How Beneficial is Meditation?
Approximately 25 years ago I was diagnosed with hypertension and prescribed a pharmaceutical medication to alleviate my high blood pressure. I took the medication for a short period of time, but did not like doing so, so I searched for a holistic approach.
What I found was that with meditation, exercise and a reduction of sodium (salt) intake I could lower my blood pressure, using a natural approach rather than the pharmaceutical drug that has been prescribed. I decided to use this approach and enrolled in meditation classes. It worked and many years later my blood pressure is still within normal parameters!
I meditate for twenty minutes twice a day, but even five or ten minutes of meditation is beneficial. I tend to have a busy, analytical mind, so it’s not always easy for me to quiet my mind, but I do it anyway and enjoy the benefits.
If you do not currently set aside time to meditate daily starting with 5 to 10 minutes is an easy way to begin.
There are myriad forms of meditation. If you don’t like to sit you can perform a walking meditation or Tai Chi. Another option is to alternate between sitting and walking methods.
A totally different approach is to listen to binaural beat audios, available on mp3s and CDs. This approach can be helpful if you are frustrated about not stilling your mind. However, not being able to still your mind is not a problem. When your mind wanders all you have to do is go back to what you were focusing on, such as your breathing or a mantra. Eventually you may want to increase your meditation time to 20 minutes or more a day.
You can start by getting in a comfortable position, sitting or lying down and taking five to ten minutes alone, just being quiet. On the other hand, you can jump right in with 5 to 10 minutes focusing on your breathing, or repeating an affirmation or mantra. Notice when your mind wanders and gently bring your attention back to your point of focus. Don’t dwell on a thought, just observe it and move on.
This is not medical advice; please check with your physician if you decide to do this rather than take prescribed medications.
Some research suggests that meditation may help with the following:
- Anxiety disorders
- Binge eating
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Substance abuse
- Increased happiness
- Improved relationships
- More satisfaction with professional and personal life
- Increased calmness
- Substance abuse
- Decreased need for medical care
- High cholesterol
Below are links to some meditation practices. Google “meditation techniques” and find many more.
- Meditation Technique by Deepak Chopra:http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/books-articles/meditation-instruction/
- Walking Meditation: http://www.yogateacher.com/text/meditation/on-line/walking.html
- Walking Meditation: http://www.insightmeditationcenter.org/books-articles/articles/instructions-for-walking-meditation/
Be joyful, embrace life and thrive!