Meditation for Healthy Living

Meditation for Healthy Living

Millions of people in the West and elsewhere in the world are active meditators. Meditation in the West is practiced for both health and religious or spiritual reasons, although many people regard it mainly as a self-help tool for improving cognitive performance and for managing stress.

Meditating for spiritual expansion and fulfilment, without a religious basis, is becoming very common.

Meditation results in clearing of the mind in ways that promotes a sense of calm and heightened awareness.

Types of meditation

Concentrating on breathing – consciously noticing the movement of air in and out of your nostrils, or counting your breaths in various ways

Grounding and mindfulness – being aware of inner experiences by simply observing them without judgment

Emptying your mind – gently pushing aside any stray thoughts, or allowing thoughts to float in and out of awareness

Looking at an object – focusing your attention, but not your thoughts, on the shape, sound and texture of an object such as a tree, a candle flame, or a spiritually significant painting or image

Movement – using a physical technique like yoga, qi gong or tai chi to still your mind by coordinating your breath and body with gentle movement

Meditating every day at around the same time can help you develop a regular habit, and make it easier and quicker to slip into deeply meditative states.

Do not force yourself to meditate. If your attention wanders, try to practice acceptance and avoid getting annoyed with yourself. Simply direct your attention back to what you are doing and your experience of that moment. Regular meditation offers many health benefits, such as reduced stress and anxiety.

 

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