Meditation has been a fast-growing trend in the past several years. There are many new and interesting studies that show that meditation is good for your health.
This post explores why you should consider meditation for good health.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is the act of giving your attention to only one thing. Meditation can be used either as a religious activity or as a way of acquiring stillness.
It is the act of remaining in a silent and relaxed state for a period of time as part of religious training or so that you are more able to deal with the problems of everyday life.
Meditation is an ancient practice. It stems from a thousand years old traditions from Buddhists, whose purpose was to have a better understanding of themselves and their connections to other beings.
Their goal was to gain enlightenment and release suffering.
Who is it for?
Meditation is for anyone. You do not have to be religious or a Buddhist to practice meditation. Anyone who wants to decrease stress and improve their health should meditate.
Surprisingly many companies offer meditation courses in their benefits packages to their employees.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation benefits your physical, emotional, and mental health. Other benefits include:
- positively affects your psychological well-being
- improves your mood
- increases positive emotion
- decreases anxiety/fear
- improves self-awareness
- improves heart health (lowers heart rate and blood pressure)
- improves the immune system (increases levels of T cells necessary for a strong immune response)
- has positive effects on the brain
- reduces cell aging
- reduces the risk of depression
- increases attention and focus
- decreases the risk of Alzheimer’s
- improves sleep
Recent studies show that mindfulness (devoting complete attention to a thing) meditation impacts the immune system, brain, and heart. Also, meditation was just as effective as an antidepressant.
Meditation offers peace and serenity in life´s chaos.
What are the requirements for meditation?
Meditation is a minimalistic practice because it does not require much of you. It involves sitting (lying if you´re doing it to fall asleep) in a quiet place with no distractions.
Generally, you close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing (slow but deep breaths).
You can recite a mantra (a sound, word, or phrase that is repeated by someone who is praying or meditating, for example, ‘I am healthy and happy ’).
Forms of Meditation
You may be surprised to know that there are many forms of meditation however, there are two types mindfulness and concentrative (focus on one thing and experience what you are focusing on).
Loving Kindness Meditation or Metta Meditation
The objective here is to create an attitude of love and kindness toward everything, yourself, and even your enemies. In this meditation, as in all meditation, you control your breathing and open your mind to receiving loving kindness however, you can also send messages of loving kindness to others.
This type of meditation intends to increase feelings of compassion and love for yourself and others.
Body Scan/Progressive Relaxation
This type inspires you to scan your body for areas of tension. The body scan aims to get you to realize where the tension in your body is, and to release it.
Normally you can start at one end of your body and work your way down/up to the other. You can begin from head to feet, or feet to head. The choice is yours. You can visualize a wave drifting over your body to release tension.
This type of meditation is popular. It urges you to focus on the present moment instead of dwelling on the past or fearing the future.
The benefits of mindfulness meditation are that it reduces negative emotions, improves your focus and memory, lessens impulsive or emotional reactions, and improve relationship satisfaction.
Breath Awareness Meditation
Here the focus is mindful breathing. It involves breathing slowly and deeply.
You have to ignore any thoughts that try to enter your mind.
Kundalini Meditation is a physically active meditation that incorporates movements with deep breathing, mantras, and physical activity.
Zen Meditation or Zazen
Zazen or Zen is a type of meditation that is part of the Buddhist practice. Zen meditation usually occurs under the guidance of a teacher because it involves specific postures and steps.
The focus is on breathing, finding a comfortable position, and observing your thoughts without judgment.
Transcendental is a spiritual form of meditation. It encourages you to rise above your current state of being. You focus on a mantra (repeated word or series of words/phrases).
Usually, a teacher determines the mantra, which is dependent on factors like the year you were born, and the year the teacher was trained. There is also an alternative that allows you to choose your own.
Guided Meditations are simple because a guide leads you in various scenarios, and you follow their guidance. Guided Meditations are great for people who have a very overactive (over-thinking) mind and for people whose thoughts need discipline because their thoughts bounce all over the place.
During your meditation, it is common to feel less stress and greater peace. Repetitive meditation offers stress-free and peaceful feelings even outside of meditation sessions.
You can meditate as often as you like. Beginners can start once a week and gradually increase to once a day. It takes time to master meditation. So don´t be too hard on yourself after your first few attempts.
Interesting Meditation Facts
More than 14% of US adults tried meditating at least once.
40% of Americans meditate weekly.
There are approximately 200-500 million people who meditate worldwide.
Meditation can slow down and, in some cases, even prevent neurodegenerative diseases like dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Routine meditation can enable you to make decision-making easier.
Meditation controls pain.
It increases your ability to become kinder and more loving.
Mindfulness meditation can change the structure of your cells, after all, your mind controls your body.
Consistent meditation can be more effective than lengthier ones.
The brain functions better with meditation.
People can overcome addictions using mindful meditation.
Meditation is a simple practice that does not have to take up a lot of your time. There are many short 10 and 15 minutes meditations. Remember consistency is key to becoming successful at meditation.
It improves your physical, mental, and emotional health and can transform you into a better, healthier, and kinder human being. You can experiment with several types of meditation to see which ones you enjoy the most.
Be kind to your mind and start meditating today!
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