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Meditation: Technique and Benefits

Medikoe Wellness Expert

Medikoe Wellness Expert

  80 feet road indira nagar, Bengaluru     Feb 9, 2017

   8 min     

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Overview

The word meditation is originated from two Latin words, "meditari", which means to think and "mederi", which means to heal. Meditation implies an end of the thought process. It describes a state of consciousness when the mind is free of scattered thoughts. It is an approach to train the brain.

Meditation is an ancient tradition, but it is still practised in cultures all over the world to create a sense of calm and inner harmony. Meditation is increasing in popularity these days, with the greater need to reduce stress in the midst of our busy schedules and demanding lives.

Understanding meditation

Meditation has been practised for thousands of years. Meditation originally was meant to help deepen understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. These days, meditation is commonly used for relaxation and stress reduction.

Meditation is considered a type of complementary mind-body medicine. Meditation can produce a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind.

During meditation, you focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind and causing stress. This process may result in enhanced physical and emotional well-being.

What are the Types of Meditation?

  • Mindfulness MeditationIt is the most popular meditation technique in the west, and it originates from Buddhist teachings. In this, people pay attention to their thoughts as they pass through their minds. This practice combines concentration with awareness. People may find it helpful to focus on an object or your breath while they observe any bodily sensations, thoughts, or feelings.
  • Spiritual Meditation: It is used in Eastern Religions, such as Hinduism, Daoism, and Christian Faith. It can be practised at home or in a place of worship as it is similar to prayer in that you reflect on the silence around you and seek a deeper connection with God. The essential oils used to intensify the spiritual experience are frankincense, myrrh, sage, cedar, sandalwood, and palo santo.
  • Focused Meditation: It involves concentration using any of the five senses. For example, you can focus on something internal, like your breath or something external, like counting mala beads, listening to a gong, or staring at a candle flame.
  • Movement Meditation: It is an active form of meditation where the movement guides you. It is good for people who find peace in action and prefer to let their minds wander.
  • Mantra Meditation: This practice uses a repetitive sound to clear the mind. It can be a word, phrase, or music, such as the popular "Om." After chanting a mantra for some time, you will be more alert and in tune with your environment. This is a good practice for people who don't like silence and enjoy repetition.
  • Guided meditation: Sometimes called guided imagery or visualization, with this method of meditation, you form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing. You try to use as many senses as possible, such as smells, sights, sounds and textures. You may be led through this process by a guide or teacher.
  • Tai chi: This is a form of gentle Chinese martial arts. In tai chi (TIE-CHEE), you perform a self-paced series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner while practising deep breathing.
  • Qi gong: This practice generally combines meditation, relaxation, physical movement and breathing exercises to restore and maintain balance. Qi gong (CHEE-gung) is part of traditional Chinese medicine.
  • Transcendental Meditation: It is the most popular type of meditation around the world. It uses a mantra or series of words that are specific to each practitioner. This form of meditation may allow your body to settle into a state of profound rest and relaxation and your mind to achieve a state of inner peace without needing to use concentration or effort.
  • Yoga. You perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind. As you move through poses that require balance and concentration, you're encouraged to focus less on your busy day and more on the moment.

How to start with your meditation?

Sit quietly and focus on your breath. You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day if you are too busy; otherwise, sit for an hour.

Elements of meditation

Different types of meditation may include different features to help you meditate. These may vary depending on whose guidance you follow or who's teaching a class. Some of the most common features in meditation include:

  • Focused attention. Focusing your attention is generally one of the most important elements of meditation.
  • Focusing your attention is what helps free your mind from the many distractions that cause stress and worry. You can focus your attention on such things as a specific object, an image, a mantra, or even your breathing.
  • Relaxed breathing. This technique involves deep, even-paced breathing using the diaphragm muscle to expand your lungs. The purpose is to slow your breathing, take in more oxygen, and reduce the use of shoulder, neck and upper chest muscles while breathing so that you breathe more efficiently.
  • A quiet setting. If you're a beginner, practising meditation may be easier if you're in a quiet spot with few distractions, including no television, radios or cellphones.
  • As you get more skilled at meditation, you may be able to do it anywhere, especially in high-stress situations where you benefit the most from meditation, such as a traffic jam, a stressful work meeting or a long line at the grocery store.
  • A comfortable position. You can practice meditation whether you're sitting, lying down, walking, or in other positions or activities. Just try to be comfortable so that you can get the most out of your meditation. Aim to keep good posture during meditation.
  • Open attitude. Let thoughts pass through your mind without judgment.

What are the Benefits of Meditation?

1. Peace of mind

Meditation offers you peace of mind, and balance which will help you in stabilizing mental, emotional well being and helps in keeping you healthy. This does not give up when your meditation session ends. It will help to improve your day and your medical condition.

The main emotional benefits of meditation are:

  • Gain of Self-awareness
  • Focusing on present life
  • It reduces anxiety
  • Fights depression
  • Reduces the negative thoughts and emotions
  • Will build skills that will manage your stress.

2. Brain cells growth

A Study in the Brain Structure & Function According (done in 2013) revealed that at least 2 hours of quietness a day results in the production of the brain cells. It's the brain's way of preparing for upcoming mental challenges. Therefore, try meditating for at least 2 hours a day.

3.  Fights dementia

Meditation every day reduces the risk of dementia caused by brain cell damage since meditation enhances the growth of new cells.

4.  Improves heart health

Meditating every day can help in reducing the risk factors for heart disease by lowering the blood pressure and heart rate and improving blood circulation.

5. Fights insomnia

Silence is the key to sound sleep, and meditation enhances the relaxation response and improves the mood so that you get a good night sleep.

6. Calms the nervous system

Meditative exercises calm the nervous system and contribute to a healthier rest and a happier life.

7. Fights addiction

Self-control and awareness, which are the two keys to keeping addiction away, can be enhanced with the help of medication. These two mental disciplines can be developed through meditation and can help you fight addiction.

8. Controls pain

Pain is caused due to an activity in the brain centre. Meditation is shown to control the increased activity in the brain centres that can help in managing the pain.

9. Weight loss

Meditation helps in making your thoughts and actions aware, which includes the ones related to food and aids in weight loss.

10. Creates a positive attitude

Meditation increases positive vibes, feelings, and actions toward yourself and others and creates a positive environment and attitude.

  • Don't be afraid; step out of your comfort zone and try these different types of meditation practices; if you are looking to reduce stress, find spiritual enlightenment, find stillness, flow through movement, there is a meditation practice for you.

Building your meditation skills

Don't judge your meditation skills, which may only increase your stress. Meditation takes practice.

Keep in mind, for instance, that it's common for your mind to wander during meditation, no matter how long you've been practising meditation. If you're meditating to calm your mind and your attention wanders, slowly return to the object, sensation or movement you're focusing on.

Experiment, and you'll likely find out what types of meditation work best for you and what you enjoy doing. Adapt meditation to your needs at the moment. Remember, there's no right way or wrong way to meditate. What matters is that meditation helps you reduce your stress and feel better overall.

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Tags:  meditation,weight loss,types of meditation, Guided meditation, Mindfulness Meditation, Focused Meditation, Mantra Meditation, Tai chi, Transcendental Meditation, Meditation Benefits, Self-awareness, Weight loss,

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