Meditation is a one of the natural methods of relieving stress. Though
meditation and stress are now interrelated now, mediation was actually a
religious practice a few decades ago. Meditation helps balance a person's
physical, mental and emotional states.
Meditation originated from Hinduism. Men in the ancient period practiced
it to be closed to the God. Indeed, then it was a way of showing devotion
to God. But now the purposes of meditation are not limited in religion. It
has become popular people involved in all areas ranging from studies to
sports. It is now a part of exercises, martial arts and health treatment.
Many Oriental religions like Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Judaism give
priority to meditation. It has become more popular since it works as a
By keeping the mind focused on any of the above things, the person is
able to get rid of all the other objects, ideas and thoughts out of his
mind. By doing this, the person feels relaxed. An object is said to be
made of five elements namely water, fire, air, earth and space. By
focusing into these finer aspects of the observed thing, the person is
able to go to the deeper levels of meditation and can reach a state of
self realization which has got more of spiritual implications.
Meditation can wipe away the day's stress, giving you a clean slate. You
can practice meditation anywhere � at home, on the bus, at work or
wherever you are. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years.
These days many people meditate to relax and reduce stress.
Meditation and Medical Illnesses
Many healthy people take meditation as a way to relax their body and
reduce stress. But meditation may also be useful if you have a medical
disease or condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress.
Scientific research about the benefits of meditation is continuing, and
the results are mixed. Some research shows that meditation is helpful to
persons suffering from allergy, anxiety, arthritis, asthma, cancer,
chronic pain, depression, high blood pressure and heart disease.
When you meditate you clear away the information overload that builds up
every day. When your mind is clear of distracting thoughts you gain new
perspectives and new ways of handling stress and other problems.
But you can also practice meditation easily on your own. You can find
everyday opportunities to meditate wherever you happen to be. You can also
make meditation as formal or informal as you like � whatever suits your
lifestyle and situation. Some people build meditation into their daily
routine. For example, they may start and end each day with an hour of
meditation. If you're short of time, all you really need is a few minutes.
Here are some ways you can practice meditation on your own. Take a few
minutes or as much time as you like.
Breathe deeply: This technique is good for the beginners because breathing
is a natural function. Focus all attention on your breathing. Concentrate
on feeling and listening as you inhale and exhale through your nostrils.
Breathe deeply and slowly. When you feel your attention wander gently
return your focus to your breathing.
Scan your body: When using this technique, pay attention to different
parts of your body. Become aware of your body's various sensations,
whether that's pain, tension, warmth or relaxation. Combine body scanning
with breathing exercises and imagine breathing heat or relaxation into and
out of different parts of your body.
Repeat a sacred name or phrase: A mantra is the name of a sacred deity or
a sacred phrase that you repeat silently or aloud. You can create your own
mantra. Mantras are the building blocks of transcendental meditation.
Examples of religious mantras include a Jesus prayer in the Christian
tradition, the holy name of God in Judaism, or the Om mantra of Hinduism,
Buddhism and other orient religions.
Walking meditation: Combining a walk with meditation is an efficient and
healthy way to relax. You can use this technique anywhere you're walking �
in a tranquil forest, on a city sidewalk or at the mall. If you use this
method, slow down the pace of walking so that you can focus on each
movement of your legs or feet. Do not focus on a particular destination.
Concentrate on your legs and feet, repeating action words in your mind
such as lifting, moving and placing as you lift each foot, move your leg
forward and place your foot on the ground.
Engage in prayer: Prayer is the best known and most widely practiced
example of meditation. Spoken aur own words or read prayers written by
others. Check the self-help or 12-step-recovery section of your local
bookstore for examples. Talk with your rabbi, priest, pastor or other
spiritual leader about resources.
Read or listen and take time to reflect: Many people report that they
benefit from reading poems or sacred texts silently or aloud, and taking a
few moments to quietly reflect on the meaning that the words bring to
mind. You can listen to sacred music, spoken words or any music you find
relaxing or inspiring. You may want to write your reflections in a journal
or discuss them with a friend or spiritual leader.
Focus your love and gratitude: In this type of meditation, you focus your
attention on a sacred object or being, weaving feelings of love and
gratitude into your thoughts. You can also close your eyes and use your
imagination or gaze at representations of the object.