It is widely recognized that meditation can significantly reduce stress and improve mental health. Meditation has even been shown to help with many more serious physical ailments such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and even cancer in some cases. The basic premise of how this works is based upon allowing the body and mind to relax which has positive physiological effects.
There are many different methods of meditation that you can choose from. Here are a few that you may want to consider:
This method of meditation is designed to increase awareness and is based on keeping your focus on the present moment and the sensations that arise now. Many times, mindfulness meditators will focus on the rhythm of their breath.
A visualization method of meditation entails forming mental pictures of places or situations that are relaxing to you. Incorporating as many senses as possible (touch, taste, smell, etc.) is generally an integral part of this type of meditation. It is common for this type of meditation to be guided by a teacher, guru, or monk.
A mantra is a word or phrase which is repeated silently during this type of meditative practice. The mantra is designed to help ward off distracting thoughts and keep your attention on the present moment.
Part of the traditional Chinese medicinal practice, Qi Gong combines meditation with breathing exercises and physical movement. The aim is to restore a sense of balance and restoration physically and mentally.
This is a style of Chinese martial arts that is classified as a soft or internal style. The movements are generally slow and done gracefully while also paying close attention to how you breathe. Being completely aware of your breath and your slow movements becomes a form of mindfulness practice with a calming and relaxing effect on the mind.
Similar to Tai Chi and Qi Gong, Yoga combines slow physical movements with careful breathing exercises. Yoga practice consists of moving methodically through various poses that improve your physical flexibility and balance. As a result, this practice allows you to become fully present and detach from your busy everyday life.
This type of meditative technique involves silently repeating a mantra, single word, or phrase in a particular manner. Transcendental meditation causes your body to settle and relax with the objective of experiencing a peaceful inner state. Different from most other types of meditation, the transcendental method requires no concentration and little effort.
Consistent practice essential to health
The benefits of meditation to your physical well-being as well as your mental and emotional health can be significant. On the other hand, meditation is not a quick fix to all of your problems. It does take some effort. You will need to practice consistently over longer periods of time to really reap the rewards of meditation. However, if you are diligent you may begin to see the benefits to your health which can ultimately promote longevity.
The information has been obtained from sources considered to be reliable, but we do not guarantee that the foregoing material is accurate or complete. Any opinions are those of the author and not necessarily those of RJFS or Raymond James. Expressions of opinion are as of this date and are subject to change without notice.