The world is in a rapid state of change and demands keep pulling at us from all directions. It is easy to lose direction in the attempt to address responsibilities and requests. Meditation is a solution that helps to quiet the mind and refocus yourself. Beginning practitioners can learn much about the effect of meditation on physiological processes, mental acuity and the forms of meditation for enhanced well-being that might suit their purpose.
Undeniable Need for Stress Reduction
Stress exacerbates health conditions. It can impact on experiencing joy and on the maintenance of healthy relationships. For some meditation is intended to form a deeper understand of natural forces and mysteries. Meditation is commonly used to reduce stress and relax participants.
Impact on the Body
The Mayo Clinic states that a number of benefits can result from regular meditation. Emotional benefits include getting a new perspective on a situation, growth of self-awareness, being in the present moment and reducing negative feelings.
Some research suggests that meditation is useful for managing symptoms of conditions and be a useful adjunct to current treatment. The conditions that can be positively affected by meditation are asthma, anxiety disorders, cancer, heart disease, depression, pain, high blood pressure and sleep problems.
Svend Davanger, M.D., Ph.D., co-author of a study recently published in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience states that “nondirective meditation allows for more room to process memories and emotions than during concentrated meditation.” It is also seen that nondirective meditation results in higher activity in the resting area of the brain than rest itself. Meditation can be a profound way for the body to process thoughts and feelings and lead to further understanding.
Forms of Meditation for Enhanced Well-being
Some forms of meditation focus on stillness and the breath. Others incorporate slow movement within the meditative practice. For those that find sitting for periods uncomfortable, a moving form of meditative practice might provide a better fit. The first forms of meditation done are usually done while seated. Guided meditation has individuals form and hold onto relaxing images or situations. Individuals attempt to incorporate as many senses as possible and can be led by a trained teacher. Mantra meditation uses the spoken repetition of a word, thought or phrase to help keep distracting thoughts away. Mindfulness meditation is about being fully present in the moment and of increasing one’s awareness. Participants focus on how they feel, the flow of their breath, observing thoughts and emotions and then releasing them. Transcendental meditation is simple and is similar in concept to Mantra meditation. Individuals repeat a mantra in a particular way. The body settles into a state of relaxation and the mind calms.
Meditative Practices include Qi gong, Tai chi and Yoga. These forms incorporate movement as part of the process and may be useful for those that feel too fidgety and need to do something during the practice. Qi gong is a combination of meditation, physical movement and breathing exercises to come back to a state of balance. It is used as a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Tai Chi, a form of non-aggressive martial arts, a series of postures are very slowly done by participants at their own pace while focusing on deep breaths. Yoga incorporates breath work with the performance of a number of postures. Flexibility improves and individuals focus on the present moment.
Meditation feels good and can be of great benefit to mind and body. Find the best fit to achieve your personal goals.