Meditation has its roots in religion and ancient spirituality but today it is also a form of mind-body healing that is used by many people as an alternative medicine or treatment. Meditation is a powerful technique which is available to anyone of any age, from all walks of life. You do not need to be religious to harness the power of meditation and there are many different ways to meditate. At its core, however, meditation is the act of quietening the mind and focusing your attention inward. Here’s how meditation can benefit your health and wellbeing.
- Meditation lowers stress levels and allows you to cope with stressful situations more effectively.
- Meditation is a process of being mindful of the present moment and focusing your attention inwardly – this results in a feeling of calm and control.
- Experts believe that meditation may affect the nervous system, which affects your breathing and heart rate, among other functions.
- When you meditate the body’s production of the stress hormone cortisol is lowered – this results in a better experience of stress.
- Meditation improves your psychological balance – many people gain greater emotional stability and clarity, which allows them to be happier in their everyday lives.
- It is possible to use meditation as a treatment for a variety of illnesses and health conditions; from asthma to depression, high blood pressure to anxiety.
- Meditation is also used by people suffering from chronic pain. It can lead to a lessening of pain or a lowered need for pain medication.
- Meditation can help you sleep better. Slowing the mind and quietening thoughts makes it easier to fall asleep and also to sleep more deeply.
How to Meditate
Meditation is simple but also difficult to master. When you first start to meditate, try not to worry about doing it “right” or how you are performing. The important thing is to experience meditation in a positive way. There are many different ways to meditate and each technique suits a different person. Experiment to see how you feel. The simplest way to start meditating is to sit or lie in a quiet place and close your eyes. Make your breathing slow and deep. Focus on the breath as it moves in and out of the body and when your mind wanders, bring it back to the breath. Notice any thoughts that pass through your mind without judgment.