Meditation seems to be popping up a lot recently but if you think that it is a new fad, then you cannot be further from the truth. In fact, meditation is considered an ancient craft that has its roots in religious and spiritual traditions. Today, people have begun to realize that meditation and quality of life are interlinked. Indeed, meditation – the act of training your mind to focus, be in the present, and redirect distracting thoughts has many scientifically proven benefits. Arm yourselves with this knowledge and join meditators around the world for a better lifestyle.
How Do You Meditate?
Meditation can be practiced anywhere. However, it may be useful for novices to try in quiet environments to aid the process. Perhaps at home early in the morning or at the park during off-peak hours. It can be practiced while sitting or lying down although the former is more beneficial. It’s best achieved when you close your eyes and don’t dwell on thoughts of the past or worries of the future. Even if these thoughts are generated, you should let them pass you by without judgment or self-flagellation. The idea is to calm the mind and body and perhaps, focus on your breathing. There are many different kinds of meditative practices and techniques, but these basics are a great place to start and have many benefits.
Reduces Stress Levels
The reason so many people attempt meditation is to lower their stress levels in the first place. Studies have shown that individuals who have experienced stressful life situations like being fired from a job, getting injured, or having a loved one move away benefit from meditation to a large extent. This is because meditation trains one to be calm instead of thinking about the past or future. If you have experienced similar stress, meditation-based stress reduction can be a great way to help you achieve equilibrium.
Improves The Quality Of Sleep
It has been found that a large percentage of Americans have insomnia, sleep apnea, or general troubles with falling asleep. This can be due to lifestyle, health, or genetic reasons. Both quantity and quality of sleep are shown to lower as we age. Thus, practices like meditation can help. More specifically, mantra meditation is especially useful for those with such conditions. It works because repetitive sounds or phrases are used to relax the mind and body thus combating fatigue and depressive symptoms from lack of sleep.
Bolsters Cognitive Processes
Meditation has been shown to reverse memory loss associated with diseases like Alzheimer’s. Meditation is believed to increase the production of an enzyme – telomerase – that is needed for better memory. Meditation can also increase one’s attention span. This is due to the focus needed to redirect your thoughts during meditation practice. The subconscious mind is a powerful thing and meditation trains it such that you can retain information for longer periods of time and maintain your attention even when there are distractions present. In this way, meditation combats stress and aids in sleep and cognition.