Growing up, I was taught that all things considered mind-altering processes were from the devil and that I shouldn’t even think of researching or trying anything like that.
I’ve never really believed in meditation, hypnosis etc. until I tried guided meditation for the first time this week. I’m working very hard to lose weight and for me, my mind is my worst enemy. One evening while laying in bed before falling asleep, I realised that if I wanted to see long-term results, I have to take care of my mental health and mindset. It’s a crucial factor when it comes to weight loss, everything depends on your mindset. I then found myself wondering about meditation for weight loss.
I wasn’t sure if anything like this existed at all, so I grabbed my phone and searched it on You Tube. I came across this video and went with it. I put my phone next to me on the bedside table and just allowed the voice to guide me. I haven’t read up on this at all at this stage, I just gave it a try. I fell asleep while this video was playing, but I’m pretty sure my subconscious state of mind still absorbed everything the voice said.
I woke up the next morning, feeling energized, positive and well rested. I couldn’t remember when last I’ve woken up feeling as happy and healthy as I did that morning. I was so taken aback by the effect it had on me, that I had to start reading up about meditation. I’ve decided to share a few introductory facts on guided meditation in my quest for acquiring more knowledge on this subject.
What is guided meditation?
Wikipedia explained it best: Guided meditation is a process by which one or more participants meditate in response to the guidance provided by a trained practitioner or teacher. This is usually done to elicit a specific change in your life. You are first guided to relax your body and mind, to help you reach a deep, meditative state before going on a journey, in your mind, to reach a specific goal.
The brain does not distinguish between an imagined event and a real one, and therefore the experience you have with meditation is just like a real one. Studies show that practising something in your mind is almost as good as practising it in real life – due to the way our brains work.
Guided meditation can help you to bring about changes in your body by using your mind. Now if I read this a week ago, I would have thought the author was crazy. I’ve experienced this for myself, first-hand, and this is why I’m so interested in learning more about meditation, how it works, and the benefits thereof.
When you experience something in real life, your brain changes its neural pathways, and will pass on information to your subconscious mind to store for future use.
Our brainwaves are constantly active, even during sleep. There are 4 basic brainwave patterns:
- Beta – concentration, arousal, alertness and cognition, anxiety.
- Alpha – relaxation, focus, wakefulness, production of serotonin
- Theta – REM sleep
- Delta – deep and dreamless sleep, release of human growth hormone.
We spend most of our time in Alpha and Beta stages, due to our busy and stressful lives. Very little of our time is spent in Theta and only a fraction of our time in Delta – where most change is possible. Guided meditation helps us to enter the Theta and Delta stages with ease. It reaches in to our subconscious mind and trains our brain to think and feel differently – usually to bring about positive changes in both the emotional and physical aspect of our everyday lives. The end goal of meditation is to teach yourself to stop thinking completely, but guided meditation is much easier as it’s okay to find your mind wandering at times. It’s okay to be distracted by other noises and sensations, as guided meditations
Only when you’re in this deeply relaxed state of mind will your subconscious mind be open to positive suggestions, and your guide will use this time to take you on an inner journey that is designed to improve one or more aspects of your life. At the conclusion of your guided meditation, your guide will gradually bring you back to a state of normal awareness, leaving you refreshed, rejuvenated and relaxed.
Benefits of guided meditation
- Reduces stress
- Controls depression and anxiety
- Promotes emotional health
- Enhances self-awareness
- Lengthens attention span
- Generates kindness
- Improve focus and concentration
- Self-love and self-care
- Decluttering your mind
- Control blood pressure
- Improves the quality of life
- Improves visualization skills and right-brain thinking
- Deepens the connection to your subconscious mind
- Improves physical health by slowing down your heart rate
As exciting and refreshing as guided meditation can be, I do find it a little scary as well. I made use of guided meditation for the second time this afternoon when wanting to take a nap.
I usually feel miserable after an afternoon nap with a slight headache and nausea. I’ve read that this is due to waking up at the wrong time. Nevertheless, I searched
I closed my eyes and concentrated on my breathing. I focused on the guide’s voice and entered a deeply relaxed state after which I fell asleep. Before I fell asleep, she mentioned something about the fact that my guides, loved ones, angels and anyone in spirit will guide me, embrace me in their energy of light and will cradle me in the embrace of their abundant love. That there is nothing to fear and that I’m safe in their hands. Also that I may encounter messages and dreams of spirits and simply feelings of connection to them. I fell asleep soon after. I never dream of my parents who have both passed, and they appeared clearly during my time of sleep. I don’t know and can’t remember if I spoke to them or what exactly I dreamt, I just know they were there. All I can remember is seeing them in my dream and that it was a positive vibe. Nothing else. I was in a deep sleep for about 2 hours whereafter I woke up suddenly – not gradually as one would normally wake up. My eyes literally flung open and I was fully awake and conscious of my surroundings. I was rested, rejuvenated and refreshed. This was so weird for me because it was like I haven’t slept at all, yet I felt extremely rested and energized.
I thought about this experience for a bit and realised how freaky this is. The mind is a wonderful, but extremely powerful and scary thing. Although I can clearly feel the benefits of guided meditation, I must admit I’m a little freaked out about the fact that the subconscious parts of my brain can be manipulated in such an extreme way without me having any control over it (when I’m asleep).
I actually went back to the video tonight to listen to it while I’m awake, to hear what the guide actually says to my subconscious mind while I’m asleep. This only comes later in the video when you’re in a deep sleep and unconscious of your surroundings. Only the subconscious is present – and she speaks to that – asking you to relax, open yourself up to your passed loved ones and spirits and listening to their voices of guidance. It is followed by a long period of soothing music, allowing you to go on the journey. In the end, she gives you a choice to either stay in this experience,
It’s freaky as fuck.
But, I’m not ready to let it go just yet. The effects it has had on me and the benefits I’ve experienced far outweighs the freaky parts.
At the end of the day, I guess it depends on what you open your mind to, and what you don’t. How much control you have over that when you’re sleeping, I don’t know. I still have a lot of research to do on this before I can have an objective, unbiased opinion on this topic.
If you meditate, or have had any experience with meditation, please let me know in the comments. I would love to get in touch with you and learn from your experiences – both positive and negative!