Why Do You Need To Learn How To Enter A Meditation State?
The modern world is built in such a way that people are constantly under stress. Numerous stress can trigger the surroundings of each person every day. Whether it is problems at work, noisy neighbors, rude waiters, or mean people online, all these factors stimulate the production of the stress hormone cortisol and may lead to problems such as anxiety and depression, headaches, heart disease, trouble sleeping, weight gain, and others. As you can see, too much stress does no good for your body and health, which is why you need to fight it.
Some of the most effective ways of stress management include exercise, a healthy diet, proper sleep, and, of course, meditation (1). There are various types of meditation that have been proven to help people clear their minds of all problems, including relaxation and calming down. However, the problem is that, oftentimes, people find it difficult to enter the meditation state. In this article, you will find out how to facilitate a deep meditation state and what state is your mind in during meditation.
What State Is Your Mind In During Meditation?
If you have tried meditation and succeeded in reaching a deep meditation state, you know that your meditation state of consciousness is different from what it is during a regular meditation. You may not have known that, but there are different types of a meditation state of mind. You don’t need to reach the highest state or Buddhist state of meditation to be able to differentiate between which meditation state is your mind in at the moment of your meditative session. Here are the main mind states that you may experience:
The state of present moment awareness
Clearly from its name, this meditation state of mind involves focusing on the present, on your feelings and sensations, and your surroundings. In this meditation state of mind, you clearly realize where you are, what you are doing, what noises you hear, and what thoughts come to your mind. You carefully observe how time passes and what is happening around you and inside your head. This state of mind can be reached by beginners and is relatively easier to enter.
The state of transcendence
Compared to the state of present moment awareness, the state of transcendence is a bit more difficult to reach. People usually enter this state during a mantra-based meditation that makes them go beyond time, space, and consciousness. It silences your feelings and senses, also helps you understand and let go of your “self” and reach a sense of unity with everything. In this meditation state of mind, you allow your body to rest and relax completely.
The state of focused intention
This meditation state is different from the previous two since it neither involves the awareness of your feelings and senses nor does it separate you from your body and your present. The main focus of this meditation state is the future and your intentions. It manifests itself in so-called daydreaming – visualization of your goals and wishes, happening in the future.
What Happens In Your Brain When You Are In A Meditation State?
Now that you know more about the main meditation states of mind, you are probably curious to find out how meditation creates an altered state of consciousness (2). To be able to understand that, you need to know what processes happen in your brain when you meditate. Luckily, scientists have already looked into that with the help of such modern technology as functional magnetic resonance imaging or functional MRI (fMRI) scans. They found out that during meditation, there is a decrease in beta waves, which means that when meditating, the human brain processes information less actively than usual. Now, let’s take a look at the activity of certain parts of your brain during meditation:
The thalamus is a part of your brain that is responsible for processing and relay of sensory information. Basically, its main task is to manage sensory data by receiving it and redirect it deeper into the brain. During meditation, the flow of the incoming information reduces, in such a way slightly silencing your senses.
The frontal lobe is the most highly evolved part of your brain. Its main tasks include planning, reasoning, emotions, and self-conscious awareness. When you meditate, you clear your mind off all thoughts, “turning off” your frontal cortex.
This part of the brain is responsible for immediate reactions since it receives incoming signals and puts your brain on alert. During meditation, such signals are slower.
The parietal lobe’s main responsibility is to process sensory information about your surroundings and orient you in time and space. As you may have figured out by now, when you meditate, the activity in this part of the brain slows down.
Something tells us you often forget to put all the everyday hustle and bustle on hold and simply concentrate on yourself. It’s time to straighten out your priorities! Take a moment to heal, process your emotions, ground yourself, release all the pent-up tension and recharge with the BetterMe: Meditation & Sleep app before getting back into the race of life!
How To Reach A Deep Meditation State?
Now that you know what happens in your brain during meditation and what state your mind is in during meditation, you may want to learn how to reach a deep meditation state. Luckily, there are some recommendations and tips that can help you do that. Without further ado, here is how to reach a deep meditation state:
Focus on your breathing
Your breathing plays a crucial role in relaxation and meditation. If your goal is to enter a deep meditation state, then you need to master the meditation breathing technique. Breathe deeply using your diaphragm. Make sure that your breathing is even-paced and slow. Relax your upper body, allowing for more efficient breathing.
Minimize the distraction sources
If you are new to meditation, there may be a lot of things that can interfere with you entering a meditation state. With time, you will be able to ignore all the distractions and successfully enter the meditation state anywhere you want, but at first, it may be quite a problem. That is why try to choose a quiet place where there will be as few sources of sound as possible.
Get into a comfortable position
There are no strict requirements on what your meditation position should be. You can practice standing, walking, sitting, and lying meditation; the most important thing here is to make sure that you are comfortable. You are also encouraged to maintain a good posture during your meditation session.
Focus your attention
Just like maintaining a rhythmic breath, focusing your attention is vital for successful meditation. You can focus on a specific object, image, or mantra, which you can create yourself. You can also use a technique of body scanning, focusing your attention on different parts of your body and your sensations.
Besides stress management, meditation can offer you a lot of other benefits, including relaxation, reduction of anxiety and depression, and even physical health improvement (3). The ability to enter a deep meditation state is often difficult to achieve but, nonetheless, extremely rewarding. If you want to be able to do that, follow the above-presented recommendations.
Check out our guided meditation videos to reconnect with the stillness inside you.
This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!
- Meditation: In Depth (n.d., nccih.nih.gov)
- Meditation: Process and effects (2015, pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov)
- Reason For Health Benefits of Deep Meditation Why this Should be the Case (2016, researchgate.net)