The only journey is the journey within.
Meditation is an effective way of focusing your mind to bring about relaxation, peace and tranquility. It will help you gain a new perspective and enable you to stand back from your problems. Meditation can be used to relieve stress and promote relaxation.
What is meditation?
There are many types of meditation but they all focus on quietening the mind. The intention is to direct your concentration so that it is filled with peace and calm and cannot become stressed. When the mind is calm and focused in the present it is neither reacting to memories nor worrying over the future, two major sources of chronic stress. Meditation techniques can be divided into two basic groups:
1. Concentrative Meditation
This focuses your attention on something specific, such as the intake of breath, or an image or phrase, in order to still the mind and facilitate the emergence of a greater awareness of clarity.
2. Mindfulness Meditation
Also known as vispassana, or ‘passive awareness’, this describes a state of mind where you are aware of, but detached from, everything you are experiencing. Your attention is aware of sensations, feelings, images, thoughts and sounds without thinking about them; you observe sounds without making judgments. This means experiencing what happens in the here and now to gain a calmer, clearer and non-reactive state of mind.
The benefits of meditation:
Being able to control your mind instead of allowing your mind to control you will help bring peace and harmony into your life. Those who meditate regularly are less anxious, calmer, mentally more alert and more efficient in managing time and energy. Research suggests that meditation provides the following benefits:
- More relaxed body
- Improved sleep patterns
- Lower blood pressure and reduced pulse rate
- Lower levels of stress hormones in the blood
- Improved circulation