There is a lot of focus on including meditation practices in your life and many people have gone rushing off to find a meditation teacher to help them understand all the important things about meditation.
But the ability to meditate is something that is within us all yet a lot of people struggle to understand what meditation should feel like and the correct way of doing it.
In this article, we are going to be looking at what happens to the brain and body when you meditate and what you can expect to feel. We will also take a look at some signs that you are getting it right.
What Happens When You Meditate?
Scientists have taken a closer look at how meditations can affect the brain and what is interesting is that the beta waves begin to slow down. This means that the meditator will no longer process information in the way that they typically would, with thoughts slowing down.
There are images that show the difference between a brain before and after meditation and it is clear that this is something that does work.
What Does Meditation Feel Like?
If you have ever taken the time to go into meditation, you may have felt a range of things. Being in a meditative state is different for everyone and how you practice meditation will have an impact on how it makes you feel.
For example, some people choose to keep the eyes open, many will place their attention on the breath to remain focused and others like to focus on a particular goal. But however you experience meditation, you should feel as though your body is relaxed and calm.
You will likely experience an intense feeling of peace and will feel completely at ease. Many meditation clients put too much awareness on their thoughts and trying to stop themselves from thinking but it is vital not to put pressure on yourself when you meditate. This is a journey and you will develop with it.
When you go into deep meditation, sometimes called the highest point of meditation experiences, you will have feelings of total calm, the body feeling free from all tension, but you will not feel sleepy. Others talk about the fact that their awareness is drastically heightened and they notice smells, sounds and other things much more readily during their practice.
How Do I Know If I Am Meditating Correctly?
Meditation is one of the best ways to promote improved well being and better mental health. But the problem comes when people do not know whether they are meditating right. In truth, there is no right or wrong way to do this thing. Meditation practice is a personal thing and your meditation experiences will vary greatly from those of other meditators.
However, there are some signs that you can look out for during the time that you do your meditation practice that will allow you to judge whether you are meditating correctly and getting the most out of your meditating practice.
When you first start meditating, it can be difficult to find stillness but this is an important part of your meditation practice. As you meditate, place some awareness on how still you are. If you find that there is little movement, like a sturdy tree or a rock, then you are heading down the right track.
However, there may be times when stillness evades you and that is OK. Our minds do not always allow us to find stillness with ease but it takes practice. It is during these times that you can learn to let go and bring the mind to a state of peace.
No matter what kind of meditation you are doing, a good sign that it is going well is that you will feel comfortable just being. During your meditation, you may be doing several activities; focusing your awareness of the breathing or concentrating on a mantra; anything goes. But the key is that you will be able to place your concentration on awareness itself.
This can be confusing because there is a common belief that the goal of meditation is to clear the mind of thought. But in reality, thoughts are always going to be present in the mind and even is your mind is flooded with thoughts, you can still remain relaxed and aware. Although this can be more challenging if you have a naturally active imagination and personality.
We have just touched on the fact that many people wrongly believe that meditation should mean that the mind is totally clear. While this is not the main goal of your meditation, there will come a time that you notice your mind is free of all thought.
But this may not be in a way that you imagine. It is impossible to completely clear the mind and make changes to the thought processes, but when you come to a time where you can meditate without your thoughts bothering you, this is a sign that you are doing it correctly.
Meditation is a wonderful experience but a question that pops up time and time again is whether it is being done correctly. If you have been recommended to take up meditation by a therapist or simply want to explore the practice, you may have raised this question yourself.
You will know when you are meditating because you feel feel calm, relaxed and aware. Your mind will still experience thoughts but these will not distract you, rather you will be able to sit with them during the your meditation time.