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Meditation–What is it – Meditation is a practice of quieting the mind but remaining in a state of awareness. It is a time of rest and peace, accepting our lives as they are, not trying to force our thoughts to stop or change. We are just taking a break from the fast pace of our lives and slowing down. In meditation as we sit comfortably and quietly, our minds become calm and silent. As our minds calm, transformation to a higher level of awareness takes place. As we gain more experience in our meditation, we may get a sense that it is effortless. This takes time so don’t get discouraged.
How Meditation Works
Meditation is a self-directed practice that has been in existence for thousands of years in Eastern cultures. For a long time, meditation was associated only with religious and spiritual practice, but now there is scientific evidence that it can improve your health and quality of life. Throughout the day, thoughts and activities that are excessive produce emotional and physical stress. For many, at the end of the day it’s hard to turn their thinking off as thoughts ruminate. Many people may feel fidgeting, anxious and have difficulty sleeping. All of this activity can result in physical and psychological stress that can become chronic, causing lifestyle illnesses such as high blood pressure or heart disease. The mind and body are connected, and meditation practice for 20 minutes a day can relieve both physical and psychological stress, benefiting your well-being.
The Effects of Meditation
Meditation affects our brain and our body. With the changes in breathing pattern during meditation, the supply of oxygen to the brain is reduced by placing us in state of relaxation. Some scientific studies indicate that meditation can alter the way brains are wired. These alterations can actually help individuals tackle a range of health problems, such as insomnia and anxiety. The scientific health benefits of meditation have prompted some medical practitioners to advise their patients to practice meditation to improve their health. It is one of the most effective tools for well-being that anyone can practice in this fast paced world. You can learn more about meditation, the health benefits, and types of meditation in this article by Mayo Clinic staff, “Meditation a Simple, Fast Way to Reduce Stress.”
Meditation for Beginners
If you have never meditated before, here are some simple steps:
• Find a quiet room, or outdoors in a park, where you can sit quietly for about five minutes when you are just starting to meditate.
• Sit upright in a chair or on the floor with legs bent under you in the lotus position.
• Close your eyes and take at least three deep breaths through your nose.
• Don’t try to force your mind to stop thinking, just allow the thoughts to pass through your mind, and focus on your breathing.
• Sit relaxed in this position for at least five minutes.
Meditation is free and you can do it at home, in the garden, a hotel room, or the beach. There are videos online that you can watch to learn more about it and even how to practice. You can check online in your community to locate groups where you can learn and practice meditation. I practice it every night and notice the benefits in my well-being. You can start right now by watching Deepak Chopra’s video, “Meditation: What it is and what are the benefits”.