Meditation and its effects
Meditation – We all know that we are constantly dealing with change, fast paced changes. Given the pace of the modern world, we are constantly being assaulted by stresses and worries as we are asked to move faster and produce more. Stress is everywhere and what can we do about it? Nothing! It is here to stay! What we can do is learn how to manage it. Why is it that several people can be dealing with similar stressors and yet some cope well with them and others become ill?
As I look for different coping strategies the one that is interesting to me is Meditation. It is something that is easy to learn and studies for years have shown the positive effects of using this tool for coping with all life events. Chaos demands our attention. It’s like a badly behaved child, looking for our attention. Chaos will do everything in its power to keep your stress level high. With meditation, you can use the quietness of your mind to surround and subdue chaos. Let it go somewhere else. Meditative study on a regular basis can help us to learn to face the world more calmly.
Meditation is the practice of turning your attention to a single point of reference. It can involve focusing on the breath, on bodily sensations, or on a word or phrase known as a mantra. Meditation means turning your attention away from distracting thoughts and focusing on the present moment. Whether you focus on your breathing or muscle relaxation or a word or phrase the results will be the same.
“I’ve been living closer to the truth for a few months now. Over time, my daily meditations helped me regard what was happening in any moment with curiosity and kindness, without the mindless chatter and instant evaluation that used to whip me into a frenzy.”
While the mental states that are achieved in Meditation have traditionally been understood from a religious or metaphysical perspective, research tracks the actual changes in the brain. Researchers from the University of Wisconsin have worked with Tibetan monks to show that learned meditation experiences, cause intense activity in the prefrontal cortex of the brain. Longtime practitioners of meditation show increased energy in that area, which is not present in beginners. This shows that it is possible to train the brain through routine practice of meditation, to truly reach different emotional and mental states. Scientists used to believe that the brain did not change in structure at all after birth, but these studies show that this is not the case.
The area of the brain that feels the greatest effects of meditation is one that’s associated with happiness and positive feelings. If research demonstrates these positive effects maybe the use of Meditation can be more accepted as a means to improve our health. Centuries of anecdotal evidence that say meditation helps relax us, release pent up stress, and makes us feel more at peace can now be substantiated by research for all of the non-believers out there.
Try it. You might like it!
Comments, Suggestions welcome.