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Enrich Your Life: Learn How to Meditate

Enrich Your Life: Learn How to Meditate

Meditation has been a part of my life for a couple of years, and it is now safe to say that there has been visible progress in both my productivity and relaxation. I’ve tried my best to make it a daily habit as I feel that is the only way for anyone to experience all of the benefits.

The benefits of meditation are quite extensive. Although it is most commonly perceived as a relaxation technique, in my experience that is only a very lovable plus. The benefits, being numerous, range from reducing high blood pressure and relieving symptoms of depression and similar mental illnesses to alleviating pain and even increasing creativity and overall sharpness.

Before I started practicing meditation, somehow I instinctively knew that it would be good for me, but I didn’t really understand how deep it could go until I did it myself. I am not a religious man by nature, nor did I have a guru or a spiritual leader, I just liked the idea of being alone with my thoughts and emotions. Truthfully, once you get the hang of it, you will learn more about yourself than ever before.

What do you need to meditate?

meditation-what-do-you-need

    One of the perks of meditating is that it requires few to no accessories, but there are certain prerequisites you need to keep in mind.

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    Time

    Clear your schedule for meditation. It doesn’t require a lot of time, but you should devote a certain part of the day where you are going to fit the time for meditation. It is important to distinguish this in such a manner that you are aware that the time is especially there for you.

    Noiseless space

    There is quite a lot of meditation music on the market, but I have concluded that nothing beats the powerful sound of silence. I believe there is something awe-inspiring in silence and that our minds and ears have grown overly accustomed to noise, so it feels really great to treat them with silence once in a while.

    Something to sit on

    It is true that meditation does not require sitting, but it is by far the easiest way to achieve calmness. I would recommend beginners to use a chair because it will help them keep their backs straight, but once you have passed that, a meditating cushion is a perfect choice.

    Timer

    The timer is basically the only physical thing you need to meditate, but even a timer is not essential. Individual meditations are timed to prevent you from rushing it, so a timer is mostly recommended for beginners. If you want to, you can buy a purpose timer for meditation, but I simply use the one on my smartphone.

    Before you start meditating

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    meditation-exercise

      Over the years, I have developed an appropriate ritual before the actual meditating that helps to get into that state of mind. It isn’t always easy, especially if your mind is troubled, but I feel that this ritual has become equally as important for me.

      Exercises

      Lightweight exercises, regular stretching, or, most preferably, yoga exercises are the best in keeping your muscles relaxed and your blood circulating. I believe I have never missed a warm-up and stretch before meditating as it gives me that finely tuned edge.

      Get rid of distractions

      Meditation is all about uniting with your inner self, so you might imagine that having a phone buzzing amidst it all is a bit of a nuisance. I devote a quiet little place in the corner of the room with every non-essential appliance in my house turned off while I am meditating.

      Don’t overthink it

      Clearing your mind sounds like an overly used phrase, but it is kind of a prerequisite. When I started meditating, I had the problem of not being able to focus because I was constantly thinking about every little thing.

      Feel free to focus on simply relaxing for the first few meditation sessions as the journey part will come naturally after a few times. Clearing your mind can seem hard at the beginning, but that’s the trick — when you master it, you’ll start gaining the benefits of meditation.

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      Meditation

      meditation

        As you have probably thus far concluded, there are only a few rules set in stone when it comes to meditation. The point is to have some alone time with the person that is buried beneath all those layers of work-related problems and daily tasks — the real you. Keeping that in mind, there are a few tips that are going to help you achieve that level of thought.

        Breathing

        Taking deep breaths beforehand is recommended as it will help you relax and set the right mood for meditation. However, during the meditation you shouldn’t give too much attention to breathing; just try to do it normally. You can use the deep breathing technique in those moments when you feel like you’ve lost the momentum simply to bring back the right rhythm.

