Meditation is the art and science of withdrawing into the still, very peaceful place within where the mind is alert but silent and calm. You can be in (or out of) meditation when you are driving, working, playing a game, seated on the bus or seated in the lotus position. Meditation is the first step towards inner changes that gradually take you to a higher level of spiritual growth. It also gives many physical, emotional and mental benefits, improving every area of your life. A number of meditation techniques exist so you will find one that suits you.
Physical Benefits of Meditation
Meditation requires you to relax the body and let go of the mental chatter. With a calm mind, you start looking at life with a different attitude. At physical level, meditation:
- Energizes the mind and body.
- Decreases muscle and skeletal tension.
- Removes problems caused by tension.
- Prevents stress-related diseases.
- Lowers blood pressure. (1)
- Fortifies the immune system.
- Delays the ageing process.
Mental Benefits of Meditation
Research findings over the past sixty years have shown that retiring into the inner world:
• Calms and soothes the mind.
• Reduces worries.
• Clears the mind.
- Reduces anxiety. (2)
- Relieves depression.
• Promotes personal growth.
• Increases self-confidence.
Effects on Work and Business
The mental benefits spill over into your work and business which is generally full of stress. Meditation brings:
- Better focus. (3)
Faster learning of skills and languages.
Ability to stay centered and calm under pressure.
Improved flow of creative ideas ability to solve problems.
Enhanced ability to handle situations.
As a result, relations with all stakeholders improve, work performance improves and financial rewards follow.
- Meditation Improves Relationships
After meditating for a few weeks your general attitude towards life becomes more positive, allowing you to enjoy life despite problems. Meditation brings:
Heightened enjoyment through the senses.
Focus on the present.
Capacity for total involvement.
More tolerance, sensitivity and authenticity.
Family and friends notice the change and relationships improve greatly, making life more fun.
There are a number of meditation techniques, each of which requires different mental skills. Some of them are:
You focus your attention on a single thing such as a word, counting beads on a mala, the breath, a mantra, a repetitive gong, or staring at a candle. When the mind wanders, simply refocus your awareness on the object of attention.
You focus on each chakra. This is an effective and safe way of unblocking chakras, restoring chakra balance and healing yourself without the use of medication.
- Mindfulness Meditation
You observe thoughts as they arise and pass through the mind but you do not get involved in each wandering thought, nor do you judge. The result is inner balance.
- Walking Meditation
Walk in the garden, the park, the beach, the forest or any other pleasing natural environment. Focus on every movement of the body such as the swing of the arms, or the feet as they rise and touch the ground. When your mind wanders, you refocus on the movement without judging.
- Guided Meditation
Use a recorded voice that guides you through a meditation. This helps you to reach a calm and peaceful state one step at a time.
- Present Moment Meditation
With eyes closed, start by focusing on the breath, then on the feelings, then on the sense of touch, then on the sense of hearing. Then reverse the process by focusing on hearing, then touch, then feelings and then on the breath.
As you can see meditation has a wide range of benefits. Set aside time that you know you can be alone and quiet and meditate at the same time and place daily. It becomes easier with practice. If one technique does not work for you, try another till you find one that suits you. Once you master the technique, it will greatly change your life.
- Brook RD and others. (2013, Jun). Hypertension: Beyond medications and diet: alternative approaches to lowering blood pressure: a scientific statement from the American Heart Association.
- Chen KW & Others. 2012, Jul). Depression and Anxiety. Meditative therapies for reducing anxiety: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.
- Jha AP, Krompinger J. and Baimer MJ. (2007, Jun). Cognitive, Affective & Behavioral Neuroscience. Mindfulness training modifies subsystems of attention.