Meditation is one of the proven alternative therapies. It can be broadly classified under the mind-body medicine.

More and more doctors are prescribing meditation as a way to lower blood pressure, improve exercise performance in people with angina, help people with asthma breathe easier, relieve insomnia and generally relax the everyday stresses of life. Meditation is a safe and simple way to balance a person’s physical, emotional, and mental states. It is simple; but can benefit everybody.

The use of Meditation for healing is not new. Meditative techniques are the product of diverse cultures and peoples around the world. It has been rooted in the traditions of the world’s great religions. In fact, practically all religious groups practice meditation in one form or another. The value of Meditation to alleviate suffering and promote healing has been known and practiced for thousands of years.

With the hectic pace and demands of modern life, many people feel stressed and over-worked. It often feels like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. Our stress and tiredness make us unhappy, impatient and frustrated. It can even affect our health. We are often so busy we feel there is no time to stop and meditate.But meditation actually gives you more time by making your mind calmer and more focused. A simple ten or fifteen minute breathing meditation as explained below can help you to overcome your stress and find some inner peace and balance.

Meditation can also help us to understand our own mind. We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. Overcoming negative minds and cultivating constructive thoughts is the purpose of the transforming meditations found in the Buddhist tradition. This is a profound spiritual practice you can enjoy throughout the day, not just while seated in meditation.

Types of Meditation:

All the meditation techniques can be grouped into two basic approaches:

1 Concentrative meditation:

Focuses the attention on the breath, an image, or a sound (mantra), in order to still the mind and allow a greater awareness and clarity to emerge. This is like a zoom lens in a camera; we narrow our focus to a selected field.

The simplest form of concentrative meditation is to sit quietly and focus the attention on the breath. Yoga and meditation practitioners believe that there is a direct correlation between one’s breath and one’s state of the mind. For example, when a person is anxious, frightened, agitated, or distracted, the breath will tend to be shallow, rapid, and uneven. On the other hand, when the mind is calm, focused, and composed, the breath will tend to be slow, deep, and regular. Focusing the mind on the continuous rhythm of inhalation and exhalation provides a natural object of meditation. As you focus your awareness on the breath, your mind becomes absorbed in the rhythm of inhalation and exhalation. As a result, your breathing will become slower and deeper, and the mind becomes more tranquil and aware.

2 Mindfulness meditation:

Involves opening the attention to become aware of the continuously passing parade of sensations and feelings, images, thoughts, sounds, smells, and so forth without becoming involved in thinking about them. The person sits quietly and simply witnesses whatever goes through the mind, not reacting or becoming involved with thoughts, memories, worries, or images. This helps to gain a more calm, clear, and non-reactive state of mind. Mindfulness meditation can be likened to a wide-angle lens.

Meditation and medical illnesses

Many healthy people use meditation as a way to relax the body and reduce stress. But meditation may also be useful if you have a medical disease or condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress. Scientific research about the benefits of meditation is continuing, and the results are mixed. Keeping that in mind, some research shows that meditation may help such conditions as:

  • Allergies
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Asthma
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Heart disease

Be sure to talk to your health care professional about the pros and cons of using meditation if you have any of these or other medical conditions. Meditation isn’t a replacement for traditional medical treatment. But it may be useful in addition to your other treatment.

Ways to Meditate:

When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day. When your mind is clear of distracting thoughts, you gain new perspectives and new ways of handling stress and other problems. You become more self-aware. You focus on the here and now – not on your ever-growing to-do list.

While there are many different ways to meditate, the goal is the same – inner peace. You may have heard about transcendental meditation, Zen meditation, movement meditation and other forms of meditation. But don’t let the thought of meditating the “right” way add to your stress. Sure, you can certainly attend special meditation centers or group classes led by trained instructors to practice such forms of meditation as:

  • Yoga
  • Tai chi
  • Guided meditation
  • Qi gong

But you can also practice meditation easily on your own. You can find everyday opportunities to meditate wherever you happen to be. You can also make meditation as formal or informal as you like – whatever suits your lifestyle and situation. Some people build meditation into their daily routine. For example, they may start and end each day with an hour of meditation. If you’re short on time, all you really need is a few minutes.

There is no right or wrong behavior during your meditation. It is your time for you. Everyone deserves this kind of personal attention. This is a self-care activity; loving oneself.Teach it to your children instead of a time-out in their room or corner. Teach it to your friends, family, anyone who will listen. We can share this gift and get back as we give. We are all better because of each person who meditates. The peace and joy felt by those who meditate enters the world for all of us as positive energy. From it the world is a better place. Imagine if we all practiced meditation.

Sources: 1st Holistic , How to Meditate

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