Last Updated on September 19, 2023 by Avia
Meditation is increasingly recognized as being physically and mentally beneficial. Regular meditative practice can boost immunity, reduce inflammation, and aid stress relief. It is also considered beneficial for managing conditions such as anxiety and depression. Not to mention, it can play a role in your wider holistic well-being.
That said, getting the greatest benefits from the practice doesn’t necessarily come from adopting any old meditative routine. You should put some time and consideration into finding the most impactful approach for your needs, challenges, and lifestyle. It’s not always easy to achieve, but it’s certainly worthwhile.
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Recognize Your Priorities
Meditation is a deeply personal and subjective practice. Yes, there are certain times to meditate that are considered most impactful. Some spiritual traditions also subscribe to specific approaches to the practice. However, these aren’t always right for everyone. Rather, making the most of meditative routines for your mental and physical needs requires a more tailored approach. This is why it can be so important to recognize and consider your personal priorities.
Get to know what you’re hoping to get out of your meditation periods. At the most basic level, this can highlight your mental, physical, and spiritual intentions, which act as a valuable point of focus during your sessions. If your priorities are geared toward specific areas of healing, understanding this can allow you to research and adopt techniques that are considered to be the most effective.
Your priorities might also include components of your lifestyle. Having a long portion of your day dedicated to meditation might result in significant benefits. However, this doesn’t always work well around home, family, and work priorities. This can lead you toward uncovering methods that are impactful in shorter sessions or those that can be used in busy environments.
Combine with Other Practices
Often, an effective way to use meditation to bolster your mental and physical needs is by not simply relying on this tool alone. Instead, think about how it might be able to form a more diverse practice that impacts your wider needs. Many people choose to combine their meditation sessions with their spiritual rituals to boost the holistic effect. However, this approach can also be good for enhancing other physical and mental health practices.
For instance, meditation pairs well with many forms of mental health treatment. One effective way to manage anxiety is to use the senses for acknowledging triggers and working through the difficult sensations. This method is often taught by cognitive behavioral therapists and can have a grounding effect during panic attacks. Meditation can be a useful partner in this process, as many practices focus on increasing your awareness of existing sensations and can be enhanced by introducing stimuli you find soothing into your sessions.
In relation to physical wellness, meditation can work well alongside regular workout practices. Yoga has long been associated with meditation with some routines designed to be more introspective in nature. Even techniques like labyrinth meditations work well with hikes into nature that boost your physical health through breathing fresh air, improving circulation, and gentle exercise.
Adapt for Comfort and Wellness
It is not unusual to be discouraged from meditation because you think certain poses and mindsets need to be used. Don’t let these inaccurate popular portrayals prevent you from gaining the full physical and mental benefits meditation can offer. Remember that many practices can and should be adapted to your comfort and wellness needs.
Your approach to meditation should certainly not be detrimental to your health. For instance, one of the key causes of spider veins is sitting for long periods. If you’re in an at-risk group for this type of condition, such as those in a later stage of life, are pregnant, or living with obesity, it’s best to avoid such stationary techniques. If necessary, adapt your meditative practice to be performed in shorter bursts throughout the day. Alternatively, you can alternate between walking meditations and gently sitting in a comfortable position.
Another point of adaptation consideration here can be your surroundings. Sometimes meditating around others in a guided setting might exacerbate mental wellness experiences related to self-consciousness. Alternatively, you may find it difficult to spend time alone or the quiet may trigger disruptive thoughts. Adapt your practice to include environmental aspects, such as music, comforting objects, and even friends that allow you to focus on meditation that offers you the most benefits.
Be Open to Change
In some instances, people find developing a consistent meditative program to be comforting. They might utilize the same practice for their entire lives. However, it’s also important to recognize that changes in your life will occur. You may get some of the greatest physical and mental health benefits by making mindful alterations in line with these.
One thing to consider is that studies have shown that mindfulness-based meditation can change the neurology of people living with major depression. This may mean the priorities you initially intended to address with your practice may adjust as symptoms and experiences change. In this case, you may need to shift focus to or incorporate new methods that address other challenges in your life.
This isn’t necessarily a case of no longer needing to manage long-term mental wellness elements. You may also find changes in your lifestyle, such as a stressful new job, are unexpected contributing factors. These may benefit from incorporating short guided meditation routines into your commute. Your physical needs may change, particularly as you get older. Therefore, it pays to be open to exploring fresh techniques that address new challenges or require gentler physical motions.
Meditation tends to be most physically and mentally impactful when you’re dedicated to personalizing your approach. Gain some clarity on your priorities for your practice so you can discover the most appropriate techniques. Think about how you can combine meditation with other mental and physical health practices for mutually beneficial results. Remember that meditation shouldn’t negatively impact your wellness, so you should feel free to adapt methods to meet your specific needs. Wherever possible, be open to changing your routines in line with your developing needs. By mindfully adopting meditation into your life, you can find it’s a powerful and positive tool for your health.
About the Author: Ainsley Lawrence is a writer who loves to talk about good health, balanced life, and better living through technology. She is frequently lost in a good book.