Meditation can be a surprisingly powerful healing tool – did you know that meditation can reduce stress, lessen anxiety, and even lower blood pressure? If you are struggling with the many demands of modern life then meditation can be an excellent tool for better health and wellbeing. Here’s how meditation affects your health, and how you can meditate for optimum health benefits.
What are the Health Benefits of Meditation?
Meditation is often seen as a purely spiritual practice but you may be surprised to learn that meditation also has physical health benefits, too. When you meditate regularly your stress levels drop and it becomes easier to manage stress. This has an impact on the health conditions you suffer from and can lower your risk of serious disease. Many people use meditation as a direct treatment for conditions like high blood pressure, asthma, cancer, and digestive disorders.
In addition, meditation has a profound effect on your mental health and many people use meditation as a means of treating mental health disorders such as depression and anxiety. The way in which you focus your attention inwardly and learn to discard thoughts of the future and the past can lower your anxiety levels and help you feel more “grounded” and positive. Meditation can help you to view aspects of your life more rationally, which results in a better mental outlook. Meditation is also used by many people as a way of benefiting the creativity process.
How Do You Meditate?
Meditation means different things to different people. There are numerous ways to meditate, many of which have deep spiritual tradition. For example, transcendental meditation uses mantras or words to narrow the conscious awareness. Mindfulness meditation is the act of becoming fully present in the moment – disregarding past and future and focusing on the now. Guided meditation is often lead by someone who describes places and situations that are relaxing and positive. Yoga is a way to meditate while carrying out physical poses and using the breath as a relaxation aid.
To start meditating, simply sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Focus your mind on the experience of the breath leaving and entering the body. When your minds wander and other thoughts come into your mind, gently direct your attention back to the breath. Continue for five minutes, gradually building the amount of time you spend meditating.