Meditation is a great way to reconnect with yourself and calm your body and mind. As a result, meditation comes with several benefits that are helpful to your emotional and physical well-being.
Unfortunately, many people believe that meditation takes up too much time and that they’re too busy to meditate. This is a myth.
Anyone, even the busiest people, can and should incorporate meditation into their daily routines to experience the full benefits of meditation.
In this blog post, you’ll learn:
- What is meditation?
- The history of meditation.
- Meditation categories.
- The story of how meditation helped me fight my anger demons and win.
- A technique for using meditation for anger management.
What is meditation?
Meditation is loosely defined as a practice used to both train attention and awareness and achieve mental clarity and emotional stability. The practice includes several techniques, such as breathing or moving, to achieve heightened attention and emotional stability.
Beyond this loose definition, many scholars have struggled to define the phenomenon more precisely. This is because meditation comes in several forms and is incorporated differently into religious and non-religious settings.
Let’s look at what meditation is more closely.
Meditation throughout history.
Meditation has been practiced since 1500 BCE. The earliest records of meditation are seen in the Hindu traditions of Vendantism, which is a form of Hinduism that still utilizes meditation today. Taoists developed other forms of early meditation in China and Buddhists in India.
Early Jews and Christians also tried meditative practices. Philo of Alexandria and Plotinus are two Jewish and Christian thinkers who specifically wrote about meditation around 20 BCE. Still, their views were not fully accepted into their respective religions until the Middle Ages.
During the Middle Ages, meditation became more integrated with Western religions, such as Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Lectio Divina, Kabbalistic practices, and Sufism are just three examples of meditation becoming more intertwined with Western religious faith during the Middle Ages.
At the same time, meditative practices were brought to Japan, where they further developed and were integrated into other forms of Buddhism.
It was not until the 19th century that meditation began to transform from a religious ritual to a non-spiritual and health-centered practice. This transition occurred whenever Asian meditation techniques spread to the West. Once they spread, Western meditators found alternative applications for meditation, causing the already difficult-to-define practice to be even more difficult to define.
Today, meditation is practiced in both spiritual and non-spiritual settings. People of Indian, East Asian, and Abrahamic faiths, for example, often practice spiritual meditation, while businesspeople and Yoga-class attendees often practice non-spiritual meditation.
In both scenarios, though, meditation is treated as a practice used to sharpen the brain’s ability to focus and add clarity and stability to the mind and emotions.
Since the 19th century, meditation has been divided into two broad categories: focused (or concentrative) meditation and open monitoring (or mindfulness) meditation. Each category has its own benefits and applications.
Focused meditation is when you concentrate on a single thing. Paying attention to the breath, a feeling, a koan, or an affirmation are all concentrative meditation techniques. The benefit of this category is that it sharpens your mind and builds your ability to focus on a single thing.
Open monitoring meditation is when you are mindful of your state and surroundings. The benefit of this category is that you are brought to the present as your senses are sharpened and made aware of the conditions around you.
Some meditative practices use both concentrative meditation and open-monitoring meditation, though. Such practices include vipassana and Samatha in their meditations.
It is important to emphasize that focused meditation and open monitoring are just categories of meditation. Within both categories, there are countless meditation styles and techniques.
What’s your goal with meditation?
My meditation for anger management story.
When I first started meditating, I did it because I read about it in a program about the law of attraction and manifesting. I thought to myself, “Why not?”
At the time, I thought it was a great way to change things in my life, and I was right- just not how I thought it would.
It took a couple of years to really feel like I could say I was “meditating,” but I didn’t have support- no one I could ask about meditation for a while.
Did I learn to manifest things?
Yes. I. Did.
But that’s not what this is about- maybe in another post.
I used meditation for anger management.
Through meditation, I was finally able to get control of my anger. That was one of my biggest issues. All the rest didn’t directly affect my loved ones or make me look like a lunatic in traffic. It was not controlling that anger that caused my family to feel like I was a monster. I needed to improve my reactions to unfavorable events. More importantly, I needed to get the yelling under control.
As time progressed, I started feeling better, and that’s my hope for anyone dealing with that fiery demon inside you called “anger,” that’s really eating away at your insides when you’re waiting for a phone call from an employee, that starts a roaring inferno because you missed two green lights because of people in front of you being on their phones.
I’ve been there. I remember how it felt- knowing that I yelled all the time. Screw being pleasant to be around. My kids told me I was downright scary. My employees would avoid giving me bad news because I was such a bitch.
But now, when I remember it, I can take a deep breath, exhale with a slow smile, and know that that’s not me.
So, if that’s you, please know that you are who I do this for- writing, I mean. I vow to deliver the info and techniques you need, so you can feel better.
With that in mind, I’ve got a fantastic technique to share with you today.
A meditation technique for anger.
According to Headspace, the first thing to do is learn to recognize when your anger pops up without letting it take you away. You know the feeling is there, but you don’t have to act on it. You can take a beat to process it and identify the root cause, so you can determine how to handle the situation in a calm way.
You must own your anger. Denial is your enemy when it comes to your emotions. It leads to loads of problems, only one of which is acting on it inappropriately.
Using a focused attention technique can bring clarity regarding the reason for the anger.
- Have your meditation journal ready.
- Go to your meditation space and have a seat.
- Close your eyes and take a deep breath in through the nose and out through the mouth. You will likely notice you are breathing shallow and fast. That’s normal, and it is a signal you can use outside of meditation to identify your anger before it takes control.
- Imagine your breath turning into a hand.
- Tell it to wrap around the anger and pull it out.
- Then exhale and envision your “breath hand” is pulling the anger out like a magician would a long strand of handkerchiefs.
- Keep taking deep breaths until you feel that you are empty of the anger.
- With anger gone, you can see writing on the walls of your insides. It is the story of that anger.
- Sit with it and read it. It will tell you the reasons for your anger, starting with the surface-level reasons and ending with the deepest reasons.
- Once you’re done reading it, take a few more deep breaths.
- Open your eyes.
- Write what you felt and learned in your meditation journal. Take your time and write until the words stop pouring out of you.
- Afterward, notice how your breathing is different- more relaxed and slower.
To sum it up.
History shows meditation being used throughout the ages in a multitude of ways. Some people use it for spiritual reasons; others use it for health reasons. Still, others use it for enhanced cognition and clearing their mind. One way meditation can help busy entrepreneurs is through anger management. With many people depending on you and a huge workload, it is normal to feel angry and frustrated. What’s not normal is allowing anger to take control of your life. But you can regain control, just like I did, and I’ll support you in any way I can.
Let me know how you liked the meditation technique.
Meditation for Busy People
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