        Sitting position

        It is a common misconception that you have to sit in a particular way in order to meditate. The truth is that any position will work as long as it feels comfortable. The famous Lotus position is frequently connected with meditation, but it is not exclusive. Keep your back straight, your arms relaxed, and your eyes closed — meditation comes from your mind, not your body.

        Length

        When I started meditating daily, I had the time and patience to meditate for five minutes at best. It is not necessarily a bad thing since any time spent meditating is better than none. Not only is it difficult to envision one sitting for hours like a monk, but it is also not necessary. I truly noticed results (increased overall energy and productivity) when I started meditating for around 25 minutes each day.

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        Focus on the goal

        meditation-focus

          The purpose of any meditation is to clear your mind and assert your presence by distancing yourself from the material world that surrounds you. Spoken in plain English, the goal is to create a habit of taming your own thoughts and emotions.

          Sometimes you’ll get bored, at times you’ll even be frustrated, and that is alright, just don’t get discouraged. As it is with any exercise, mastering meditation takes time and commitment, just have in mind that you are doing it for yourself.

          Meditation can and will enrich your life and is one of the best weapons in our mind’s arsenal for fighting everyday modern stress.

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          Dejan Kvrgic

          Blogger, Writer

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          Last Updated on November 5, 2019

          How to Memorize a Speech the Smart Way

          How to Memorize a Speech the Smart Way

          Did you know that 75% of the population suffers from glossophobia? That scary sounding word is one of the most common phobia’s in the world, fear of public speaking.

          I’ll bet even as you are reading this, you are getting nervous thinking about giving a speech.

          I have got good news for you. In this article, I will share with you a step by step method on how to memorize a speech the smart way. Once you have this method down, your confidence in yourself to deliver a successful speech will increase substantially. Read on to feel well prepared the next time you have to memorize and deliver a speech.

          Common Mistakes of Memorizing a Speech

          Before we get to the actual process of how to memorize a speech the smart way, let’s look at the two most common mistakes many of us tend to make while preparing for a speech.

          Complete Memorization

          In an attempt to ensure they remember every detail, many people aim to completely memorize their speech. They practice it over and over until they have every single word burned into their brain.

          In many ways, this is understandable because most of us are naturally frightened of having to give a speech. When the time comes, we want to be completely and totally prepared and not make any mistakes.

          While this makes a lot of sense, it also comes with its own negative side. The downside to having your speech memorized word for word is that you sound like a robot when delivering the speech. You become so focused on remembering every single part that you lose the ability to inflect your speech to varying degrees, and free form the talk a bit when the situation warrants.

          Lack of Preparation

          The other side of the coin to complete memorization is people who don’t prepare enough. Because they don’t want to come off sounding like a robot, they decide they will mostly “wing it”.

          Sometimes they will write a few main points down on a piece of paper to remind themselves. They figure once they get going, the details will somehow fill themselves in under the big talking points while they are doing the talking.

          The problem is that unless this is a topic you know inside and out and have spoken on it many times, you’ll wind up missing key points. It’s almost a given that as soon as you are done with your speech, you’ll remember many things you should have brought up while talking.

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          There’s a good balance to be had between over and under preparing. Let’s now look at how to memorize a speech the smart way.

          How to Memorize a Speech (Step-by-Step Guide)

          1. Write Out Your Speech

          The first step in the process is to simply write out your speech.

          Many people like to write out the entire speech. Other people are more inclined to write their speech outline style. Whichever way your brain works best is the way you should write your speech.

          Personally, I like to break things down into the primary points I want to make, and then back up each major point with several details. Because my mind works this way, I tend to write out speeches, and articles for that matter, by doing an outline.

          Once I have the outline completed, I will then fill in several bullet points to back up each big topic.

          For instance, if I was going to give a speech on how to get in better shape my outline would look something like this:

          Benefits of being in shape

          • Point #1
          • Point #2
          • Point #3

          Exercise

          • Point #1
          • Point #2
          • Point #3

          Diet

          • Point #1
          • Point #2
          • Point #3

          Rest and hydration

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          • Point #1
          • Point #2
          • Point #3

          ConclusionNo need for points here, just a few sentences wrapping things up.

