Meditation is a technique of relaxing the mind, withdrawing it from external attention and attaining the state of consciousness. It’s not about becoming a different or new person but giving a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both emotional well being and over-all health. The goal of meditation is to sharpen the spiritual and personal growth and also to calming body and mind. When we meditate we are dedicating our time and efforts to be mindful as we can. There are certain things in life which are beyond our control but it’s quite possible to have greater control over actions and how we respond to the situation we find ourselves. To do so we have to nurture Awareness of how mind works and the ability to focus. And nothing is better to cultivate awareness than Meditation. It is widely used as a spiritual practice in Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism.
In Jewish, Christian and Muslim meditation form to be prayer since mind is focused on a set of words or concepts. There are a huge number of different meditation practices. In general, meditation involves establishing a focal point in order to free oneself from distractions finding in a steady and stable posture.
The popular focal point includes:-
• Repeating the mantra, phrase.
• Visualizing the object with closed eyes.
• Grazing actual object with eyes opened.
• Observing the breath and sensation which travels in and out of the body.
Mindfulness meditation increases Focus and Concentration which improves self-esteem and self-awareness, lowers down the stress which helps to improve the immune system. Meditation helps in both emotional and physical state. When you meditate, you may clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.
The emotional benefits of meditation can include:
• Reducing negative emotions/Thoughts
• Increasing the level of Patience and Tolerance
• Increasing Self-Awareness
• Building skills for managing stress
Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that maybe worsened by stress. One of the positive effect of meditation on immune system are White cells, which are responsible for removing damaged and infected cells and preventing the spread of virus and to fight against the autoimmune diseases, cancer and infections. some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:
• Chronic pain
• Heart disease
• High blood pressure
• Irritable bowel syndrome
• Sleep problems
• Tension headaches
Types of meditation
There are many types of meditation and relaxation techniques that have meditation components. All share the same goal of achieving inner peace.
Ways to meditate can include:
•Guided meditation: Sometimes called guided imagery or visualization, with this method of meditation you form mental images of places or situations you find relaxing. You try to use as many senses as possible, such as smells, sights, sounds and textures. You may be led through this process by a guide or teacher.
•Mantra meditation: In this type of meditation, you silently repeat a calming word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts.
•Mindfulness meditation: This type of meditation is based on being mindful, or having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment. In mindfulness meditation, you broaden your conscious awareness. You focus on what you experience during meditation, such as the flow of your breath. You can observe your thoughts and emotions, but let them pass without judgment.
•Qi gong: This practice generally combines meditation, relaxation, physical movement and breathing exercises to restore and maintain balance. Qi gong(CHEE-gung) is part of traditional Chinese medicine.
•Tai chi: This is a form of gentle Chinese martial arts. In tai chi (TIE-CHEE), you perform a self-paced series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner while practicing deep breathing.