When things don’t go our way, we turn to different media to help us solve our problems, or rather to help us change our reaction to said problems, making it easier to find a way to cope with our situation. But changing one’s mindset isn’t easy, especially when we are facing major decisions, problems and dilemmas.
Meditation is a simple way of helping you get back on track, but it’s not an easy transition. Some people find it natural straight away, while others need time to adjust. Mostly the reason behind it is that we think of meditation as something unorthodox, unnatural, even though it’s one of the oldest practices that exist.
Meditating for happiness is a natural way for us to connect with who we truly are, by going through a set of practices to take a minute and reflect on our lives. Meditation has a positive effect on our body, soul, mind and spirit. It’s beneficial to our physical and mental health, reduces stress levels and increases our immunity and coping systems. By improving ourselves, we are also improving our chances at happiness, as the feeling of happiness comes from within.
For us to understand how meditating for happiness can truly help us though, we need to look at all the aspects of meditation itself, the steps we take when we get ready to meditate, and its positive effects. And then, even if we don’t yet fully believe in its positive results, if we examine the steps themselves, we should be able to see what each step means to our wellbeing. We live in a world that’s always on the run, so, stopping for a few moments is always a good thing. Remember, just take one step at a time.
Positive effects of meditation
Meditation is one of those things that you won’t believe in until you give it a go. There is no magic pill that will make you feel better, and we are not saying it won’t be hard work. But with constant practice and a little faith, meditation can improve all aspects of your life.
The following list isn’t extensive, and the more you meditate, the more these positive effects will show up in your life. Think about it as a chain effect. One positive thing will lead to another, and so on. Right now, you are stuck in a catch-22 situation. You are always tired and drained, physically, mentally and emotionally. You might not even know what’s wrong with you.
And we will get to that. There are different meditation techniques that can help you target specific issues. But first, you need a promise that it’s going to work. As we said, this list is but a guideline, but it’s backed up by millions of people who are already enjoying these benefits. Still, if this isn’t enough, try searching for meditation forums where you can connect with people who were once where you are now.
Everyone has (or had) doubts, and that’s okay. Even if you feel like you don’t believe in meditation or you don’t feel like it’s for you, what do you have to lose by trying? It’s free and pain-free, so really, the only thing you are investing in it is your time and energy. And of course, you don’t have much of either, which is understandable.
But what if the thing you don’t want to try could give you both?
– More energy
Meditating can increase your energy levels. During meditation, you relax your body and your mind, helping you cope with life’s stresses in a better way. And because you spend your time in complete relaxation, you will feel rejuvenated and refreshed.
It is said that ten minutes of meditating has similar effects on your energy levels as half an hour of sleep does. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you should avoid sleeping at all.
But adding ten minutes of meditation to your daily routine can mean a bit of extra umph. Next time, instead of taking a cat nap, why not try meditating? The results might surprise you.
– Positive thoughts
While meditating, you look deep within yourself and might find solutions to your problems. You see, sometimes our subconscious mind acts on its own, finding out connections without us realizing it.
How many times have you stressed about something that might not even happen, and you didn’t even know why you were so obsessed with the idea? It could be that there was a trigger somewhere, and your mind took it to the next level.
Now, with meditation, you can get to the bottom of these, and by consciously changing these worries into positive thoughts, the balance will slowly shift. It’s all about finding the core issue and working through it.
Meditation in itself makes you generally more relaxed, even when you aren’t meditating. If you think about it, our negative thoughts are more pronounced when we are tired, stressed and agitated. If one thing doesn’t work, it has a knock-on effect on other things, too.
But the good news is that the same goes for positive things. Positive thoughts have a higher vibrational frequency than negative ones. When you are afraid of something, you feel it in your stomach. It feels ugly, overwhelming and stressful. But when you are happy about something, it’s an uplifting feeling. It’s light, positive and it puts a smile on your face. Meditation can help you shift your thoughts from the lower end of the scale to a higher vibrational level.
– Less sleep needed
This is a no-brainer, really, but because of your increased energy levels, you will need less sleep. Of course, as we stressed earlier, you will still need sleep to survive, but the quality and quantity will change.
When you are feeling down or you are depressed and unhappy, there is no amount of sleep that can make you feel better, right? There are days when you sleep for ten-twelve hours, and you still wake up exhausted and looking at your bed as your best friend.
