By Marc Courtiol
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. While it has traditionally been used by people seeking a greater understanding of life, meditation has become a popular tool for relaxation, stress reduction, and maintaining overall good health.
The act of meditating is one of those rare things that does not require any type of special equipment or clothes in order to be done properly. All you need is a few minutes of time and enough room to sit (or stand) by yourself and concentrate.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a process that helps you to focus your attention so that you can reach a state of mental and emotional calm. It can be done pretty much anywhere, and it is a very useful tool for those occasions when you are feeling overwhelmed by too much information or a stressful or tense situation.
How Meditation Benefits Us
Meditation can not only help you to feel calm, it can also bring a sense of peace and emotional well being into your life. In fact, meditation can also help to improve some medical conditions.
Practicing meditation can provide you with the following emotional and mental benefits:
- Better overall stress management
- New perspectives on stress situations
- Greater sense of self-awareness
- Decrease in negative thoughts and emotions
- Sharper focus on what is going on in the present
In addition, meditation can offer you some relief from certain medical conditions, including:
- Sleep problems
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
The reason that meditation is so helpful for these conditions is that they are all negatively impacted by stress. If you suffer from one or more of these conditions and you routinely feel stressed out, you will be far more likely to experience greater, or more severe, symptoms.
Of course, there has not been enough research conducted in order to be able to draw any definitive conclusions about meditation, and it should not be thought of as a replacement for the treatments that have been prescribed for you by your doctor. It is, however, an excellent addition to your regular course of treatment, as reducing the amount of stress in your life promotes good health in a variety of different ways.
In order to successfully meditate, you will need to incorporate four different factors into your efforts.
- Get comfortable – regardless of whether you are sitting, standing, or walking around, you can meditate.
- Find a quiet location – this is particularly important if you are a beginner to meditation. Once you have some experience at it, you will likely find that you can meditate successfully pretty much anywhere.
- Focus your attention – this is what actually helps you to clear your mind from all of the stresses and worries that may have your stress levels soaring. When trying to focus, it is sometimes helpful to concentrate on one particular object.
- Learn relaxed breathing – deep, even breathing that comes from your diaphragm muscle helps your lungs to expand. This will help to slow your breathing and increase your oxygen intake.
Just remember, there is no right or wrong way to meditate. Experiment with it until you find a process that works for you, then stick with it. Practicing meditation regularly will help you to achieve a more relaxed outlook on life and may also help you to improve some health issues. Regardless if your a hippy or not.