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Meditate:the key to happiness?

Stress, anxiety, insomnia:sometimes we need a break from our daily lives. To help you clear your mind and find inner peace, meditation can be useful. We take stock of this practice which aims to better control your mind.

What is meditation?

Meditation is a practice that aims to train your mind to focus better. Meditation allows us to refocus (or concentrate) on ourselves, but also to better feel the world around us. It helps to feel better in his body, to control his thoughts and his attention. Meditation is related to relaxation and breathing exercises.

The goal of meditation is to empty your mind, to empty it of any questioning, anxiety or fleeting thought that you cannot suppress. It's about helping your mind to rest, a mental letting go, but also a physical one. Meditation is practiced in good conditions, being relaxed and calm.

There are several types of meditation:

  • Mindfulness meditation, very useful for combating stress, inspired by Buddhism. It is practiced alone or with a coach if you are guided, via an application in particular.
  • Zazen, which developed in Japan, is practiced with a master, following a ritual.
  • Transcendental meditation, which tends towards a state of trance, a mixture of happiness and deep calm of the mind, which would be naturally attainable.

What are the benefits of meditation?

Meditation promotes mental well-being, self-understanding, balance, letting go and helps concentration. It can help reduce stress and anxiety, but also lowers the risk of depression. Mindfulness meditation allows you to better feel your emotions and control your breathing. It can therefore be useful in situations of stress or strong emotions to keep your cool and not give in to panic.

Another benefit:mindfulness meditation helps people who suffer from insomnia due to an overactive brain to sleep. Indeed, it calms the thoughts and helps to better manage your breathing. It therefore also has a positive impact on the management of obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD), and eating disorders.

Meditation could also have an effect on pain and help to better manage it. Finally, meditation stimulates the brain, as it promotes memory, attention and concentration. Thus, thanks to regular exercises, it would help keep the brain in shape and limit the effects of aging on it.

Simple meditation at home:instructions

Establish a ritual

Ideally, meditation is practiced on a regular basis in order to fully feel its long-term effects. Establishing a daily ritual can help you in your practice. This can take the form of a fixed schedule, or the fact of applying to practice meditation for 15 minutes each day.

Calm down

There are simple exercises you can do at home. First of all, know that meditation is practiced in peace, that is to say far from the external agitation, parasitic noises and above all without risk of being disturbed. The idea is to create a calm cocoon for you, where you will be fully relaxed, and you can really let go. Calm music can, however, be played in the background. You can start a playlist dedicated to meditation, which can be found on Spotify or Deezer. Also remember to make yourself comfortable (seated).

Working on your breathing

Then start by taking deep breaths, and focus on that. Empty your mind, try to think of nothing but your belly swelling with air and then shrinking.

Focusing on your emotions

If you practice mindfulness meditation, the idea here is to focus on your feelings, your sensations, to end up emptying yourself and relaxing. For Transcendental Meditation, the technique is to repeat a mantra several times in your head ("I'm fine", etc.) and requires less effort.

Where and how long?

A meditation session can last only 15 or 20 minutes, which is already enough to refocus and relax. You can also practice meditation at work, in a quiet space, or outdoors (in a park, on the beach, etc.).

Two simple exercises to get started

  • The Zen minute:this consists of concentrating, for one minute, on a fixed point, in a lying or sitting position. Focus on your breathing, and let the thoughts float through your mind.
  • Eye massage:massaging the eyes or temples. Massaging the eyes, a technique derived from sophrology, allows you to rest this part of the body that is often put to the test by working on screen. To do this, place your palms gently on your eyes after rubbing them together, and apply light pressure until your hands cool down. Here again, this allows you to fix your concentration and relax your body.

Our advice on meditation apps and podcasts

There are many books on meditation, containing detailed exercises and methods. Audio supports can also be very useful to guide you. These include the podcasts Hidden Powers or 21 Days to Meditate. You can also help yourself with a mobile application that accompanies you step by step, such as Petit Bambou. Several types of meditation sessions are offered, short (3 minutes) to manage a strong emotion, or longer, for free meditation. On Mind, you will find podcasts, live shows, as well as special sessions for children. Finally, Calm is made more to help find sleep through meditation.

In this time of a global pandemic, are you feeling particularly stressed, tired or anxious? Although meditation can help you regain balance and mental well-being, a psychological assistance special Covid-19 is at your disposal, to address subjects such as isolation or the illness of a loved one and to prevent psychological stress.