These days, going to the doctor when you are sick is not the only way so you will feel better. According to the National Center for Complementary Medicine, meditation is among the top 10 alternative therapy treatments. But before we get into that, it is best we learn some meditation facts.
First, meditation means awareness. Why? This is because your senses are heightened as you concentrate on your breathing and your hearing is sharper than before. You tell your mind to block out these distractions so you are able to find inner peace which you can carry with you when you open your eyes.
Some think that meditation is a religion when in fact it is a science. This is because numerous studies done in the past show that those who practice it feel relaxed, are physically fit, have improvements in their academic standing in school and have an increase in their productivity at work.
But where did the word meditation come from? This comes from two Latin words. The first is called “meditari” which means to think, dwell upon or to exercise the mind. The second is “mederi” which is to heal. If you put these all together, it describes basically what this activity is which is a time for your to reach deep in your mind and recharge.
As you can see, meditation has benefits that are physiological, physical and psychological. You don’t have to take any pills or get a prescription from a doctor. It is free and it doesn’t consume much of your time. This can be done in 5 to 20 minutes each day. You just have to sit comfortably and close your eyes then continue with whatever you were doing.
Given that meditation has been practiced for centuries, various movements have emerged. But regardless of their names or techniques, this can be grouped into two basic approaches.
The first is called concentrative meditation. Here, the person focuses his or her attention on the breath, an image or a sound to create a greater awareness and for clarity to come forth. Think of it like you are looking at something through a microscope so you are able to narrow your focus.
This is quite easy since all you have to do is sit down and just breathe. The correct way of doing it is to inhale and exhale slowly because as this becomes deeper and slower, your mind becomes more aware and tranquil.
The second type is called mindfulness meditation. Just like concentrative meditation, the person sits quietly and then reflects on his or her feelings, sensations and thoughts. These things come to mind one at time without the person calling on any of them to come forth. It just appears and no action is taken so that when you wake up, you see the bigger picture and know what you have to do.
Which meditation technique is the best of all? There is no correct answer to that because this depends entirely on the personality of the individual.
The one fact about meditation you should remember is that regardless of what you choose, its focus is to silence the busy mind. It does not remove the stimulation which you feel but rather direct your concentration to something else to achieve that inner peace. You just have to keep an open mind to see what it can do because it is a science.