How can meditation help us?
Meditation is widely recommended as an effective method of stress management and is a technique which involves contemplation or reflection with concentration on a particular theme, thought or object in order to clear your mind of thoughts. The goal of meditation is to self induce a mode of consciousness or deep relaxation that can bring about many health and life enhancing benefits
What are the main types and what do they involve?
There are at least a dozen different mediation techniques
A good basic mediation technique is to start with sitting quietly and being aware of your thoughts. Concentrating on breathing is also effective, particularly if practicing ‘belly breathing’, watching your stomach rise and fall with each breath.
The idea of concentrating on an object, a word (mantra) or your breathing is to still the flow of thoughts in your head. Those who practice spiritual meditation often receive messages and thoughts while their minds are quiet.
Guided meditation - Listening to a voice which guides you through the meditation process – this can be imagining a peaceful scene and is a strong visualisation process.
TM – Transcendental meditation - This mediation is best taught over a period of several days. The idea is to centre your mind on one word only, a mantra (usually created especially for you by the trainer) – this word is unique to you but has no meaning as such - by concentrating on this one word over and over, your thoughts are directed into one area enabling you to reach a trance like state.
What are the benefits?
Scientific research studies have shown up surprising results from regular mediation:
- Changes in metabolism
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves blood circulation
- reduces cholesterol and atherosclerosis (plaque in the arteries)
- increased brain activation slowing down deterioration
Mediation has been proved to show benefits in the treatment of
- chronic pain
- coronary artery disease
How does this help me on a day to day level?
Apart from the benefits of self healing, meditation can help control emotions, reducing negativity, anxiety and stress symptoms.
Regular meditators can experience an altered state of consciousness, somewhere in between a sleeping and wakened state, yet not unconscious. Trance-like states can help the brain to regenerate itself, increasing brain activity, generating happiness, increased positive thoughts and emotions. Meditation is a particularly effective if used as a stress management technique. Feelings of peace and joy can be generated which can be tapped into throughout the day.
Being more in control of your emotions and having clearer thinking and focus can really help in the following areas:
- Anger management
- Stress management
- Confidence and self esteem issues
- Weight loss
Physiological benefits (Top twenty)
- More conscious eating leading to control of weight issues
- Reversed biological Aging Process (main body function is improved overall by practicing regular meditation)
- Reduced stress and anxiety (lowers stress hormones)
- Stronger immune system and improved mood (producing antibodies)
- Decreased muscle tension (improving circulation of oxygen to muscles)
- Better sleep and a cure for insomnia (improves sleep quality and patterns) leading to improved vitality
- Reduced tension headaches and migraines reducing stress, muscle tension and anxiety
- Increased brain power
- Improved decision-making skills
- Enhanced Productivity
- Laser-like focus and clarity of thought
- Improved learning ability and memory
- Greater intelligence (improves attention, awareness and thought)
- Improved creativity (promotes right side of brain)
- More positive emotional state
- Better relations at work
- Greater happiness and peace of mind
- More control over your thoughts
- Improved self-confidence
- Enhanced emotional resilience (more relaxed and peaceful)
Often leading to……a Clearer life purpose