What is Meditation?
There are different ways to meditate, and since it’s such a personal practice there are probably more than any of us know about. There are a couple that are usually focused on heavily in scientific research, though. These are focused-attention, or mindful meditation, which is where you focus on one specific thing—it could be your breathing, a sensation in your body or a particular object outside of you. The point of this type of meditation is to focus strongly on one point and continually bring your attention back to that focal point when it wanders.
Meditation is an ancient practice that helps to control our own mind and consequently our own life and discover ourselves.
Personally, it is a way to recharge my batteries and to calm my mind down.
Has it ever happened to you? Where your mind has taken over and, therefore, you are not able to take some thoughts out of your head and you feel without energy and even too tired to sleep?
Meditating helps us to control our mind and thoughts and turn off our mind when we do not need it anymore.
Meditation is essential to feel well and live a Happy Life.
Most of the time we need a reason to start doing something. For instance, when we don’t feel well, we become more open to try everything possible that can help us to feel better and that could be included even meditation.
Personally, I think we don’t need any particular reason to start meditating. Even if we are happy with our life, meditation could be very beneficial, it can help with the quality of our life and also I can see it as a prevention to a series of health issues.
We are used to a quick fix, everywhere advertisements offer us the choice of hundreds of different pills, tablets, gels for a lot of things with the promise that in a short time we will be ok, without having to do anything.
I am refering to a headache, sleeping disorders, anxiety and a lot of other health issues. Don’t get me wrong, we need medicine but a lot of these issues can be sorted out with meditation.
The benefits of meditation are many and have also been demonstrated scientifically.
Benefits of meditation related to quality of life
Scientific studies shown that meditating improves the practitioner’s cognitive and intellectual abilities. This effect of ‘becoming smarter’ has been demonstrated by different types of intelligence tests.
Benefits for students
Regular meditation raises school performance (higher academic achievement, less absenteeism, better graduation rates), and that goes for all school levels from kindergarten to college.
Research has shown reduction in the stress levels and better decision making. This, in turn, leads to higher efficiency at work place in both small and big organizations.
Creativity & problem–solving
Meditating leads to higher brain integration, which in turn sets the basis for mental alertness, original thought and creative problem-solving skills.
Access to higher levels of consciousness
Whereas ordinary human experience is limited to three states of consciousness (wake, asleep, in deep sleep), one of the benefits of regular meditation practice is access to four more refined levels of being.
Positive emotions and well-being
Research shows that meditation practitioners have 5 times greater clarified gamma output (positive feelings like love, happiness; well-being).
Business leadership and management skills
Is meditating good for business? Evidence from Ray Dalio to Silicon Valley, from Fortune 100 lists to Harvard Business School.
Personal relationships –
Three months of Transcendental Meditation practice brings significant improvement in professional and personal relationships, based on increased happiness and reduced stress.
Marital relations –
Study measuring long-term marital happiness with Locke’s Adjustment Inventory. Subjects in the TM group showed significantly greater marital satisfaction.
Mortality rates from various fatal heart conditions were cut by 48% with regular practice of meditation found a key study with patients suffering from cardiovascular disease.
Interaction of hormones and surrounding physical environment: What are the benefits of meditation practice during pregnancy, both for mothers and newborns?
Lower levels of stress mean better sleep, don’t they? Taking up meditation regularly, at least twice a day, is a natural home remedy against chronic insomnia (sleeplessness).
Relaxation appears to boost immunity in recovering cancer patients. A study at the Ohio State University found that progressive muscular relaxation, when practised daily, reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence. In another study at Ohio State, a month of relaxation exercises boosted natural killer cells in the elderly, giving them a greater resistance to tumours and to viruses.
Emotional balance, means to be free of all the neurotic behavior that results from the existence of a tortured and traumatized ego. This is very hard to achieve fully, but meditation certainly is the way to cure such neurosis and unhealthy emotional states. As one’s consciousness is cleansed of emotionally soaked memories, not only does great freedom abound, but also great balance. As one’s responses then are not colored by the burdens one carries, but are instead true, direct and appropriate.
A study at the University of Western Australia found that women are more likely to conceive during periods when they are relaxed rather than stressed. A study at Trakya University, in Turkey, also found that stress reduces sperm count and motility, suggesting relaxation may also boost male fertility.
Relieves Irritable Bowel Syndrome
When patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome began practising a relaxation meditation twice daily, their symptoms of bloating, diarrhoea and constipation improved significantly. The meditation was so effective the researchers at the State University of New York recommended it as an effective treatment.
Lowers Blood Pressure
A study at Harvard Medical School found that meditation lowered blood pressure by making the body less responsive to stress hormones, in a similar way to blood pressure-lowering medication. Meanwhile a British Medical Journal report found that patients trained how to relax had significantly lower blood pressure.
Stress leads to inflammation, a state linked to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and skin conditions such as psoriasis, say researchers at Emory University in the US. Relaxation can help prevent and treat such symptoms by switching off the stress response. In this way, one study at McGill University in Canada found that meditation clinically improved the symptoms of psoriasis.
The simple difference between those who meditate and those who do not, is that for a meditative mind the thought occurs but is witnessed, while for an ordinary mind, the thought occurs and is the boss. So in both minds, an upsetting thought can occur, but for those who meditate it is just another thought, which is seen as such and is allowed to blossom and die, while in the ordinary mind the thought instigates a storm which rages on and on