Meditation and its Benefits

The practice of meditation has gained popularity in our culture in recent years. Prior, meditation was often depicted as something only a monk practiced barefoot atop a mountain, or something practiced only by eastern religions. In truth, meditation is a practice that can be practiced by anyone, by persons of any faith, of any age. Western society has begun to appreciate the art of meditation and it's many benefits.

What is meditation?

Meditation is a practice used to heighten awareness. Meditation is commonly described as only a relaxation technique. This is a misconception of the goal of meditation. While relaxation is a beneficial effect, the main purpose is to gain greater insight and to access your own inner wisdom.

Experienced meditators find that they can access answers to difficult questions by turning to this inner wisdom.

Oftentimes, we can get the greatest insight to an issue we are "stuck" on during meditation. Or, we might realize that the issue isn't so big after all. We also find that, through meditation, we become more mindful of ourselves, others, and our experiences.

Meditation can be practiced by anyone, anywhere. Even at work, on a bus, or in a waiting room, we can turn our attention to our breath, clear our minds (even temporarily) and refocus our energy on the present. We can find that by daily practice of meditation, we can train ourselves to remain calm and in control, even in stressful situations.

Meditation takes practice. You may not realize heightened awareness or immediate calming effects once you begin meditating. However, as with anything else, practice is key. You may realize results after a few days or even weeks of meditation.

Researchers are beginning to show the physical and mental health benefits of mediation as it relates to disease prevention and management.

Meditation is a practice, or way of life. Like exercise and healthy eating, you must make a commitment to continuing practice in order to reap its benefits. There are many different types of meditation. And know that, while mediation takes work and practice, it can also be fun!

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