Mediation is a process of focusing on specific thoughts or actions to obtain specific results. In particular, meditation is a mental exercise that has been proven to reduce stress levels and improve one’s mental well-being. Meditation has been around for thousands of years, yet it is only recently that science has better understood the benefits of meditation practice. There have been meditation techniques for over 2000 years, but the majority of research up until now has concentrated on the benefits that meditation can provide to the body and mind. Now more studies are linking meditation to specific brain changes that can help people heal traumatic memories faster, manage physical pain more efficiently, and keep anxiety in check.
Meditation is good for mental health and promotes wellness. It can also help to optimize brain functioning and slow the aging process. It may not be a quick fix, but one can reap the benefits with some time and effort.
The passage below by Jake Harms gives a helpful definition of the practice of meditation:
Meditation is grounded in the science of human consciousness. It is rooted in the realization that who we are and what we experience is shaped by our hyper-connected, real-time environment—the totality of the situation. Mindful awareness has the ability to interrupt habitual responses, change temporary conditions and bring about radical re-imaginings for future possibilities.
Increased rates of mental health cases in our society have prompted enlightened individuals to study what might be the underlying cause. The most popular approach is to do much research on how meditation can be all about gaining and maintaining composure while focusing on one’s thoughts and breathing patterns. This practice is said to lighten anxiety, lower blood pressure, develop calmness, increase happiness, decrease chronic pain levels and lead people into an overall more positive mental state.
A quiet office setting can provide a perfect place for meditation because it will minimize distractions. People should set an intention for themselves for what it would be like if this time-out was successful–e.g., a glowing feeling of happiness or enhanced productivity levels, help reduce tension, and alleviate some symptoms of depression.
The culture and traditions of Buddhist teachers and Hindu gurus and the practice’s expressive and aesthetic dimensions – seated motionless in a contemplative pose, yoga asana, repetitive chanting, or singing – have largely defined meditation imagery. This premodern discourse does not easily connect with Western scientific conceptions about spatial experiences in time. In an era when scientific research on meditative practices provides mounting evidence that mindfulness can promote significant health benefits in both healthy individuals and those facing chronic illness or pain, it remains essential to historicize the shifting cultural landscape currently occupied by this ancient contemplative technology.
Mindfulness is a more recent approach to meditation, defined as “the awareness that emerges through paying attention on purpose, moment-to-moment, without judgment” (Kabat-Zinn). Mindfulness is an open field. The authors explore this phenomenon through scientific evidence. Scientific research reveals that mindfulness can be a beneficial approach to anxiety-related disorders because it enhances self-control and regulatory skills. They explore how mindfulness leads to positive spirals: the mind’s natural tendency is toward regulating the environment, so when humans have healthy prefrontal systems, they are better enabled at self-regulation during challenging times. Consequently, by consciously noticing thoughts and feelings, we are presented with opportunities for change and self-understanding, which can lead to a greater sense of well-being. Furthermore, research also demonstrates how subjects who practiced Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) therapy for three months had decreased anxiety.
Mindfulness meditation is rooted in ancient, Eastern psychology and philosophy, which is all about understanding that our emotions shape how we respond to stimuli from our external environment. When a person meditates physically and mentally, they become more reflectively aware of themselves and can improve their emotional intelligence accordingly.
Meditation is one of the most beneficial practices a person can practice when they feel overwhelmed or anxious. Practice mindfulness in your everyday life by consciously paying attention to the present or listening carefully to what you are saying and doing when you interact with your environment; acknowledging any autopilot behaviors by nudging yourself back towards awareness. Meditation can help people quiet their thoughts, and it can help reduce stress while boosting cognitive functions and creativity.
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