What is Meditation?
Meditation is relaxation. It is not about concentration, it’s actually about de-concentration. It’s not about focussing one’s thoughts on something specific, but instead entering a state of mind that has no thoughts. The overall benefits of meditations include a calm mind, enhanced concentration, improved clarity and communication, and relaxation of the mind and body. Regular practice of meditation has a profound impact on the core three areas of our existence – physical, mental, and spiritual.
Benefits of meditation to the body
Here are the benefits of meditation:
- increases energy levels
- increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
- strengthens the immune system
- lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
- lowers high blood pressure
- decreases tension-related pain (headaches, ulcers, muscle, insomnia, and joint problems)
Normally, mental and physical stress cause increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This produces many of the harmful effects of stress, such as the release of inflammation-promoting chemicals called cytokines. These effects can disrupt sleep, promote depression and anxiety, increase blood pressure and contribute to fatigue and cloudy thinking.
In an eight-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress.
Some types of meditation may particularly increase positive feelings and actions toward yourself and others. Metta, a type of meditation also known as loving-kindness meditation, begins with developing kind thoughts and feelings toward yourself. through practice, people learn to extend this kindness and forgiveness externally, first to friends, then acquaintances, and ultimately enemies.
Twenty-two studies of this form of meditation have demonstrated its ability to increase peoples’ compassion toward themselves and others. One study of 100 adults randomly assigned to a program that included loving-kindness meditation found that these benefits were dose-dependent.
A variety of meditation techniques can help you relax and control the “runaway” thoughts that can interfere with sleep. This can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and increase sleep quality.
Meditation can also improve physical health by reducing strain on the heart. over time, high blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood, which can lead to poor heart function. high blood pressure also contributes to atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
In part, meditation appears to control blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signals that coordinate heart function, the tension in blood vessels, and the “fight-or-flight” response that increases alertness in stressful situations.
Best way to get all these benefits of meditation
- Regular practice is necessary.
- It takes only about 20 minutes every day. Once imbibed into the daily routine, meditation becomes the best part of your day.
- It’s important to be on a light/empty stomach. Digestion requires high metabolism while meditation lowers the metabolic rate of the body.
- If you’re getting thoughts during meditation, simply observe them. Don’t resist them.
- You will start experiencing the meditation benefits within two months of regular practice.
- If you’re a beginner, it’s easier if you’re sitting in a quiet, clean place. Once you become more adept at meditation, you can meditate anywhere.
Mental Benefits of meditation
Regular practice of meditation benefits:
- creativity increases
- gain clarity and peace of mind
- anxiety decreases
- Better memory and retention
- relaxes the mind
- emotional stability improves
- happiness increases
- intuition develops
- mental agility increases
Meditation brings the brainwave pattern into an alpha state that promotes healing. The mind becomes fresh, delicate, and beautiful. It cleanses and nourishes you from within and calms you, whenever you feel overwhelmed, unstable, or emotionally shut down.