By Edeline Anne Goh
“The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better be his world and the world at large.”
Are you eager to discover the secret to happiness? Read on to find out if meditation is your secret to it.
In the competitive fast-paced environment of the 21st century, non-stop stress is nothing out of the ordinary. However, high levels of stress can cause psychological and physiological harm. Anxiety, depression, asthma, heart conditions and even arthritis are all stress-related.
Reflection: When was the last time you felt stress-free and genuinely happy? Can’t remember? The good news is there may be a way to increase fulfillment and joy in your life. The method? Meditation.
Meditation is a mind-body practice, which has been around since 5000 B.C. Today, it is known as an alternative technique to relieve stress and anxiety. Meditation consists of a broad variety of practices which is believed to have multiple benefits including calming your body, mind and soul. Some of the more popular meditation practices include the following:
This form of meditation helps to narrow your conscious awareness. The attention is placed on the regulation of breath, an image or repeated sound in order to quiet the conscious mind.
This type of meditation is usually tailored to help you accomplish specific goals such as personal transformation and deep relaxation which can be done by yourself or with the help of a professional. You will need to visualise a series of relaxing mental images and places while immersing yourself in the sight, sound, smell and feel of the imagined visual.
This form of relaxation is said to help with obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), anxiety, depression and addiction. It helps to expand your conscious awareness, accept your thoughts and sensations without judgment and to appreciate the present moment of just being.
Qi Gong and Tai Chi
Qi Gong and Tai Chi involve movement compared to other forms of meditation (which tend to be about sitting or lying still) but can be equally relaxing. Many Tai Chi and Qi Gong practitioners believe that these techniques help to improve the flow of energy through the body, leading to a wide range of benefits such as improved strength, coordination and calmness. The best part is, it can be practiced by people of all ages.
A series of postures requiring concentration and balance together with controlled breathing. This form of meditation not only aids relaxation but also helps to improve balance, focus and coordination.
The Many Benefits Of Meditation
Your favourite method of meditation depends very much on your individual preferences and needs. However, all in all, there are many benefits that meditation can bring to you both physically and psychologically.
- May help to lower blood pressure
- Prevents or helps control body aches and pain
- Boosts the immune system
- Helps to lower cholesterol levels
- Improves air flow for those with breathing difficulties such as asthmatics
- Reduces levels of stress and anxiety
- Helps with those suffering from depression
- Increases learning ability, moral reasoning and memory
- Reduces irritability and moodiness
- Increases emotional control
- Increases self-esteem
- Increases alertness
- Improves concentration and focus
Just like anything else that’s worth doing, meditation requires practice. Regular meditation practitioners say that over time, tremendous improvements occur in overall emotional and physical well-being especially when it comes to stress levels and happiness. This creates the much sought after feeling of ongoing contentedness and inner peace.
Meditate anytime, anywhere
Meditation gives you the luxury of de-stressing at any hour of the day no matter where you are. Try this short and simple meditation technique which can help to calm you down.
- Find a spot that is quiet and that has minimal distraction
- Get into a comfortable position and breathe deeply and slowly. Remain very conscious of the feeling of inhalation and exhalation through your nose
- Repeat a mantra (the most popular mantra is om or aum) in your mind or aloud
- Clear your head from the thousand stray thoughts somersaulting in your mind and place your attention on your breathing and body sensations
- If you are religious, you can engage in prayers
- You can also place your focus on feelings of love and gratitude towards a person, experience or sacred object