No matter what you are going through, meditation can likely provide you with many benefits. Yoga International defines meditation as “a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state. It is the means for fathoming all the levels of ourselves and finally experiencing the center of consciousness from within.” Meditation does not fall under any religion, and it requires an inner state of calmness, relaxation, and focus. The Huffington Post has noted several ways that meditation can be beneficial:
- It reduces stress.
- It improves concentration.
- It encourages a healthy lifestyle.
- It increases self-awareness.
- It increases happiness.
- It increases acceptance.
- It slows aging.
- It reduces negative emotions.
- It helps us focus on the present.
- It increases our patience and tolerance.
While not exhaustive, meditation can complete transform us from the inside out. Some research suggests that meditation can also benefit people with asthma, anxiety, cancer, chronic pain, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, sleep problems, and headaches. One study showed meditation helping over 3,500 adults with stress reduction. Another study conducted by researchers in Baltimore, Maryland found that meditation improved anxiety, depression, and pain. Okay – so meditation has many benefits, but exactly how does it work?
According to the Huffington Post, meditation begins by focusing on the breath. Sit comfortably in a chair, with your spine tall and your shoulders relaxed. Place your hands mindfully on your lap, close your eyes and try to eliminate any distraction from your environment. Simply focus on your breath – don’t try to change its pattern or anything. Repeat the mantra, “breathing in, breathing out”. If your mind begins to wander, bring it gently back to focus on your breath. Consistency is key – try to do this each morning and/or night. Aim for 5 minutes each day and continue adding one minute each week after.
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