Meditation is simply a mental exercise that affects body and mind processes. Just as a physical exercise has certain psychological benefits, meditation has certain physical benefits.
You can guide your mind and body to relaxation, reform your thinking. The purpose of meditation is to gain control over your attention so that you can choose what to focus upon rather than being subject to the unpredictable ebb and flow of environmental circumstances.
The process is simple. Yet, if you are not accustomed to meditation you will need to learn a few basics steps to start living healthier by reforming your way of thinking. Meditation has its tradition grounded in Eastern cultures but has been popularized for Western cultures.
You will only need to take a few moments of each day to practice meditating. Practice will help you to learn effectively and make it easier to reform your way of living by reforming your thinking patterns. Once you reform your thinking patterns, you will start to notice improvements, since your behaviors will change also.
Have you tried meditation to solve your stress and health problems? If you haven’t done so yet, now may be one of the best times to make that experience a reality. Mediation is one of the most sought after forms of stress relief and is even recommended by many doctors.
The correct way to Meditate
Meditation is best learned in a relatively quiet, comfortable environment. However, once you become experienced, you will be able to meditate almost anywhere.
Once you have located a quiet place to learn meditation, find a comfortable chair. Because sleep is a different physiological state than meditation, you will not get the benefits of meditation if you fall asleep.
To help prevent yourself from falling asleep, use a straight-backed chair. This type of chair encourages you to align your spine and requires only a minimum of muscular contraction to keep you erect (though not stiff). If you can find a chair that will support your upper back and head, all the better.
Be seated in this chair with your buttocks pushed against its back, feet slightly forward of your knees, and your hands resting either on the arms of the chair or in your lap.
Let your muscles relax as best you can. Don’t try to relax. Trying is work, not relaxation. Just assume a passive attitude in which you focus upon your breathing.
Next, close your eyes and repeat in your mind the word “one” every time you inhale and the word “two” every time you exhale. Do not consciously alter or control your breathing; It is recommended that you meditate twice a day for approximately twenty minutes each time.
Last, when you stop meditating, give your body a chance to become readjusted to normal routines. Open your eyes gradually, first focusing on one object in the room. Relaxation Techniques then focusing upon several objects. Take several deep breaths.
Your blood pressure and heart rate are decreased while meditating, thus rising from the chair too quickly might make you dizzy and is not recommended.
Some recommendations for uncomfortable issues
Although you shouldn’t experience any problems, if you feel uncomfortable or dizzy, or if you experience hallucinations or disturbing images, just open your eyes and stop meditating. These situations are rare but occasionally do occur. Here are several more recommendations:
- Do not meditate directly after a meal. After eating, the blood is pooled in the stomach area, participating in the digestive process. Since part of the relaxation response is increased blood flow to the arms and legs, pooled blood in the abdomen is not conducive to relaxation. It is for this reason that you should meditate before breakfast and before dinner.
- The object of meditation is to bring about a hypometabolic state. Because caffeine is a stimulant and is included in coffee, tea, cola, and some other soft drinks, and because you do not want to be stimulated but, rather, to relax, you should not ingest these substances before meditating. Likewise, you should avoid smoking cigarettes (which contain the stimulant nicotine) or using other stimulant drugs.
- If you may feel some discomfort in your neck or shoulder muscles when doing meditations, this is because these muscles may not be flexible enough; for the same reason, some of you can’t touch your toes without bending your knees. With stretching, these muscles will acquire greater flexibility and will not result in any discomfort when the head hangs forward.
The Main Stages of the Mind
But, you may not realize that when the brain is in a “normal” state that it actually is very abnormal in what it is doing. To help you to understand meditation, we must first break down the different stages in which the brain functions so that you can see the state of mind that you are functioning in most often.
There are three unique stages in the brain that depicts how it is functioning at any one time. When you consider meditation, only going through these three stages can actually get to you achieve the serenity that you are after with meditation.
First Stage: The Normal Mind
In the “normal” state of mind, your mind is working in various directions. It is functioning as it usually does which means it is bouncing from one idea and thought to the next.
In fact, this is a quite abnormal activity for the brain because it needs to focus on a lesser amount of ideas if it is to be successful in resolving problems.
Stimuli from all over the place are coming in at the brain. When something new stimulates your mind, it moves from its previous thought to the new one. Although you feel like you are completely in control of yourself during this type of brain function, you likely aren’t.
