Benefits of meditation
The meaning of life is a personal and subjective perception of the value which a person gives to what they do; it makes us feel valuable and is so important, that it becomes a focus into which we direct our energies.
KNOW YOURSELF15 October 2019
Viktor Frankl (Vienna 1905), a Jewish psychiatrist, was detained in several concentration camps during the Second World War, where he lost his parents and wife. It was in these extreme circumstances that he observed that the prisoners who survived were those who had managed to find meaning in their lives, despite the harsh conditions they suffered.
In 1946 he published his famous book "Man's search for meaning" in which he developed one of his theses: one can always find a meaning to life, even when one's conditions are adverse. Even in circumstances of pain and death, we choose if we submit to or face the situation.
This famous author postulated that man's freedom cannot be taken away from him and it is what makes life meaningful. Each person will have a life purpose of their own which is different to others', it will even give a different meaning to their life in each stage of their existence.
The important thing is not what can be expected from life, but what each person can bring to life. Positive psychology, a new discipline focused on the study of positive experiences and traits to live with well-being, helps us to generate a lifestyle with meaning and purpose.
Martin Seligman, one of its main exponents, developed a theory of well-being in which one of the five factors of the model is Meaning and purpose. It refers to the need to give sour life meaning to achieve a good level of well-being.
Meditation can be a very useful tool to help us better understand our life and exercise control over it. Meditating for a few minutes each day allows you to cultivate your mind, make changes in the perception of each person's reality and, therefore, advance in the search for the meaning we want to give to our life. Meditation connects us with ourselves, it has to be practiced fully and consciously in order to build a beneficial, peaceful and happy present.
Finding the purpose and meaning for one's life project is not easy, let alone when one's lifestyle is frantic, with no time at all. The body needs rest and so does the mind, so we must dedicate a space for concentration and inner connection with oneself.
A well-known quote by Nietzsche summarises this philosophy very well: “he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.”.
Meditation for beginners
1. Choose a quiet place, with a good temperature and without distractions.
2. Choose a moment of the day when you are prepared.
3. Choose a comfortable position, it can be sitting or lying down.
4. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing.
5. Observe your thoughts, don't run away from them.
6. Start with short times, 10 minutes, to increase gradually until you reach 30 minutes per session.
Perma model or theory of welfare. Martin Seligman (1,999)
This model describes what people freely choose in order to increase their sense of well-being. PERMA is the acronym of the five factors which can improve levels of satisfaction and personal motivation.
This involves the increase of positive emotions, based on an adequate management of negative emotions.
When a level of engagement with ourselves is achieved, properly assembling our strengths with our objectives, a correct harmony with the present is achieved.
The improvement of social relationships is an important and necessary protection factor to achieve personal well-being.
Meaning and purpose
This factor refers to the idea of giving our life a meaning which goes beyond ourselves. It generates a feeling of belonging to something which transcends us. We all need to give our lives meaning in order to feel good.
Achieving planned objectives gives us a feeling of self-efficacy and autonomy which improves our feeling of well-being.