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What is Meditation?

Posted by Daniella Cippitelli on
What is Meditation?
By now you have probably heard of meditation. But do you know exactly what it is? And why should you care?
Meditation has been around for thousands of years. In the past, meditation was thought to be something only the enlightened, ‘new age’ type folks had access to. Most likely the first thing you thought of was people sitting on floor pillows, with their eyes closed and perhaps chants coming from deep within. But today, we know meditation is so much more than that. In fact, studies have shown that meditation in any form can help ease anxiety, help alleviate pain, aid in concentration, improve sports performance and so much more.
Anyone can practice meditation. You don’t need special equipment, it’s simple, effective and you can do it anywhere.

Benefits of Meditation

Meditation can give you a sense of inner calm and balance that is beneficial for your mind and your body. It is a tool you can use to enhance your overall health. The best part is that its benefits don’t end when the meditation ends, it can help you have a less stressful day or a better night’s sleep.

Meditation effects on emotional well being

Taking up a meditation practice can help ease the stresses of everyday life, helping you cope better with the things life throws at you. And who couldn’t use some stress relief?
Some of the emotional benefits of meditation include:
  • Better handling of stressful situations
  • An increase in self-awareness
  • Understanding the triggers of increased stress in your life
  • Helps reduce negative emotions and anxiety
When you meditate You clear your mind of clutter and give it space to allow peace and calm.

Meditation and illness

Meditation can also be beneficial in the management of illness and pain. You always want to follow the advice of your doctor or health care provider but if he/she agrees meditation is a useful tool in your treatment you may find it helps with:
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Tension
  • Chronic pain
  • Anxiety
  • Cancer
  • Sleep problems
Meditation is not meant to take the place of medical treatment, but in some cases may be a complement to it.

Different types of meditation

There are different forms of meditation. They all share the same goal, to quiet the mind and achieve a sense of inner peace.

Types of meditation include:

Transcendental Meditation- In Transcendental Meditation you sit in quiet and silently repeat to yourself a mantra or affirmation. Your goal is to settle the body into a state of rest.
Guided Meditation- With this method you visualize and form mental images of places, situations, and things you find relaxing. With guided meditation, you are led through the session by a guide or teacher.
Mantra Meditation- With this type of meditation you silently reappear a calming word or phrase to prevent distractions.

Building your meditation skills

Remember, the goal is to relax and it does take time for many people to learn to quiet their minds. It’s ok if you can only sit for five or ten minutes at a time in the beginning. The goal is to do it. Once you get comfortable with the process you can start to build up to longer sessions.
In time, you will be able to ease yourself into a meditative state whenever you choose and your mind and body will thank you for it!

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