What is Meditation?

Meditation is practice that has been around for thousands of years. Originally, it was used for deeper understanding for sacred and mystical forces in life. Presently, meditation is used for relaxation and stress relief. There are different ways to meditate including guided meditation, mantra meditation, mindfulness meditation, Qi gong, Tai chi, Transcendental meditation, and Yoga.

What are the benefits of Meditation?

Mediation causes you to focus your attention and eliminate the stream of jumbled thoughts that cause you stress and crowd your mind. It gives you a sense of calm and benefits your emotional and overall health. It helps people manage their stress, focus on the present, reduce negative emotions and increase self-awareness. Research suggests that meditation can help people manage symptoms of anxiety, asthma, depression, heart disease, high blood pressure, pain, insomnia, and emotional or physical symptoms associated with chronic illnesses. Meditation is not a replacement to medication, but can help manage symptoms concurrent with medications.

What elements are there in Meditation?

There are many different features and elements of mediation but the most common include focused attention, relaxed breathing, quiet settings, and comfortable positioning. Focusing your attention helps to free you mind from distractions that cause stress and anxiety. Deep, even-paced breathing that expands your lungs is used to slow your breathing, intake more oxygen and relax your shoulder, back and chest muscles. Quiet setting is helpful for beginners to clear your mind, but more skilled meditation practitioners can meditate anywhere. Comfortable positions help your body relax and focus on the meditation.

How does it work?

The theory behind meditation is that the autonomic (involuntary) nervous system is regulated. This system controls the heartbeat, sweating, breathing and digestion. Thus, if this is regulated, stress and anxiety symptoms can be regulated. The parasympathetic nervous system decreases the heart and breathing rate, dilates blood vessels, and increase the flow of digestive juices. The sympathetic nervous system increases heart and breathing rate. Thus, meditation slows the sympathetic and increases the parasympathetic nervous system activity.