With meditation, this can be changed. Because you will generally be in a more relaxed state, working through all your worries, you will have less to stress about when you go to bed at the end of the day.
Slowly, as the positive effects begin to show up in your life, you will see that sleeping will become a refreshing activity once again, instead of a way of escaping reality.
– Less stress, more endurance
Meditation can help decrease your stress levels. If you think about it, we are always rushing around, worrying about our next step. Taking even ten minutes out every day to reflect on our life can help with that massively.
Even if it means that you sat down with a cup of tea and listened to your favorite music with your eyes closed, sometimes that can be enough to make you feel less stressed, more relaxed and happier. And, depending on your problems, there are different types of meditations that can guide you through the process.
Time is a key factor in our lives, but if we don’t take those ten minutes out, we end up wasting much more time feeling down and incapable to do things. The endless list of to-dos will become overwhelming and impossible to go through.
Those ten minutes you spend meditating, however, will not only increase your energy levels, and decrease your stress levels, it will also ensure that you can deal with the remaining stresses in your life more easily. Meditating will help you endure more and be affected by it less and less.
By meditating, you are not only developing and improving your mental and physical health but your emotional responses, too.
– Improved Immune system
Many people know the saying: a healthy mind equals a healthy body. And it’s true. Meditation helps you get rid of the toxins in your system, but that doesn’t only mean that you release stress, anxiety and fear.
Stress, lack of sleep and bad habits can cause us to have many illnesses. And although this isn’t to say that meditation is a magical cure to everything, it can certainly reduce your chances of getting ill.
Healthy thoughts promote overall wellbeing, and that extends to our physical bodies, too. The more you meditate, the more in tune you will be with your body and its needs. And as such, you will start to exercise more and look after yourself in general, which in turn will help boost your immune system.
– Improved breathing
Most meditation practices are based around controlled breathing. Even anxiety can be reduced by grounding yourself through breathing. If you think about it, breathing is a natural process we all know how to do by default, but we often don’t realise when we are doing it the wrong way.
Meditation teaches you how to be aware of the times when your anxiety kicks in, and it teaches you how to calm your nerves. Improved breathing leads to improved circulation, blood and oxygen flow, therefore you will perform and think better.
– Improved Posture
Meditation can help you with your posture. Partly because of the way the practices teach you how to keep your back straight, and also partly because meditation helps you increase your self-confidence.
Our posture highly depends on our mood. When you are feeling down or upset, you slouch your back, but when you are happy, you sit (or stand) up straight, radiating positivity to the whole world.
– Improved eating habits
Because your thoughts become more positive and you feel more positive about the whole world and yourself in it, meditation will help you make improved life choices. You will find that you will crave less junk food and more fruits and vegetables.
As the inner cleansing process begins, so does a change in your habits begin, too. And that’s a good thing. The most important advice here is not to panic. Even if you had your habits for years, trust that whatever needs to change due to your meditative practices is a natural part of your transformation.
– Improved personal connections & relationships
While meditating, your focus will shift and you will be more aware of your surroundings, and that includes the people that are close to you. You will want to know more about them, and your relationships will take central stage.
When you are stressed, you are stuck in a vicious circle of isolation. Stress forces you to sort your issues out on your own, making you feel like you can’t even do that. But because meditation slowly rids you of these binding thoughts, your mind can be free to focus on important stuff.
You see, when you are stressed, the future becomes a scary place. But when you work through that stress, you soon realise that you will want your friends and family to be a part of your life when the negativity is all over.
– Improved relationship with yourself
Even if you blamed yourself for the way you were in the past, meditation teaches you how to let go of the pent-up anger, frustration, guilt and sadness. You slowly forgive all those who wronged you, and, eventually, you also forgive yourself.
And this is crucial for you to find happiness, through meditation or in any other way. Happiness starts from within, and for you to find it, you first need to get rid of everything that’s blocking it – even if that means it’s your own beliefs you need to ditch.
How to meditate for happiness – a step by step guide
There are different types of meditations that help you with certain aspects of your life, but they are based on a few simple principles. If you go through these steps every time and make them part of your routine, they will help save you time and energy, and get you into the right mindset.
