Meditation is generally associated with spirituality, as well as physical and mental well-being since when hearing the word, it is common to think of Buddhism and monks. Science now endorses the power of meditation for longevity, when the mind is at rest.
The mind is chattering away constantly, hesitant on taking one decision over another, leading to uncontrolled distress, fear and anxiety. Over time and if not controlled it converts into stress, and continued strain may turn into pain, and eventually signs and symptoms of the disease will appear. Depression and chronic anxiety are two of the common disorders.
HOW DOES MEDITATION HELP WITH STRESS?
Stress is common in modern life. We are constantly on the go, stressing to cope with work, the family and our hectic social life. For the majority of us human beings, the only time to unwind is during nighttime (unless one suffers from insomnia, which makes it hard to go to sleep).
Even when we sit down on a chair or sofa to relax, we instantly start thinking and planning of what should be done next or how a thing can be fixed etc. The mind is always racing with thoughts.
Good sleep generally determines the amount of energy you wake up with in the morning.
The only time we rest completely is during our deep sleep (Stage 3 of non-REM sleep), which is merely 20% of our sleep, usually occurring during the initial hours after we fall asleep. This is when our bodies and mind are entirely at rest, with our body muscles relaxed, and the heartbeat, the breathing and even brain waves are at their lowest level. It is difficult to wake you up during this sleeping stage.
Meditation is compared to deep sleep state and hence the encouragement to learn meditation to deal with stress.
Meditation quietens the mind and brings you mental clarity. With continued practice, your thinking becomes clearer. If you control your thoughts then you will reduce stress.
LESS STRESS increase YOUR lifespan.
WHY IS MEDITATION BENEFICIAL FOR YOU?
- Meditation, comparable to deep sleep, is a natural method of self-healing
- Meditation is equal to regenerating all your body cells and rejuvenating the whole system.
- During Meditation, there is increased activity in the brain and further oxygen to your blood flow.
- Through meditation and proper breathing, you can actually repair your DNA. You reinforce your vital energy, your immune system builds up and you can fight diseases.
- Meditation, through relaxation, helps reduce your blood pressure.
- Scientific studies state that Meditation helps the grey area in the brain grow, which has to do with self-awareness and compassion, as well as make the grey area (amygdala) in the centre of the brain, shrink. The latter is associated with stress, fear and emotion.
- Meditation reduces the stress hormone called cortisol.
- Meditation has the same effect as tranquilisers; it produces serotonin, dopamine and happy hormones.
LIST OF BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
- Improves general body and mind health
- Increases blood flow
- Rejuvenates the cells
- Relaxes the muscles
- Empties the mind
- Controls mood variation
- Controls your behaviour, more self-control
- Eliminates negative emotions; fear, anxiety, anger, stress, grief, jealousy, self –rejection, poor thinking
- More pain tolerance
- Increases attention, awareness and concentration
- Dissipate pain and suffering (auto-immune diseases of both physical and mental)
WHY IS MEDITATION GOOD FOR MENTAL HEALTH?
Meditation teaches you how to be still and empty your mind. Meditation improves brain functionality and makes it a great deal more powerful.
When you achieve meditating you feel light, and in a floating state. You are calm and you breathe deeply from the diaphragm, without making any effort.
In recent years mindfulness has become popular and it is all about ´living in the present without obsessing yourself about plans for the future of haunting yourself with the past. Basically, mindfulness is about quieting the voices in your head and be aware of what you are doing at the moment; being eating, jogging, watching TV, feeling etc.
We spend a great deal of time lost in thoughts when we should aim to be happy and enjoy the moment.
The power of meditation helps us achieve inner calmness.
LEARNING HOW TO MEDITATE
Think about it this way:
Learning how to meditate is like mastering a new skill that can be challenging at the start but beneficial when controlled.
The beginning is difficult, but when you get used to it, then you have more time on your hands as you feel more energised and can do more in one day. Perhaps you will also need to sleep fewer hours as you are feeling less fatigued than before.
15 Minute Meditation Technique
Find yourself a quiet place, sit down cross-legged, holding your palms up on your knees. Keep your back straight, aligned with your neck and head, and the head slightly tilted upwards. To make yourself more comfortable you can use some props, like a block or cushion underneath you, and a shawl to keep yourself warm.
Do a few deep breathing exercises before you start.
Then relax and remain still. I find listening to lounge chillout music does help with focusing and prevents your mind from roving around.
If you require some guided help, I recommend you download the Meditation App HEADSPACE. You get a free trial and you can practice along. Be sure the serene voice of the Buddhist Monk will beguile you into starting Meditation.
Best Time to Meditate
When just starting it is best to meditate first thing in the morning or before you go to bed.
Later on, once you master the technique, you can pretty much be able to meditate anywhere, anytime. Even when commuting and there are many people around you.
Dedicate a few moments to concentrate on deep breathing and focus on just one spot you have in front of you. Just do nothing and enjoy the moment.
You will realise after, the benefits you gain from such little focused time to yourself and your well-being. The moment you look around you again, you will realise how everybody is agitated and you are somehow feeling calmer.
AIM FOR CALM, CLEAR MIND and RELAXED BODY
Many VIPs use meditation to train their minds. You as well can start meditating and improve your well-being and enhance longevity.
How difficult is it for you to sit down and MEDITATE, basically DO NOTHING for at least 10 minutes?
Knowing all the benefits you can achieve and how you can ease your way of life with meditation, how willing is you to give MEDITATION a try?
Source pictures: Pixabay