What is Meditation?
Often caught in a web of busy schedules and priorities, we all are in search of a period of relaxation because we deserve it. One such activity that allows relaxation and binds creativity, profound learning, growth and healing is meditation.
Labelled as a habitual process, meditation trains one’s mind to be focused, redirect one’s thought patterns and makes one flexible and energetic both mentally and physically.
Over the years meditation has gained increased popularity as people have begun to discover and rediscover the unending (physical and mental) health benefits underlying meditation.
Practitioners engage in mindfulness meditation and many such because they are motivated to believe meditation has a healing power that can lead to higher consciousness, resulting in increased activity, improved relationships, regulating emotions, attentional equilibrium, and developing stronger self-esteem and self-concept.
Types of Meditation
Though an ancient tradition, meditation continues to occupy a special space in individuals for the matter of creating calmness and inner harmony. Meditations are usually about being aware, altering the consciousness, and most importantly achieving inner peace.
Although there are no specific right or wrong ways to meditate, it is vital to know which meditation that suits your needs and personality can be practised such as the following:
- Loving-kindness meditation
- Mindfulness meditation
- Mantra meditation
- Visualization meditation
- Transcendental meditation
- Spiritual meditation
- Progressive meditation
- Movement meditation
- Focused meditation
Benefits of meditation
- Controls pain: Mindfulness meditation has proved to reduce pain and reduces the symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression in those experiencing chronic pain and improves the quality of life.
- Help battle addictions: Meditation helps one develop a mental discipline in terms of increased self-control and awareness of the consequences of addictive behaviours and cravings.
- Decreases blood pressure: Meditation not only reduces blood pressure rates which further reduces the risk for heart attacks and stroke but also controls blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signal responsible for coordinating heart function and fight-or-flight responses, especially among young and old people.
- Lengthens attention span: Focused-attention meditation lifts the endurance and strength of attention in all areas of life and reverses the patterns of poor attention, worrying and mind-wandering. Additionally, meditation improves memory capacity and mental quickness in individuals especially those with age-related problems, dementia etc.
- Enhances self-awareness: Self-enquiry meditation help one to understand themselves and how they relate to those in their surroundings whereas other forms help to recognize thought that are useful and/or harmful etc., thus steering one’s mind to more constructive patterns.
- Generates positive nature: Some types of meditation are focused on developing increased positive actions and feelings to oneself and others such as kindness, forgiveness, compassion, love and so on which create feelings of belongingness, understanding and improved interpersonal interactions thus, enhancing emotional health.
- Improves sleep: Mindfulness-based meditation programs has been found beneficial for people to improve the quality and quantity of sleep as well as the severity of insomnia, relaxed body, released tension and places one in a peaceful state.
- Accessible anywhere: There is a wide range of meditation forms, most of which do not even require specialized space or equipment. If an encouraging mind urges you to start meditation on a routine basis, you can practice for a few minutes by choosing either the style of focused-attention meditation (breathing and get rid of distractions) or open-monitoring meditation (trains cognitive abilities).
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