Remember, there is no right way to meditate and this is but a general guide. You need to find what works for you best. If you need to add a few steps or take a few away, feel free to do so. Keep experimenting until you can fully relax. And don’t be upset if it takes time.
Some people can meditate at the first try, but for others, it takes weeks or even months before they can fully clear their minds. Give yourself some time and some credit, and remember why you are doing this.
– Preparing the scene
Before you start to meditate, you need to make sure that the room is quiet, peaceful and relaxing. If you have a favourite spot, prepare it for meditation.
Some meditation practices advise using the five elements – fire, water, air, earth, metal – by lighting a candle, opening a window, placing a glass of water by your seat, etc. Accessories like crystals, water fountains, music and incense can also help set the mood.
– Do not disturb
Try to make sure that you won’t be disturbed for the duration of your meditative practice. This means eliminating noise, light and stress. This task can sound impossible, and if it is at home, then try to find a place outside where you can relax.
Maybe a corner in the local library is your place to go for meditation or a nearby park. Of course, there are occasions when complete relaxation is impossible, but don’t let that discourage you. Keep trying until you can make it work. Soon enough you will eliminate all the outside noises and disturbances anyway, so try not to stress too much.
If you absolutely can’t manage to relax because of the disturbances around you, then use guided meditations to your advantage. Plug your earphones in, close your eyes and ignore what’s happening around you. Take ten minutes to yourself, and you won’t regret it.
– Set your goals
Generic meditation is useful, but not nearly as effective as when you set your goals for the meditation beforehand. It can be as specific as meditating to pass an exam, to as generic as meditating for happiness.
Either way, having something to focus on makes it easier to manifest. Many meditation techniques are based on visualization, so when you meditate while focusing on your goals, they have a much higher chance of happening.
– Make yourself comfortable (clothes, position)
Sitting up straight is one of the most practices when it comes to meditation. Laying down works, too, but in that case, you might dose off at the beginning. If you are going through a guided meditation, this isn’t an issue, as your subconscious mind is still taking in all the information, processing it without any effort from your side.
Wearing comfortable clothes is also important. You don’t want to wear a suit, realizing that you can’t stretch your arms. You have enough worries already, don’t add this to the list. Wear whatever you are comfortable in (even if that means underwear or a tracksuit).
– Try to be open and non-judgmental
When it comes to meditation, it’s important that you don’t start the practice full of preconceptions. If you believe it won’t work, it’s very likely that it won’t, because your focus will be on the negatives.
But if you keep an open mind and an open heart, all the possibilities open up for you, too. Don’t judge yourself for doing this, rather make it a natural part of your life. It’s one of the best therapies without it costing you an arm and leg.
The universe is trying to help you destress. If you think about it, stress is a natural part of our life, too, but not to the extent we are using it in the modern-day and age. Back when we were hunted by lions, we needed stress to survive. It kicked in our survival instincts.
But now, we stress about everything and anything. If there is the slightest chance that meditation can change that for you, you owe it to yourself to try it. And there, you have already managed to shift your focus. Well done!
– Forget about time
This is one of the hardest steps yet. While we meditate, we need to let go of our concept of time. If we keep worrying about our next meeting or that we still need to prepare dinner, that defeats the object.
If you absolutely must, set an alarm for the time you want to finish meditating, but give yourself a few extra minutes, considering the time it will take you to set your space up and get ready to meditate.
And then let the alarm worry about the passing time. Your biggest and sole focus should be your goal you are meditating towards.
Different types of meditation to help you find happiness
Now that you know why meditation is good for you, and you have learnt about a few tricks to help you ease into meditation, let’s look at a few different types of meditation practices that you can do at home, with or without guidance.
There are plenty of free apps and tutorials on the internet. Just search for the specific meditation and you will find music, guided meditations and breathing techniques for each. Try to relax, experiment and have fun with it.
Remember, meditation isn’t a dull exercise, but a practice to help you connect with yourself again while finding solutions to your problems and reconnecting with your passions. Bring a little bit of yourself into the meditation and you will have better and faster results.
Do it by the ‘books’ if you like, but remember, these are just guidelines. Find what works for you. A combination of these types of meditation can increase your chances to find happiness. You might want to try all of them or a mixture of a few, but the most important thing is to pick at least one and stick with it. Consistency and patients are both keys when you meditate for happiness. And if you let it, sooner or later it will change your life for the better.
