Meditation & Mindfulness

5 Benefits to Meditation

5 Benefits to Meditation

We are addicted to our thoughts. We cannot change anything if we cannot change our thinking. ~ Santosh Kalwar

Meditation has numerous benefits and has been deemed suitable by practitioners for curing many ailments. Millions of dollars has been spent on this very subject and much research is still ongoing to show exactly what benefits meditation can provide. Here are 5 benefits we know for sure.

1. Meditation acts as a stress reliever

Meditation works wonders for stress levels and helps quieten the mind of unnecessary chatter. Our minds seem to be constantly on the go; have you noticed how some nights it is hard to rid yourself of all that incessant noise? Meditation is very effective for clearing away the negativity and allowing your body to relax, while at the same time, reducing those anxiety levels. By concentrating on your breathing you are able to let go of all that internal stress that you are bottling inside, relaxing both the body and the mind.

2. Meditation gives you perspective

As your mind relaxes, you start to release those powerful emotions that might be holding you back. This release will help you gain clarity and enable you to see things from a new perspective rather than from an overly emotional viewpoint. It will give you the ability to see things from another angle that you may not have considered due to all the other issues affecting your decision making abilities. Often we make decisions based on the belief that our decision is the best choice. As soon as we acknowledge that our decision is not the only choice, then we open ourselves up to a multitude of possibilities.

3. Meditation makes you more focused

Meditation is strongly linked to improved concentration and attention to detail. A stronger focus will help you retain information longer and allow you to complete tasks quicker. Rather than allowing your attention to be taken away from what you are doing at present, you learn to do one task completely without distraction before moving on to another. Studies have also shown an increase in memory after regular meditation sessions.

4. Meditation boosts your immune function

Meditation is a great way to boost your overall health. As relaxation is linked to boosting your immunity, meditation works on the same level. As relaxation increases, blood vessels open up lowering blood pressure and boosting antibodies. A positive mental state will allow your immune system to thrive.

5. Meditation makes you happy

Bills, work, family squabbles, disappointments – the list is long – and they can all affect your ability to be happy. Meditation has the ability to boost those feel good chemicals working inside you, ensuring you focus more on the positive aspects of your life rather than the negative. Studies have shown that those who meditate have more activity in their prefrontal cortex, the area linked to positivity. Not that you really need a study to tell you. Try it for yourself and watch those mood enhancing elements at work.

Regular meditation will allow all these benefits to take root and grow in your life. If you want to be happy, healthy, more focussed, less stressed and open to opportunities as they are presented to you, then meditation is the quickest route to do just that. Now it’s just a matter of finding the time to do it!

Blessings, Nicole

What is Meditation?

What Is Meditation?

Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It is a way of entering into the quiet that is already there—buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day. ~ Deepak Chopra

Meditation is a transformative process which allows you to calm the mind, effortlessly. It is a tool that can be used by anyone to gain contemplation and reflection; in today’s world it is indeed more of a necessity than a luxury.

Meditation essentially clears the mind from all negativity and unnecessary activity requiring you to focus on the present, rather than past actions or future desires. Removing these thought obstructions will enable you to empty the mind of ‘clutter’ and allow for a better relaxation experience. Meditation is also used by practitioners to relieve such issues as high blood pressure, depression and anxiety.

The History of Meditation

The word meditation is derived from Latin, meaning to think, to dwell upon, to exercise the mind or to heal and is in fact associated with a number of religious beliefs and traditions. Dating back to prehistoric religion, meditation has been known to be used in Hindu traditions, Taoism, Sufism, Christianity and Buddhism.

Buddhism became a much talked about topic in western countries in the 18th Century and schools of yoga were developed in the 1890s. These were eventually introduced to the western world and non-secular yoga traditions soon followed. Meditation became extremely popular in the 1960s and the term ‘yoga’ was introduced into the mainstream. It certainly has a long documented history through many cultures and traditions.

Variations of Meditation

Spiritual growth is the main aim for these religious forms of meditation while non-secular meditation emphasizes benefits of relaxation and stress relief. Individuals who meditate tend to focus internally to develop external change in the form of increased compassion, love and wellbeing.

Meditation refers to a state where your mind and body are relaxed and focused, therefore the position you adopt to reach this state is one of personal choice. It can be done sitting still in a cross legged or lotus position, by sitting in a chair, laying down or even walking in a particular pattern, a method monks often adopt. The most important thing is that you are physically comfortable, wearing non-restrictive clothing in clean and quiet surroundings. Note however if you relax too much while laying down, you may end up falling asleep.

Some individuals who meditate prefer to use a mantra which holds religious or spiritual meaning while others recite a mantra to help induce a state of relaxation. This however is not necessary; closing your eyes and seeking an internal calm is equally as effective.

Individuals who use meditation, whether for spiritual or relaxation purposes, develop a greater spiritual or life awareness as well as a more improved outlook on life.

Blessings, Nicole x