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Throughout a typical day, the mind is subjected to an overload of information. Many of us deal with work, home, children and the basic difficulties of life. Most of us continue our day and go on to the next. Others decide to rejuvenate and calm the mind through the use of meditation.

The exercise of meditation takes practice, but it can be utilized and enjoyed by all. There are several techniques used to meditate. We will discuss the basics so that you, too, will be able to reap the benefits of relaxation though meditation.

The main idea of meditation is to focus on one thought or object while blocking out all other thoughts and distractions. Some prefer to focus on a candle, flower, or a symbolic object, while others prefer to close their eyes. It may take some time before you find what enables you to focus the best.

The act of focusing should not feel like work. You should concentrate on relaxing and when other thoughts interrupt your focus, simply push them out of the mind and continue. Some find that chanting a phrase or counting their breaths increases their focus. Others practice visualization.

It is important to not become discouraged. There is no wrong way to meditate, just as there is really no correct way. However, there are some basics guidelines to keep in mind.

- Find a comfortable place to meditate and make it your special place. Ideally it should be free of distractions and others should know not to interrupt you. Take time in making it an area you like and are able to feel relaxed in.
- Practice everyday and try to practice at the same time of day. There is no “correct” time of the day to meditate. Find the time that is most convenient to you.
- Sitting with the spine straight is the recommended posture. Keeping perfect posture will take practice. If you find that you are getting sleepy, change your posture.
- In the beginning meditate for a short duration, such as 10-15 minutes. Later you will find that you are naturally increasing the time to 20-30 minutes.

Since there is no set way to meditate, you can customize the practice for what works best for you. You may find that adding soft music helps or that filling the room with your favorite smell increases your relaxation.

There is also no set way to tell if meditation is working. The proof should speak for itself. If you feel agitated and take 15 minutes to meditate and find that you are now calm and at ease, that should answer the question. The answer is in the emotions and the increased state of well being you will feel.