Some of the earliest methods of meditation were first founded in the ancient India, Hindu Vedas specifically, and later were spread to Taoists in China and Buddhists in India. The meditation practice may involve different techniques, from postures to breathing practices, but the desired outcome is often to achieve internal peace and relaxation.

This ancient philosophical model was founded, spread and taught by many practitioners worldwide, including teachers, monks, gurus and yogis in an effort to help the mind reach a sense of well-being through internal focus and self-regulation. Today, meditation has also been advised to be a great healing tool to suppress any emotional or mental state that may lead to depression, stress or anxiety.

In today’s hyper-active and technology-focused life we are “on-the-go” most of the time, thus it is hard to find time to relax, even when we are “on the mat.’’ Unintentionally, in the middle of our Savasana, we may catch ourselves thinking about work, our partners, the dog or the menu for tonight’s dinner. Meditation is a tool that can help us provoke our mode of conscious thoughts and it can help us clear our mind.

Understanding meditation

Meditation is usually done in a place where you cannot be disturbed. That doesn’t mean quiet, as one of the main powers of mediation is to be able to exclude what is happening around you in that particular moment. Often the practice starts with your eyes closed and your body is either in a comfortable posture or lying down. The goal of this spiritual exercise is to acknowledge your thoughts, worries and emotions but to hold them aside while focusing on calming and relaxing. With time you may feel as though you can observe yourself and you become conscious of your actions and increase your awareness.

Evaluating your meditation needs

Evaluate your day-to-day activities and see how they make you feel and what is it that you would like to achieve. If you are stressed, low on energy or running out of patience you should consider including meditation in your daily routine. This can include anything, from 10 minutes to as long as you need. Either way, taking the time to exclude your distracting thoughts will allow you to have more control of what affects you or not, thus you will not feel overwhelmed.

The benefits of meditation

It has been proven over the years the stress can impact people mentally and physically, so knowing how to regulate your stress level is crucial aspect for your well-being. Through meditation you will find balance and an internal energy and you may even develop other important characteristics such as compassion and forgiveness. Among all of these positive changes you will see how the events that used to disturb you and frustrate you have slowly faded and no longer causes you harm. Accompanying meditation with physical exercise is a very efficient combination, but not a necessary one.

If you are suffering from any of the conditions that we have mentioned above, before starting a meditative practice, consult with your doctor if this is the right practice for you. Meditation does not replace prescribed medications.

Seeing the results of meditation

Paying attention to how you feel and taking the time to rejuvenate yourself through meditation can increase your quality of life. Through your journey you may learn how to observe rather than react, you may learn to forgive rather than holding the anger and you may start appreciating more rather than feeling unsatisfied. You let go of things that once held you back.

[Photo by Christine Boose – CC BY]

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