          As you might imagine, this step typically is the hardest because it’s not only the first step but it also involves the initial creation of the speech.

          2. Rehearse Your Speech

          Now that you’ve written your speech, or outline, it’s time to start saying it out loud. It’s completely fine to simply read what you’ve written line by line at this point. What you are working on doing is getting the outline and getting a feel for the speech.

          If you’ve written the entire speech out, you’ll be editing it while you are rehearsing it. Many times as we say things out loud, we realize that what we wrote needs to be changed and altered. This is how we work towards having a well rounded and smooth speech. Feel free to change things as needed while you are rehearsing your speech.

          If you are like me and you’ve written the outline, this is where some of the supporting bullet points will begin to come out. Normally, I will have written several bullet points under each main topic. But as I say it out loud, I will begin to fill in more and more details. I might scratch certain bullet points and add others. I might think of something new at this stage while I am listening to myself and want to add it.

          The key to remember here is that you laying the foundation for your awesome speech. At this point, it’s a work in progress, you are getting the key pieces in place.

          3. Memorize the Bigger Parts

          As you are rehearsing your speech, you want to focus on memorizing the bigger parts, or the main points.

          Going back to my example of how to get in better shape, I’d want to ensure I have memorized my primary points. These include the benefits of being in shape, exercise, diet, rest and hydration, and the conclusion. These are the main points I want to make and I will then fill in further details. I’ve got to ensure I know these very well first and foremost.

          By practicing your major points, you are building the framework for your speech. After you have this solid outline in place, you’ll continue by adding in the details to round things out.

          4. Fill In the Details

          Now that you have the big chunks memorized, it’s time to work on memorizing the details. These detail points will provide support and context for your major points. You can work on this all at once or break it down to the details that support each major point.

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          For example, the details I might have under the “exercise” big point might include such things as cardio, weights, how many times a week to exercise, how long to actually exercise, and several examples of actual exercises. In this example, I have 5 detail points to memorize to support my major point of “exercise”.

          It’s a good idea to test yourself regularly as you are rehearsing your speech. Ask yourself:

          What are the 5 detail points I want to talk about that support my 3rd main point?

          You need to be able to fire those off quickly. Until you can do this, you won’t be able to associate each of the details with the main point.

          You have to be able to have them grouped together in your mind so that it comes out naturally in your speech. So that when you think of main point #2, you automatically think of the 4 supporting details associated with it.

          Keep working at this stage until you can run through your speech completely several times and remember all of your big points and the supporting details.

          Once you can do that with relative ease, it will be time for the final step, working on your delivery.

          5. Work on Your Delivery

          You’ve got the bulk of the work done now. You’ve written your speech and rehearsed enough times to have not only your main points memorized but also your supporting details. In short, you should have your speech almost done.

          There’s one more step in how to memorize a speech the smart way. The final component is to work on how you deliver your speech.

          For the most part, you can go give your speech now. After all, you have it memorized. If you want to ensure you do it right, you’ll want to hone how you are delivering your speech.

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          You work on your delivery by rehearsing and running through it a number of times and making tweaks along the way. These tweaks or changes may be are’s where you’d want to pause for effect.

          If you’ve found you have used one word 5 times in one paragraph, you might want to swap it out for a similar word a few times to keep it fresh.

          Sometimes while working on this part, I’ve thought of a great story that’s happened to me that I can incorporate to make my point even better.

          When you work on your delivery, you are basically giving your speech a personality as well.

          The Bottom Line

          And there you have it, a step by step approach on how to memorize a speech the smart way.

          The next time you are asked to give a speech don’t let glossophobia rear its familiar head. Instead, remember this easy to use guide to help craft a powerful speech.

          Using the method shown here will help you deliver your next speech with increased confidence.

          More About Public Speaking

          Featured photo credit: Anna Sullivan via unsplash.com

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