Guide to Meditation: What Is It and How It Can Help

A flower symbolizing the beauty of meditation helping people better understand what is meditation.
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When it comes to your mental health, there are exercises and practices that you can implement in your day-to-day life to help improve your overall well-being. One of the most commonly used tools to help with this is meditation.

While you may have heard of meditation from a book or movie, and you may be familiar with the term meditation, you still might not know exactly what it is or how it can actually help you. 

Let’s take a closer look at meditation and better understand what it is and how it can be used to improve your overall physical and mental state.

What Is Meditation?

When it comes to meditation, the first thing that comes to your mind is a monk repeating a mantra like “omm” over and over and over again. And while this can be classified as meditation in some respects, meditation has a broader definition.

Meditation is a practice in which a person uses a technique to train their attention and awareness to gain mental clarity, effectively influencing their emotions and physical body in a calming and stabilizing manner.

Meditative practices are a part of many different religious and cultural traditions including those among Buddhists, Hindus, and more.

Being able to focus attention and awareness on certain parts of your body and your mind allows individuals to learn about what is causing them mental and physical pain and develop a plan of action for overcoming these problems.

We will take a closer look at this concept in our next section will we will also go over beginner tips for practicing meditation.

A man meditating in the ocean pondering "what is meditation"?
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Tips for Practicing Meditation

Now that you better understand what meditation actually is, you may be asking yourself: how do I actually do this?

Let’s go over a few tips that you can enact today to start practicing meditation immediately.

Again, the point of meditation is to focus your attention and awareness on an object, personal attribute, or item that will allow you to gain mental clarity and control over your emotions and personal life.

One of the first things that you want to do is get into a comfortable position. That may raise one question for some people:

Can you meditate lying down? Yes.

You just want to ensure that you are in a position where you will be able to focus your mind and body on the task at hand: mental clarity and awareness. You can practice meditation in many different positions sitting, lying down, standing, even sitting in traffic for experienced people. You just want to be sure that you won’t get distracted often.

After getting in a comfortable position, you want to focus on your breathing. Pay attention to your inhales and your exhales. Focus throughout the entire thing. While it is common for the mind to wander during this period, it is important to always come back to your breathing.

This is the basis for meditation.

Being able to direct your focus on something so subtle will allow you to do the same thing when it comes to other aspects of your life. It will also help you prepare for the next step in the meditatie process: directing focus on the body.

After learning how to focus on your breathing completely, you can move on to becoming fully aware of the body. When you are able to pass through and focus your entire attention on throughout your entire body, you will be able to identify points of stress and tension. From there you can work on releasing these physical ailments through your mental awareness. 

This is a brief overview of simple meditative techniques. To better understand meditation and how to meditate, there are guides online available. But let’s jump into the next topic. 

A water droplet to symbolize the serenity of meditation helping people better understand "what is meditation"
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The Benefits of Meditation

Now that you better understand what meditation is and a little bit about how to practice it, let’s take a look at the benefits of meditation and how it can help nearly any individual improve their mental and physical state-of-being.

There have been numerous studies on the benefits of meditation. One of the biggest benefits associated with meditation is the way it acts as a stress reliever.

Stress is a common issue that people will face in their day-to-day lives. The problem can stem from professional problems, social anxiety, and more. It can cause you to be out of sorts and can make you feel on alert constantly. 

By using meditation to relieve your stress, you will find that you are less on edge and more comfortable in your professional and personal life.

Through meditation, you can slow your mind down and allow your body to relax as you take a step back, a deep breath, and work to feel complete clarity.

Along with being used as a stress reliever, meditation has been shown to help with a number of different aspects of a person’s life. It can:

  • Reduce depressive symptoms
  • Reduce physical pain
  • Reduce insomnia
  • Help with anxiety and more

Overall, meditation can be an instrumental part of your physical and mental health routine and help to improve various aspects of your overall wellness.

What Is The Wellness Elephant?

The Wellness Elephant logo used in the blog helping people understand what is meditation.

The Wellness Elephant is an organization and blog dedicated to helping people learn more about mental health and wellness overall. We work to provide our readers with strategies and tools that they can use in their day-to-day lives to improve their overall health and mental clarity.

To learn more about who we are, please visit our About Us page. 

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