Meditation can be defined as the art and science of mind-body practice. It directs attention to breath, thoughts and reactions. Deep relaxation and tranquility are experienced through focused self-awareness. Frequent practice can increase feelings of self-worth. Among the many methods of meditation, some can be used specifically to increase confidence. Meditation can alter parts of the brain involved in learning, memory and the control of emotions.
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Mindfulness meditation can be used to create positive thinking to increase confidence. Sit or lie quietly, focusing on breathing or a mantra -- a repeated word or phrase. Allow thoughts and feelings to flow through your mind freely without obsessing over them. The goal is to focus on what is being experienced without reacting to or judging it. The theory behind mindfulness meditation is that what is learned while being still carries over into daily life. Increase confidence by forgiving yourself and others and remaining neutral.
Many yoga practitioners believe meditation and yoga are inseparable. Both work to quiet the mind and provide harmony with mind, body and spirit. One yoga technique used to build confidence is Kubera Mudra, a meditative yoga posture using your hands. To do a mudra, touch the tip of your thumb, index finger and middle finger together. Curve the other two fingers in toward the middle of your hand. Do this with both hands. Hold the position for several minutes while breathing calmly and repeat two to three times throughout the day. Some benefits of Kubera Mudra are focused intent, strength in future desires and increased confidence.
Ayurveda is a holistic life practice developed in India thousands of years ago. It promotes the healthy balance of mind, body and spirit. The Pratipaksha Bhavana is an ayurvedic meditation technique that emphasizes substituting negative thoughts and feelings for positive ones. Think of or write down a negative thought or feeling as well as a positive thought or feeling to replace it with. As you inhale say, “I am,” and as you exhale, say the positive trait you want to increase such as confidence. Concentrating on positive thoughts as you breath in and out can help you discard negative feelings.
Meditation alters how the brain processes thought and perceptions. A study reported in "Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging" in 2011 found that meditation elicits changes in parts of the brain, leading to a decrease in anxiety, depression and chronic pain. The study also found that participants who meditated increased their well-being and quality of life.