With the hectic pace and demands of modern life, many people are stressed and over-worked. It often feels like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. The stress and tiredness make us unhappy, impatient and frustrated. It can even affect our health. We are often so busy we feel there is no time to stop and meditate! But meditation actually provides more time, by making your mind calmer and more focused. A simple 10 or 15 fifteen minute period of meditation can help one to overcome stress and find some inner peace and balance.
With meditation, the mind is clear, relaxed, and inwardly focused. When you meditate, you are fully awake and alert, but your mind is not focused on the external world or on the events taking place around you. Meditation requires an inner state that is still and one-pointed so that the mind becomes silent. When the mind is silent and no longer distracts you, meditation deepens, which results in mental, emotional and physical benefits, such as:
- reducing stress
- clearer thinking
Physical benefits of meditation:
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
- Decreases tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
- Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
- Improves the immune system
- Increases the energy level
Mental benefits of meditation:
- Decreased anxiety
- Improved emotional stability
- Increased creativity
- Increased happiness
- Increased intuition
- More clarity and peace of mind
- Fewer problems
- Sharpens the mind by increasing focus
- Less tension, anger and frustration
- Expanded consciousness
Meditation can be practiced anywhere – at home, during public transportation, or almost anywhere else. Although more research is needed about the role of meditation for medical treatment, some research shows that it may be helpful for allergies, arthritis, hypertension or high blood pressure, and heart disease as well as several other conditions.
How to meditate
- Sit or lie comfortably.
- Close your eyes.
- Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
- Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders, return your focus back to your breath.
How long should you meditate each day?
If you are just starting out, it is recommended that you meditate for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes every day. You can start with even less. Maybe try it for 1 minute in the morning. And when you can sit still and relax for that long, move to 2 minutes. Find whatever works for you and make it a daily routine, because the benefits are truly worth it.
Remember the Health Power motto: Knowledge + Action = Power!