Rates of depression and anxiety are rising in the modern world. [highlight]Major depressive disorder affects approximately 14.8 million American adults, or about 6.7 percent of the U.S. population age 18 and older, in a given year. [/highlight]”Things are not going completely well in western society,” says Andrew Oswald, a professor at Warwick University. We, in the western world, struggle with finding proposed remedies for our extreme levels of stress. But one resource that is acquiring attention is meditation, and mindfulness meditation in particular.
The practice is simple: to pay attention is to be “mindful” of your life and the energy around you. It’s a way of concentrating on the here and now, thereby becoming more aware of how the here and now is affecting you. It doesn’t aim directly at the distribution of your daily stresses and strains. In fact, it is very hard to develop the concentration necessary to follow your breath, even for a few seconds. What you see is your mind racing from this memory to that moment. But that’s the trick: to observe, and to learn to change the way you relate to the inner scramble of your minds mental patterns. By being able to slow down your inner turmoil, youll be able to strengthen your mental well being and create a positive lifestyle.
With practicing meditation, the brain undergoes a change and every cell in the body is filled with more energy. Studies have shown that practicing meditation regularly has increased the brains ability to regenerate dead manner found in the frontal lobe of the brain to increase mood stability.
On a physical level, meditation:
• Lowers high blood pressure
• Lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
• Decreases tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
• Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
• Improves the immune system
• Increases the energy level, as you gain an inner source of energy
Mental Benefits of Meditation
Meditation brings the brainwave pattern into a relaxed state that promotes healing. The mind becomes fresh, delicate and beautiful. With regular practice of meditation:
• Anxiety decreases
• Emotional stability improves
• Cortisol levels (the stress hormone) decreases
• Reduces aging
• Helps you appreciate life more
• Creativity increases
• Happiness increases
• Intuition develops
• Gain clarity and peace of mind
• Problems become smaller
• Meditation sharpens the mind by increasing focus and expands through relaxation
• A sharp mind without expansion causes tension, anger and frustration
• An expanded consciousness without sharpness can lead to lack of action/progress
•The balance of a sharp mind and an expanded consciousness brings perfection
Meditation makes you aware – that your inner attitude determines your happiness.
So, how do you reap all of these benefits??
Typically, a teacher will ask you to sit upright, in an alert position. Then, they will encourage you to focus on something straightforward, like the in- and out-flow of breath. The aim is to nurture a curiosity about these sensations youll begin to feel – not to explain them, but to know them. There are other techniques as well. Walking meditation is one, when you pay attention to the soles of your feet. That too carries a symbolic resonance: if breath is to do with life, feet are a focus for being grounded in reality.
To experience the benefits of meditation, regular practice is necessary. It takes only a few minutes every day. Once you’ve absorbed the daily routine, meditation becomes the best part of your day! Meditation is like a seed. When you cultivate a seed with love, the more it blossoms. Busy people from all backgrounds are grateful to pause and enjoy a refreshing few minutes of meditation each day. Dive deep into yourself and enrich your life. Mindfulness says: make the time to step back, and here’s a way to do it. This practice ceases the habit of clinging to things, even big things like life itself. When the clinging ceases, the suffering ceases too. It encourages you to be more aware of life, and promises that mindfulness is a source of insight and hope