You know that you need to take care of yourself and learning to meditate and making time to meditate everyday can be a big part of that.
With meditation you can improve your health, your mind and your emotional attitude.
You do not have to be religious to meditate, you do not have to belong to a cult to meditate! What you do need to do is make time to meditate. This is a great skill to add to your arsenal of ways to take care of yourself and to create and nurture your total image!
There are many many religions that do practice meditation. That is not because meditation is religion based but because the practice of meditation can help you find your spiritual self and then for you to clear your mind and meditate on your faith and your relationship with your Diety is a common objective shared by many religions. Meditation is practiced in Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Sikhism, Taoism, Jainism and in New Age Faiths and in the Baha’i Faith. Meditation is practiced in Yoga and it is practiced by anyone who wants to improve themselves and their health. Meditation can be used in medicine.
So, don’t be afraid of practicing meditation, afraid it will convert you or relate you to some belief that does not fit your life or your beliefs or your mind set. Practice it because it is good for you and realize the benefits you will attain by practicing it everyday. Even if it’s just a few minutes, you will benefit!
So, what are the benefits of meditation? Let’s start with being able to reduce stress, increase your well-being and overall health, sleep better, develop positive thoughts, improve mental clarity, improve problem solving skills, improve relationships, work better and be more productive. All that and more, heck, you can change your life!
Meditation is a method for understanding and working on our own mind and even controlling our own body better.
We begin by learning simple breathing meditations to help quiet the stress, worry and turbulence within and to develop more mental peace. We then begin to progress to identifying our own negative mental states such as our anger, worries, stress, anxiety or depression. By understanding our mental states we can begin to identify which states of mind make us calm and happy and which cause pain and mental discomfort.
Our own inner understanding grows through this process as we learn how to develop those peaceful and positive mental states of mind that bring better health and happiness.
With meditation and practicing it regularly we are able to maintain the positive thoughts we have developed and as a result we become more able to use wisdom to solve the problems or difficulties of our daily life.
As we become more positive our actions easily become more healthy and constructive, which naturally leads to our lives becoming more satisfying and meaningful as well as our relationships with others. That’s a part of why taking care of yourself is import to being there for your loved ones and being able to help them in their daily lives as well.
You don’t need a lot of time or experience to start meditating. You do need to take a few minutes every day to settle your mind. Once you learn the basic meditation techniques, you can use these methods for 5-10 minutes every day to help you improve your health and your life. You can take classes on meditation if you don’t want to start off by yourself. Meditation is generally an inwardly oriented, personal practice, which individuals can do by themselves.
In over 1,000 published research studies, various methods of meditation have been linked to changes in metabolism, blood pressure, brain activation, and other bodily processes. Meditation has been used in clinical settings as a method of stress and pain reduction. Again, it will benefit you in so many ways.
You can use prayer beads or rituals if those help you to relax but remember, meditation need not be religious. You can use it to deepen your spirituality too though if that’s what you choose.
Three main criteria have been identified as essential to any meditation practice: the use of a defined technique, logic relaxation, and a self-induced state/mode. Other additional criteria considered important by some, but not essential, involve a state of physical relaxation, the use of a self-focus skill, the ability to achieve a state of suspension of logical thought processes, or a state of mental silence. For some putting it into a philosophical, spiritual or religious context helps.
The first step is to find a place or places where you can relax, concentrate and pay attention to your breathing. You can sit in a chair or on a couch or on the ground, or you can lay down or stand…..what matters is that you are comfortable. You can focus intensively on one particular object, known as “concentrative meditation” or a wide field of awareness, like a beautiful location or a place that is relaxing to you. Some people even walk or perform simple tasks while meditating. Your goal is to achieve “serenity” or “tranquility” during meditation and eventually another goal is “insight”. You need to be able to relax in your meditation to achieve results. Through meditation you can achieve serenity and then you are able to suppress obscuring distractions; and, with the suppression of the distractions, that is when you develop insight and you gain wisdom and peace.
I am going to stop here for now and I will present more on this subject in my next article. Check back soon!
( Part one of three )