Meditation is one of the great eastern practices that has started to take hold in western culture. In fact, people all over the world are benefiting from it, both in mind and body. So, why isn’t everyone meditating? It could be that not everyone knows of all the amazing benefits like increased relaxation, and decreased levels of anxiety and depression. This article contains a run down of only some of the many benefits of meditation, and a set of instructions for starting your own meditation practice.
This article is split into two main sections. First, we discuss the benefits of meditation. After that, we talk about how you can start your own meditation practice. If you don’t know of the many benefits of meditation, we recommend you read through the next section. It will help to motivate you to stick with your practice. If you already know the benefits of meditation, feel free to skip forward.
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
There have been many studies performed on meditation in the last decade trying to understand its effects, as well as how it manages to help us so much, both in mind and body.
Research into meditation has demonstrated that meditating for a short time increases alpha waves, which makes us feel more relaxed, while simultaneously decreasing our feelings of anxiety and depression. Alpha waves flow through cells in the brain’s cortex, where we process sensory information. These waves help suppress irrelevant or distracting sensory information, allowing us to focus. The more alpha waves we have, the better we focus.
In his book, “What Is Meditation?”, Rob Nairn refers to meditation as a state of “bare attention.” He explains, “It is a highly alert and skillful state of mind because it requires one to stay psychologically present and ‘with’ whatever happens in and around one without adding to or subtracting from it in any way.”
Meditation has many health benefits. Interestingly, an increased ability to focus allows those who suffer from chronic pain to ease their pain by choosing not to focus on it. It can also help with various other health problems, including: anxiety, depression, stress, insomnia, HIV/AIDS and cancer. It can also enhance the body’s immune system, making us less likely to get sick.
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