This list isn’t extensive, and, just like the other ones, certain items can be replaced by others. The world of meditation is vast and exciting, and if you are ready to dive in, these pointers should help to get you started.
– Chakra Balancing Through Meditation
When you are stressed out, your chakras will become imbalanced. Without going into much detail, your chakras are responsible for your overall wellbeing. Think about them as bullet points that summarize how you feel.
There is a chakra for every aspect of your life, and when they are balanced, you are happy. On the other hand, when one or more of them are out of balance, you will feel out of balance, too.
Chakra balancing through meditation is relatively simple. All you need is relevant music, really. The music is at a certain frequency, that goes through each chakra, filling them up with energy.
This practice is best when you have plenty of time. Even if you dose off, it doesn’t matter. You can even do it while taking a relaxing bath, thus getting the best of both.
Mindfulness meditation helps shift your focus from negative events in the past to focusing on your present circumstances. And even if they are negative, it helps you concentrate on the fact that this is happening, rather than its negative effects.
For example, if you miss the bus, instead of being annoyed, mindfulness teaches you how to let it go and accept it for what it is. Often times, mindfulness meditation is based on the idea that everything happens for a reason, and even if we aren’t aware of that reason, we need to believe that everything will work out for the best.
When meditating for mindfulness, you focus on the here and now, becoming aware of the small pleasures in life. It might be a butterfly, or a pleasant smell. Small things matter, and they make up the big events.
The good news is that mindfulness meditation can be practiced everywhere. While you stand in line, or if you are preparing for a big meeting, you can practice being in the present moment, and if you do so, you will reduce your stress levels immensely.
– Loving Kindness Meditation
Loving-kindness meditation is a really good way to help you with anger issues, resentment and pent-up self-doubt. Loving-kindness meditation works by helping you release all negative emotions and replace them with love.
The key is to love everything and anything, shifting your energy to a higher vibrational frequency. Anger feels dark, while love feels light, and by slowly shifting your focus from the former to the latter, you help yourself heal.
But of course, loving-kindness meditation is also about learning to forgive and love yourself. It isn’t just about others that harmed you. It’s about finding the sources of your stress and anger and turning it all around by learning how to accept and give out love.
This sounds like one of the easiest meditation practices, but it’s far from it. Shifting one’s energy from negative to positive takes time, effort and commitment. It is possible though, and once you achieve it, the results are incredible.
Loving-kindness meditation relies greatly on the law of attraction, which claims that like attracts like. So, if you send love out to the universe, you will get love back tenfold.
– Breath Awareness Meditation
Breath awareness meditation works by teaching you how to focus on your breathing, and your breathing alone. While most other practices are about clearing your mind and focusing on a certain goal, breath awareness meditation takes the stress of you by setting that goal: breathing.
Studies showed that by focusing on your breathing, you naturally calm yourself down. Sometimes we worry about too many things, but this type of meditation says ‘don’t worry, all you need to focus on is your breathing – simple, right?’.
And it truly is that simple. However, being able to let go of everything else will take time and patience. Wayward thoughts will pop up involuntarily at first, but that’s okay. Give yourself time and don’t give up. Even if results take longer, they will come eventually.
Remember: meditation isn’t a sprint, but a marathon. And, as such, the results won’t be temporary, either, but they will be here to stay. If you manage to keep that in mind, you will be fine. Breath awareness meditation is usually a guided meditation. Many free apps and videos can be found online. Try to choose a guide whose voice has a calming effect on you. You will listen more easily to someone who you can connect to as well.
– Healing Through Sounds
Meditating by listening to healing sounds is one of the easiest ways to take your mind off everyday stress and help you relax. This can be anything from soothing rain and thunder to classical music or gong.
This type of meditation focuses on visualization. For example, if you are listening to dolphins, whether you do it consciously or not, you will find that you begin to see dolphins in your sleep, or even while meditating.
By imagining that you are somewhere peaceful, instead of being in your stressful life, you are actually decreasing those stress levels. How many times do we say we want to escape our lives for a while? Well, meditation, especially meditation through healing sounds helps you achieve exactly that for a little while.
However, we must state that everything has to be done in moderation. Meditation shouldn’t be a way to escape your reality, but a way to find out what’s wrong with that reality and fix it by constant practice.