Meditating for a meaningful life Meditating for a meaningful life

Several studies have shown that meditation can bring psychological and physical benefits to those who are disciplined about it and practice it regularly.

The technique known as “mindfulness,” is a way of meditating that allows people to improve their quality of life through a process of accepting one’s reality.

The University of Navarra and the University of Cambridge are two of the many institutes that have conducted studies to test the effectiveness of this technique on university students. Both institutes found significant differences in the mindfulness test group: lower levels of emotional fatigue, greater dedication to their studies and improved mental health, especially during exam periods when stress levels are higher.

Effective for dealing with daily stress and reducing negative emotions, this practice consists of entering a state of meditation for about 30 minutes each day, focusing on accepting the present and leaving behind thoughts of the past. In addition, its long-term positive effects have been found to include lowered anxiety and depression levels, increased positive affectivity, a greater sense of well-being, greater concentration and even an increase in short-term memory.

In regard to physical health, mindfulness techniques have found to be beneficial for those who suffer from high blood pressure, heart disease, chronic pain, headaches and respiratory problems.

This practice is not connected to any specific religious or philosophical belief, it has no negative side effects, and while it is easier to do with the help of a guide, it can be done on your own.

How to prepare yourself for your first meditation:

  •    Choose a relatively quiet place that has a comfortable temperature.
  •    Turn off cell phones and electronic devices that create distraction.
  •    Wear comfortable clothing that is not tight.
  •    Sit on the floor or on a comfortable cushion.
  •    Focus on your breathing.
  •    Visualize a place that induces wellbeing.
  •    If different thoughts arise in your mind, do not get frustrated. Stop the thoughts and refocus on your breathing. Mindfulness is a technique that requires practice to master it.

Related article: Meditation: An aid for the elderly to fall sleep (article in Spanish)