You have very little control over the way that you behave and think during this type of situation. Not only do your thoughts move from one thing to the next thing quickly, but your physical being is doing the same thing too. Your emotions follow suit, too.
Second Stage: Concentration
When you enter into concentration, you enter into the first state that will lead you to meditation. Yet, don’t confuse concentration with meditation. It’s very much something quite different.
During the second stage of meditation, you can begin to get control of your mind. When you learn to keep yourself in this type of mind frame, chances are good that you’ll improve the quality of your life considerably.
In concentration, your goal seems simple but it actually quite difficult to master to any amount of degree. You need to concentrate on one sole thing or object. Focus on it, without allowing your mind to wander. It’s very difficult, actually.
Third Stage: Final Meditation
In meditation, the third stage of the process, you enter a completely different realm. Now, you are able to fully concentrate on the object or thought that needs to be accomplished without falling for any type of distraction.
Here, no distractions or mind tricks happen to you during the process. It’s a stage that you should strive for because it really can offer you a new way of looking at things.
During concentration, your mind is only really concentrating on the objects you present it in a minimal way. Distraction breaks the continuous stream of concentrating thoughts.
In meditation, though, this is no longer the case. Now, you are keeping an ongoing stream of thought moving. There’s nothing breaking it and nothing that is able to pull your mind from it. This is the ultimate experience in meditation because of the amount of focus it provides you.
Now, you have entered the final stages of meditation which is called contemplation. This part of the final stage of meditation is the very best level of consciousness that your mind and body can enter.
What is the Contemplation
Contemplation is the final level of meditation. In this state of mind, virtually anything and everything is possible. Yet, not many can understand what contemplation is without experiencing it.
During contemplation, you enter an entirely new world of thought and mind. Instead of thinking about yourself and your own problems, you are now connected with the entire universe. Now, you are experiencing a level of consciousness that allows you to connect with the cosmos.
Look at the way that your mind works today, right now. How does it feel? Each time that you face a distraction, your mind is pulled in another direction making it nearly impossible for you to focus and to obtain true meditation.
- Decreased heart rate during quiet meditation
- Lower blood pressure in normal and moderately hypertensive individuals quicker recovery from stress
- Increase in alpha rhythms (slow, high-amplitude brain waves that correlate with relaxation)
- Enhanced synchronization (that is, simultaneous operation) of the right and left hemispheres of the brain (which positively correlates with creativity)
- Reduced cholesterol levels
- Decreased consumption of energy and need for oxygen
- Deeper, slower breathing
- Muscle relaxation
- Reduction in the intensity of pain
- More happiness and peace of mind
- Managing and preventing anxiety
- Less emotional reactivity; fewer intense negative emotions
- Increased empathy
- Highly effective stress management
- Enhanced creativity and self-actualization
- Heightened perceptual clarity and sensitivity
- Reductions in both acute and chronic anxiety
- Highly effective stress management
- Increased self-compassion
Benefits You Experience
In addition to this, there are additional benefits that can come from meditation. Here are some of the many benefits of your experience.
- Meditation allows you to focus, allowing you to accomplish your tasks in a better method as well as faster.
- Meditation allows you to improve your level of stress. By reducing stress, you will make better decisions and fully handle problems effectively.
- Meditation allows you to communicate more effectively, through more defined words that ultimately lead you to a better realm.
- Meditation allows you to improve your health including helps to improve heart conditions, cancer risks, high blood pressure and plenty of other conditions. By lowering stress levels on the body, you can heal faster and more effectively from any of these experiences.
- Meditation allows you to be a better friend and family member. Through the dedication of those around you, you all can become enlightened and therefore on a higher realm of being.
- Meditation promotes the health of the mind, too. By allowing your mind to enter this improved state, you can create for yourself an amazing of being, which allows you to think clearer. It helps to keep your mind sharp.
- Meditation allows you to become the real you, the one that you want to be, rather than the person that is held captive by the world around them. If you meditate, you can learn quite a bit about yourself as well as the world around you!
There are many more benefits to meditation. For each person, this experience is going to be quite unique. If you wish to find out what it can offer you, you must learn to meditate.
There is nothing negative that can come of meditation and what’s more there is quite a bit of good that can come out from it.