Meditation For Men:
Being a man or women comes with seemingly endless responsibilities. Everything from providing for our families, protecting loved ones, and pursuing greatness, can all be sources of stress and anxiety. As such, it becomes imperative to learn how to cope and deal with situations, more effectively. Men can experience, and will most likely experience, stresses at some point in there lives. With that being said, let’s explore one way in which to cope. Meditation for men!
Statistics have shown that men’s emotional well-being is more at risk with an increasing number of men being diagnosed with anxiety and depression in today’s work-life climate.
Therefore, men need to find effective ways to de-stress to live a better quality of life. Some research suggests that with consistent practice, mediation may be helpful in reducing physiological and psychological issues. For example, blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), anxiety, depression, and even insomnia.
Meditation for men specifically, may be one of the most effective ways to reduce stress, manage anxiety, and promote emotional health and well-being. For men looking to detach from the daily pressures of life, meditation may certainly be an option, even in our face-paced lives.
If constant stress has you worried and anxious, making meditation a part of your daily routine can help. Other potential benefits of regular mediation sessions include:
- Improved concentration
- Improved self-awareness
- Helping to fight addiction problems, like smoking cessation.
- Control pain: (post-surgical and chronic pain, lower back pain)
- Increase imagination and creativity
- Improving cognition
There is a growing body of research, looking at meditation and brain structure. Studies have revealed “practice-induced alterations of neurotransmitters, brain activity, and cognitive abilities”. Thus, leaving a potential connection between meditation and brain structure. This same literature review, discussed the potential link between meditation on age-related brain atrophy as well.
New to Meditation for Men? Here’s what to Expect:
Daily meditation is about connecting with the fullness of the present moment and seeking complete relaxation. Oftentimes, requiring only an erect posture, quiet environment, and focused attention on each breath. Above all, in an effort to discover the rich completeness of the present moment.
Your mind may wander during the process. This is not uncommon! Oftentimes, the best way to avoid such distractions is by acknowledging they exist, but not allowing them to dwell. Then, slowly focus your attention on pranayama (or breath), to help refocus.
For many, meditation seeks to help calm the body and mind. Furthermore, helping to identify the thoughts and emotions that are worthy of your attention and ones that are not. Additionally, these benefits can bring peace and balance in ones life. Thus, improving your emotional well-being, and aiding in achieving better self-awareness.
How to Meditate:
These are just some of the basics behind the practice of meditation. Fact is, meditation can be implemented and effective for both men and women. Oftentimes, the outcomes have to do with what the practitioner puts into his/her sessions.
Similarly, it’s about believing, or buying into the process and giving it your full self, physically, emotionally, and in some cases, spiritually.
I. Find a Quiet and Comfortable Place
Meditation for men is a mind-clearing practice. This starts with a peaceful environment. Oftentimes, a quiet and comfortable place will ensure you get the most out of your session.
A quiet space creates a peaceful atmosphere to focus on your thoughts and emotions without external distractions.
Some of the best places to peacefully meditate around your home include the garden, study room, a “water area”, the backyard, bedroom, and even in the car. Ensure there are no interruptions within your vicinity. Turn your phone on silent, turn off the TV, or other noisy appliances before you begin.
If you don’t like your environment to be completely silent, you can play calming music or quiet nature sounds.
II. Sit in a Comfortable Position
Just like your chosen environment, there is not a “one size fits all” when it comes to positioning. In fact, several positions can be effective in the practice of mediation for men.
Generally, sitting is perceived as the best position for beginners. A seated position is often perceived as a “comfort-type” position. Thus, helping to stay focused, relaxed, allowing your mind to concentrate on the individual session.
So, try sitting upright, ensuring your spine is straight, and your shoulders are down and relaxed.
If you’re meditating in a chair, keep your head and neck straight. Then, rest your hands loosely on your lap or knees. Do not cross your legs, as this could become uncomfortable and distracting. Attempt to avoid leaning against the back of the chair. You can use a pillow to support your lower back, (or meditation cushion) to help for comfort.
Many prefer a meditation position on the floor, cushion, folded blanket, or a yoga mat. Furthermore, sitting in a “cross-legged” type-pose. Think long-term. If you’re going to meditate for a significant amount of time, sitting cross-legged may bother your knees. This may heavily depend on your level of flexibility. Keep this in mind as you begin your session.
Again, comfort is key. As a matter of fact, you’ll want your body loose. Areas of heavy stress include your back, head, neck and shoulders. Uniquely, these are areas you may want to pay close attention to as you begin your practice. Think about your posture. Straight, aligned and relaxed. Oftentimes, the rest of your body will follow suit, easing-up with time spent in your session.
III. How Long Should I Meditate?
Typically, the duration of meditation for men depends on how much time you have, life circumstances, and personal preferences. Some, 5 minutes of meditation may be just enough. For others, a significant amount of time is preferred. Again, this depends on many factors within your everyday lives.
For beginners, 5-10 minutes is great. Then, as your practice evolves or takes shape, duration may increase.
Meditation, much like the effects from exercise, is very individualized. It’s common for beginners to give up early. Oftentimes, because they feel the practice isn’t working. This could be due to a lack of knowledge or various other factors as to how there sessions are being carried out.
It’s important to be patient. Depending on your stress levels, and how in-tune you are with your inner and outer self, this “process” may take some time. This is not a fade. This is not a quick-fix. As Headspace exclaims, “meditation is not about becoming a different person or even a better person. It’s about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective”. This process takes longer for some, then others.
IV. Close Your Eyes and Focus on Your Breath
Although meditating with your eyes open is possible, it’s not recommend for beginners. Above all, meditating with your eyes closed helps you to avoid visual distraction. Furthermore, helping to concentrate on your breath.
Follow each inhale and exhale, but don’t concern yourself with analyzing your breath. Instead, allow yourself to feel it, and center your awareness on the flow.
Acknowledge any distracting thoughts. Then, gently bring your mind back to the breath. When finished, open your eyes gently, taking notice how your body feels.
This is the simple process of, daily meditation for men. Practice consistency, as beforementioned, this is not a quick cure for any ailment, so don’t treat it as such. Some people may feel revived after just a few sessions, as for others, it may take many sessions and being committed long-term.
Let’s Talk Briefly About Attire
Again, attire will differ for each individual. Many meditators wear loose clothing. The goal is to free your body of any tension. For this reason, clothing that can help add to this feel, is probably more appropriate. Soft, loose-fit clothing, work well. For example, a simple t-shirt, wide-legged fit pants, and something consistent to the climate you’re in, works well!
If your climate tends to be on the hotter side, clothes that are more breathable, may be a better option for you.
The purpose of meditation for men is to rest both the body and mind. Significantly, is comfort on the outside as to aide in the comfort, internally. Therefore, wearing tight fit clothing can sometimes make you feel tense, or closed in.
It’s easy to say after one session, “meditation doesn’t work for me” or, “it’s just not my thing”. Having patience with any change, is often an immeasurable quality. Hence, like with other routines that you wish to see significant progress, don’t just go through the motions.
Explore the community. Try group sessions. Are there others you know that could join you in the process? Explore the use of music, instead of complete silence.
Please be sure to share your story and how you use meditation as a man to improve your life, so we can help our community!