Overwhelmingly busy, countless distractions; our modern lifestyle makes us feel as if we are always doing one thing and thinking about something else. In this scenario, being able to fully focus in our present actions is a gift to our well-being. It is possible to achieve this through meditation.
If you think only long-term practitioners can enjoy the benefits of meditating, try our new app, Meditation Natura. This recently launched app is free and you can find it on Google Play (Android) and on the Apple Store (iOS) .
The inspiration behind this software comes from a program created by Natura, the renowned Brain Institute from Israeli Hospital Albert Einstein, and Palas Athena Association in Brazil. This was an in-person program developed to reduce stress and to promote well-being.
According to Patricia Tobo, who manages the Science of Well-Being area at Natura, the success achieved through the in-person program was experienced by both teams at Natura and at Albert Einstein's Brain Institute. From there, the goal was to make it accessible to as many people as possible.
“The idea is to offer a tool that can help us manage stress and anxiety, feelings that are part of our busy daily lives. As you incorporate this into your routine, you increase your awareness of these emotions and consequently, improve your quality of life ”, adds Patricia.
Focused on breathing exercises, relaxation, loving kindness, empathetic joy and mindfulness, researcher Elisa Kosaza and Ph.D. student Cássia Coelhoso, both from the Brain Institute, in Brazil, believe that through this app anyone can learn about meditation in a simple way .
According to the specialists, many people complain about not having enough time or availability to commit to in-person classes. These people think that due to our intimate relationship with our phones, an app facilitates access to meditation and engagement when practicing.
Although the researchers recognize the importance of apps such as Meditation Natura, Elisa and Cássia caution users that this software is an educational program for those interested in learning strategies, it is not intended as a treatment or therapy.
Benefits of meditation
Professor Fernando Stanziani, from Palas Athena Association , points out that the benefits associated with meditation go beyond stress management and well-being. According to him, people are more aware during their decision-making process:
A major benefit is that it allows us to connect to reality in a deeper level and we are less reactive to things we experience. Through meditation we are able to see more clearly where we are focusing our attention, which leads us to making more conscious decisions ”, says Stanziani.
This is not a magic trick, however. A meditative experience must be part of your routine. Specialists compare meditating with physical activity and performance: we can only measure results and reach goals with regular practice:
“Changing habits is not easy. But, from the moment we start meditating we realize that something feels better, relaxation, attention and breathing - we are able to incorporate it into our routine. The challenge is to feel those benefits at a time when we are experiencing a stressful moment, when stuck in traffic or before an important meeting ”, adds Patricia
How to start meditating?
The first step is to overcome the common belief that meditating is to stop thinking about everything or trying to get rid of any thoughts that may arise. Meditation is the capacity to keep your attention focused on a chosen object. With consistent training, anyone can enjoy its benefits.
The specialists agree that for those getting started on our Natura Meditation App, the best option is to follow the guided meditations.
"This is an 8-week program, specially created to guide the practitioner through the discovery journey, in a simple way ”, confirm Elisa and Cássia.
Besides the journey, Natura Meditation offers 23 short-guided meditations, one specially designed for sleeping time, for instance. “A menu of quick practices makes it easy for people to organize themselves according to their needs”, says Patricia.
Each at their own pace
The app works to support people in the beginning, says Prof. Stanziani. However, after some time (as each person learns at their own pace), we are able to memorize the instructions and practice by ourselves. He emphasizes, though there is no clear answer as to how long each person takes to learn how to meditate because “some people have a natural tendency to stay focused, while others are easily distracted”.
Do not give up simply because of your expectations. Self-criticism may be your worst enemy during this process. In case you were able to fully focus for 3 minutes, count how many times you got distracted and next time, try to reduce those distractions”, adds Prof. Stanziani from Palas Athena.