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Looking for a calmer mind? Then meditation is a great way to relax mentally and physically. Meditation is ideally suited for people struggling with stress or constantly racing (negative) thoughts. Do you recognise yourself in this? Then this article is for you! Read here what you can do to get more out of your meditation.

Meditation: what is it exactly?

In short, meditation is a training of your mind and attention. The word meditation is derived from the Latin meditatum, which literally means 'dwelling on' or 'contemplating'. The practice has been around for thousands of years. It is thought that conscious meditation was already done by our distant ancestors (think: hunters and gatherers). So even the rough primordial humans were already practising spirituality. Today, there are an awful lot of forms of meditation, from short sleep-inducing sessions to ten-day silent retreats led by monks. The aim of these forms is the same: to promote your awareness, dwell on your thoughts and live the 'here and now'. To ultimately experience more control over your energy, tension and focus.

The proven benefits of meditating


So meditation is certainly not new. Research on meditation relatively speaking is. Still, many good studies have been done on the subject, thanks in part to the rise of mindfulness and the increase in stimuli in our environment.

One of the main motivations for people to start meditating is high stress levels. Several studies show that meditation can indeed help reduce stress, as well as help with depression, anxiety and even pain symptoms. Meditation also seems to increase subjects' quality of life. Furthermore, meditation can help with sleep problems. Do you suffer from these? Check out meditation videos on YouTube for better sleep. Yoga Nidra, for instance, is a good form of meditation that allows you to experience more relaxation in a short time and fall asleep faster. One last benefit of meditating won't surprise you: it can help improve concentration. Useful in everything you do, from studies and work to housework or keeping up with a discussion in the pub. A sharp mind has many benefits!

Still, researchers are not quite sure how strong the effect of meditation is and which target groups benefit most from it. What does hold true for meditation is: if it doesn't help, it doesn't hurt. And that cannot always be said of many other practices or pills.

You can learn to meditate: here's how to do it even better

Whether you are just starting to meditate or have been meditating for a while, there are several tricks we want to share with you to get more out of it. These tips will help you get more out of it:

1. Consistency is key

Just like getting better at a sport, language or hobby, meditation requires regular time and attention. Make time for it at fixed moments. Preferably every day. Even if it is only for fifteen minutes. In this way, you adjust your brain to the fact that at that moment it is time to focus on your consciousness and bring your attention inside.

2. Start small

As a beginner, do not immediately sign up for an intensive Vipassana retreat where you meditate for ten days from dawn to dusk. Start small, with short sessions. This will prevent you from getting frustrated and start to dislike meditating. Even if you start with 5 minutes a day. Find the boundary of your comfort zone. Feeling uncomfortable or frustrated every now and then is part of it, but it shouldn't become a constant torment.

3. Location is everything

Provide a (permanent) quiet environment to do your meditation exercises. In the beginning, this will probably be a spot in your home, but later you can certainly go out into nature. Make sure you cannot be disturbed by environmental noise, housemates or equipment.

meditation location

4. Use a Mindfold

A Mindfold is specifically designed to comfortably shut you off from external stimuli when meditating or even tripping. This blindfold 2.0 is great for those who are very easily distracted by sounds or have difficulty keeping their eyes closed themselves.

5. Microdosing

Microdosing can be a great way to really get more out of your meditation, as it also stimulates your awareness. Microdosing with truffles or magic mushrooms can improve your focus, and so can your meditation practice. Read all about microdosing with truffles here.

6. More peace and relaxation in your daily life

If your life is hectic, 15 minutes of meditation will usually not make you feel zen all of a sudden. So take a critical look at the ways you can make adjustments for less stress and more relaxation. In this article, we give you some handy advice: Just totally unwind: the best tips.

7. Get guidance

Having trouble quieting your thoughts on your own? A simple YouTube video can help you enormously. Online you will find all kinds of videos to guide you in this. Taking a meditation or mindfulness course can also be a good idea, especially if you need an extra push.

8. Breathing

An important aspect of relaxation and meditation is your breathing. Therefore, focus on deep, full and controlled breathing. When necessary, start each meditation session by paying attention to your breathing only. You will find that after this, meditating goes a lot easier.