I meditate every single day, sometimes twice.
That’s because I’ve always noticed a significant improvement in my well-being after the fact… and we’re beginning to understand why.
Recent studies from Harvard Medical School found that deep relaxation affects our bodies on a genetic level. They discovered that habitual practitioners of meditation and yoga had many disease-fighting genes active compared to those who were not.
Maybe all of those hippies and monks were on to something after all.
Meditation is great for relaxation and stress relief; But it can also increase your ability to focus, which can spawn creativity and promote problem-solving skills.
Table of Contents
- 12 Soothing Ways to Enhance Meditation
12 Soothing Ways to Enhance Meditation
1. Listen to Calm Music
Listening to calm music as a meditation practice can be very powerful. As I became more familiar with the experience of very concentrated, calm, and blissful states of meditation, It dawned on me that Iâd been experiencing these states for years listening to music. By utilizing music as a meditation tool, I’ve found that I can greatly enhance the experience.
If you feel a strong connection with certain music it can be a great tool to help you eliminate any distractions and create the right mood to fully center yourself.
Passage by Mike Wall is one of my favorite CDs to meditate with.
2. Take a Warm Salt Bath
I’ll usually soak for about 45-60 minutes and focus on the good health of my body. Soaking in a bath with Celtic, Himalayan, French or Atlantic salt (DON’T use regular table salt) will be high in magnesium which helps our bodies regulate over 300 enzymes…
And plays a huge role on organizing certain functions like muscle control, electrical impulses, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins.
3. Do it Outdoors
One of the major perks of meditation is uniting the mind, body and spirit to be more confident and at peace. There’s no better place for this, than outside surrounded by nature. People have been meditating outside for a LONG time. I even recall a story of Buddha achieving enlightenment, meditating at the foot of a tree, in the crisp morning air.
When youâre meditating, the point is simply to be, allowing your other thoughts to pass by. I know that for most of us, paying attention to just one thing is not an easy task and the best way to learn is by simply listening to your breath.
Make sure youâre comfortable so youâre not distracted, then close your eyes and listen to each breath. When thoughts try to rush you, acknowledge them and let them pass as you refocus on your breath.
5. Get Comfortable and Be Still
Most people constantly fidget, but sitting still puts you in control of your body and helps you focus.
When you close your eyes,Â try to not move, donât even scratch your nose. Youâll be completely overrun by tickling hairs, random itches and your joints emphatically protesting. Unless you experience any actual pain, DONâT give in to these impulses. Believe me, this getâs easier. The focus needed to ignore this and sit perfectly still will calm your mind and increase your ability to concentrate.
6. Use A Mantra
A simple and well known mantra is âohm,â which comes on the exhale of each breath. A mantra is simply a repeated sound, word or phrase meant to increase focus. Once you can sit still and focus on your breath for longer periods of time, try a mantra.
When you inhale, focusing on keeping your mind still going into your sound develops your ability to concentrate on one thing, regardless of distraction.
7. Zero Expectation.
Forget about what you think of meditation. Each and every time, be open to something new, but expect nothing. Donât try to replicate the feeling of your last session because expectations can cause us to get stuck in the past and miss the present. Each day is unique and full of new challenges so let your meditation guide youâ¦donât chase any thoughts or feelings, just observe and you just might come across some new insightful truths in your life.
8. Disconnect & Reconnect
We’re so caught up with social media, texting, work etc that we often lose touch with ourselves, which ultimately creates inner stress and conflict. I wouldn’t call meditation a mainstream idea, yet. When you’re less stressed, more present, you’re better able to create the life you want…
Be sure to turn off your cell phone and TV before meditating. I’ve actually met quite a few people that like to focus on the flame of a candle while they meditate because the light of the flame itself seems to help them concentrate.
It’s funny, I actually experienced this the last time I went camping while staring off into the fire after my cellphone died: It was one of the deepest contemplations I’ve ever had.
9. Put It On Paper Before
As soon as I get ready to meditate, I start thinking about my day, everything I need to do, and everything I could or should be doing… Worrying about these things almost feels like a requirement that somehow solves my problems.
To combat this, I usually take 5-10 minutes before meditating to write down what’s on my mind. If I start to think about any of it during the session, I just remember the list I made and acknowledge the fact that I’ll be much more productive after a successful meditation.
10. Be Compassionate
Compassion for yourself as well as others is important because each of us in on a unique path and there’s no one to compare to or be.
There is just the YOU that simply is.
There may be a day where youâre incredibly energized and focused, and the next you find yourself flat and uninspired. You may feel like your efforts are for not as your thoughts race and your butt tingles from sitting. On days like that, just remind yourself to take extra care and laugh. Try and see this new challenge as more of a reminder that each little step is part of your personal journey.
11. Observe Your Thoughts
Donât indulge in thought, just observe them. In the words of Mooji, ârecognize these as just thoughts. You can just watch them, feel their pull yet observe them as a movement in consciousness. Stay put as formless awareness.â
12. Meditate With Somebody
Every time I meditate with somebody or a group, the effects are usually profound. When we meditate collectively, the individual energies combine to become one; neutralizing imbalances, and enhancing one another strength. With this, our awareness seems to be given a chance to ascend without hiccups based on individual perceptions.
I remember coming across Gaelle Desbordes, PhD, a researcher at Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, who said, âseveral weeks of meditation can shrink a region of the brain linked to anxiety and expands a region associated with emotions and memory.â Remember, meditation affects us in a very positive way, even when weâre not actively doing it.
Health by choice, not by chance.