The Benefits of Meditation for the Modern Man
What is meditation and what are the benefits that come with it?
There’s no denying that the current situation has taken a toll on many. Not only are people getting cooped up in their homes, but negative imagery and news, both online and offline, also bombard you. Experts say this has various negative effects, including . However, there is good news. You can engage in meditation and similar practices to address these problems and even help people develop more positive and beneficial habits. Here are some of the benefits of meditation.
Promotes Emotional and Mental Wellness
Ever since its first recorded use in India back in 1500 BCE, the art of meditation has been used to promote good emotional and mental health, with practitioners citing its wide variety of effects on the mind. These positive benefits of meditation included the following:
- Stress reduction
- Less anxiety
- Increased self-awareness
- Improved focus
- Improved memory
Promotes Good Physical Health
Aside from helping improve one’s emotional and mental well-being, practicing meditation can also help improve one’s physical health. The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health states that meditation can have positive effects on the body, such as the following:
- Help manage the symptoms of depression
- Help manage tension headaches
- Help manage irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Do note, however, that meditation is in no way a replacement for actual medical treatment and can be treated as an addition to a prescribed program. Because of this, make sure to talk to your doctor or health care provider before engaging in any meditative practice.
Types of Meditation
Meditation comes in a wide variety of forms, with some taking on a more physical approach to the practice, while some focus purely on mental exercises. Despite the differences, however, all forms of meditation are geared towards reaching a relaxed state of being.
Some of the meditative practices that you can practice are the following:
- Guided meditation - Sometimes called guided visualization, this method of meditation involves forming mental images of places or situations that you find relaxing.
- Mantra meditation - In this type of meditation, practitioners silently repeat a calming word, thought, or phrase to prevent the creation of distracting thoughts.
- Mindfulness meditation - This type of meditation emphasizes the broadening of one’s conscious awareness.
- Qi gong - A traditional Chinese medicine philosophy, this practice generally combines meditation, relaxation, physical movement, and breathing exercises. Its goal is to restore and maintain one’s balance.
- Tai Chi - A form of Chinese martial arts, Tai Chi involves performing a self-paced series of movements slowly and gracefully while practicing deep breathing.
- Yoga - One of the most popular forms of meditative exercises today, yoga involves performing a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to strengthen the body and calm the mind.
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Reap the benefits of meditation by slowly getting into the practice and figuring out what works for you. Moreover, don’t feel self-conscious about it! Whatever helps you achieve balance is a good thing.