusing on breathing or a specific thought or activity. It happens because it affects multiple brain regions, and deep breathing increases air and blood flow, releasing toxins, calming nerves, and expanding lung tissue.
How Does Meditation Benefit You?
Danielle Casioppo, MS, a meditation, yoga, and mindfulness instructor, said, “Practicing meditation consistently can convey many benefits to one’s well-being. Meditation helps to quiet the mind, feel grounded, and live in the present moment, says Guerra. Meditation reduces stress and anxiety and improves focus by triggering physiological responses. Research suggests that it enhances memory and cognitive abilities over time. Consistent meditation can benefit one’s overall well-being by improving emotional regulation, self-awareness, and body awareness. It also reduces mind wandering, increasing feelings of well-being, attentional control, and patience.”
Practicing Meditation Properly
Meditation can be a very productive practice, but there are a few basic practices that are consistent throughout:
- Focus on getting comfortable and losing distractions
- Specify a timeframe
- Breathe deeply and close your eyes
- Meditation sessions should be increased until you find the right length and technique
Is It Possible To Meditate Lying Down?
Guerra also recommends trying different meditation methods to find the one that makes you feel calm and centered. She said, ” See if you prefer meditating seated or lying down. Find out which form of meditation works best for you by walking, repeating a mantra, or guided meditation. There is no wrong or right way to meditate.”