When you think about meditation, images of Buddha statues or Tibetan monks on a mountaintop may come to mind. But the practice isn’t just for Eastern Asia anymore – people all around the world have discovered the power of meditation for healing the mind and body. Interested in starting but not sure what the benefits are or how to begin? You’re in the right place. |
What Is Meditation?
The core idea of meditation is to simply take some time out of your day to connect with yourself on a deeper level. Our lives are so busy that we often forget to do simple things like taking a few seconds to just stop, breathe for a few seconds and clear our minds. That’s what meditation is for: it’s designed to get us to simply relax and disconnect from the stresses and pressures of everyday life.
Benefits of Meditation
If you think meditation is solely a mental exercise, think again. While it is inarguably beneficial for promoting feelings of peace and wellbeing, there are tangible, scientifically valid physical benefits as well. Physical benefits include:
Lower blood pressure Reduction of tension-related pain (muscles, joints, headaches) Improved immune system function Relief from inflammation
The list of mental benefits is just as rewarding:
Improved brain function, memory, and attention Increase in empathy and compassion Emotional regulation and increase of positive emotions Decrease in anxiety, stress, and depression
People have reported numerous other benefits from meditation, too – but these should be enough to convince you that it’s a habit worth picking up!
How to Start
Many of you may think, “I don’t have time for meditation” and if that thought has crossed your mind, you actually need it more than anyone! Think of it this way, there are 1440 minutes in a day. If you can dedicate just five of those minutes to your mental and physical health, that’s a great place to start. As you gain experience and start noticing the benefits, you might want to set aside even more time, but starting small is the best way to maintain your resolve. As you go about your daily activities, take note of areas in your life where you might be wasting extra minutes and replace those moments with relaxation and mindful thinking – whether that’s cutting down on a little Internet surfing or turning off that TV show you didn’t really want to watch anyway.
The great thing about meditation is that all you really need is a little motivation and a quiet place. Complete silence isn’t necessary – instrumental music is a great soundtrack for meditation. Many people like to sit still while they meditate, but you could also go for a walk and just clear your mind and listen to the sounds of nature. Just choose an activity that allows you to be fully engaged in the present moment.
For more natural health tips visit our blog at: http://www.alkalife.com.au/blog
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