What is meditation? Is meditation good for you? What is mindful meditation? All very good questions.
To get these answers, we've done some research into the many meditation benefits. We also caught up with Matt Pearson. We got chatting, and here, Matt shares some of his personal experiences with anxiety and how, despite being someone who previously scoffed at the idea of meditation, Matt found it to be the key to a more positive and healthier outlook on life.
What is meditation?
Meditation is all about training yourself to be more aware of yourself, your surroundings and your feelings. The aim is to gain a healthy sense of self, through mindful techniques.
The approach aims to transform your mind. Whilst there are many things that we can't control in life, meditation allows us to take control of how we approach these subjects, to encourage healthy coping mechanisms.
By engaging in regular meditation, you can learn your personal thought patterns that lead to fears, anxieties and low mood. Meditation techniques such as mindful meditation allow us to develop coping techniques so that our state of mind remains peaceful through the trials and tribulations of day-to-day life.
Is meditation good for you?
Absolutely. Meditation is a great way to bring an overwhelming sense of calmness, relaxation and balance into your life.
Taking time out everyday to engage in mindful meditation can benefit you tremendously, not just when it comes to your mental health, but your overall and physical well-being, too.
Stress is one of the biggest culprits of further health conditions and ailments, so maintaining a calm sense of self through regular mindful meditation is the key.
Our favourite meditation benefits
- Encourages an increased sense of self
- Encourages you to be in the 'now'
- Ups your patience levels
- Helps manage your stress
- Opens up a new perspective on many situations
- Aids in pain management and recovery
- Uplifts a person's memory capacity
How long should you meditate for?
The answer to this question depends entirely on the meditation technique you're engaging in. As we're massive fans of mindful meditation, we recommend this technique.
Mindfulness focuses on what you are thinking and feeling. Mindfulness involves breathing techniques such as the 4-7-8 method, as well as engaging in guided imagery strategies.
Depending on your schedule, we like to engage in meditation for around 45 minutes a day. You can do this in one sitting, or split it up into morning and evening: 20 minutes for each.
Matt Pearson's experience with mindfulness
Earlier this year, Matt found himself going from being a confident and driven person, to someone who didn’t want to leave the house.
"It was a strange experience and my problem essentially came down to overthinking and anxiety. My experiences opened me up to the world of mental health and how millions suffer in silence."
"Being mentally strong is one of the most important things in life and my experience led to a huge shift in the way I think I want to teach health and inspire others."
Similar to sport, meditation puts the individual into a "mode" that gets them thinking about their present situation meaning unnecessary thoughts are put on hold. The aim is to get you in touch with your senses and to focus your mind. Meditation allowed me to look at stressful situations in a whole new light.
"If I feel like life is getting too much, I meditate and come back ten minutes later feeling ready to take on the challenges ahead."
Keeping an open mind
While being positive is important, remember it's ok to not be ok sometimes. If you need to talk about something, talk to your partner, your parents or your best friends.
Being able to express your emotions is important and far more healthy than having the emotional range of a teaspoon. I’m not saying you have to meditate, I’m simply saying that mental health is an issue that needs addressing and it can be reduced with methods such as meditation.
Getting started with meditation
Headspace is an app that teaches you how to meditate. Once you learn the fundamentals, you can target different areas of your mental health from anxiety and depression to your performance on the sports pitch.
If you suffer from anxiety, Anxiety UK has a membership package that will allow you a year’s free membership to Headspace. I wish you all the best and hope this article sharing my experiences has been useful.
To find out more about Matt, check out the Be section of our blog. You can also find him on Instagram (@pearsonfit_), Youtube (Pearson Fit) and Twitter (@pearsonfit).