Meditation is gaining in popularity as a simple practice which can help to reduce stress, improve our physical and mental health and promote happiness. This article will provide a brief overview to meditation and mindfulness, including the main benefits of meditation, and where to find courses to get you started.
What is meditation and mindfulness?
Meditation can be defined in many ways, but a simple way to think of it is as a mental training technique or practice that involves focusing the mind on a particular object, thought or activity to achieve a mentally and emotionally calm state for a period of time.
There are many different techniques to meditation, and which methods will work best depends very much on the individual practising them. Mindfulness is one of the most common forms of meditation and is a way of training your mind to concentrate on the present, in order to feel calm and improve your mental state. Practicing mindfulness involves breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind and reduce stress.
Why might you want to meditate?
As human beings in the modern age we are constantly connected to the world around us through an array of images, media and communications. Add to this a faster pace of life, increased daily demands and stresses, and the advantages of meditation become clear.
Meditation has become increasingly popular in recent years, with meditation and mindfulness sessions now being frequently carried out in schools and workplaces, as well as being practised by individuals as a valuable way to help people manage their stress and improve their overall well-being.
Regular meditation practice has been shown to help us to renew and recharge, improve overall mood, and promote a state of balance, contentment and have a positive impact on physical and mental health. People who engage in regular meditation have lessened symptoms of depression and anxiety, and it has been proven to be an incredible tool in the treatment of addiction and chronic pain.
The great thing about meditation is that it’s never too late to start either as meditation is simple enough to learn and involves some fairly straightforward techniques. It is one of the most affordable and simplest ways to reduce stress and improve your health, and once mastered, is a skill that will serve you throughout your entire lifetime.
Benefits of meditation practice
As well as practising mindfulness in daily life, it can be helpful to set aside time in each day for a more formal meditation practice. Undertaking meditation and mindfulness regularly, even just for a short time, brings various excellent benefits. While many people start meditating to manage their stress and anxiety levels, there is a huge range of physical, mental, and emotional benefits to be gained from meditation.
- Improved overall well-being
- An increase in mental resilience
- Improved memory, attention, and focus
- Increased productivity
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Increase contentment and decrease depression
- Improved sleep patterns
- Alleviate diseases and illnesses such as migraines, insomnia, asthma, ADHD and many others
- Decreases in blood pressure, heart rate and cholesterol levels, thanks to its stress-lowering properties
- Manage negative physical pain and addiction