Meditation is the key to mental peace, particularly, for those leading busy stressful lives. Various meditation techniques and key benefits of meditation are detailed here:
Helps in keeping the heart healthy
Meditation helps in controlling various factors leading to heart diseases such as stress, high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes. It helps in controlling the insulin resistance that leads to Type 2 diabetes. Meditation dilates the arteries, thereby improving blood circulation.
Helps cure insomnia
One of the main reasons for insomnia is the age-factor. With age, there is decreased production of melatonin hormone, which helps in gaining a good nights sleep. There are some special meditation techniques that particularly help in improving melatonin secretion in the body.
Helps maintain youthfulness
Researches have established that when middle-aged men and women practice some particular meditation techniques, there is increased secretion of DHEA hormones, which help maintain youthfulness. Further, through meditation, there is decrease in production of ‘cortisol’, the stress hormone that also prevents pre-mature ageing, as excess production of ˜cortisol hormones lead to premature ageing.
Improves memory and concentration among students
Meditation is particularly helpful for students. Apart from improving concentration, it improves their grasping power, keeps them focussed in studies, makes them more determined, and improves communication skills. The type of meditational practice to be adopted by students who are introverts or extroverts are different. To improve memory and retention, the ˜Gayathri mantra and the Om mantra is quite popular in India. For concentration the Sreechakra meditation is also good.
Keeps mental illness at bay
Meditation helps maintain mental stability. Various types of meditation including ˜Bhakti yogam ˜Gnanayogam ˜Rajayogam and ˜Karmayogam, helps in maintaining mental peace and stability. Meditation is an effective treatment for all mental illness, including depression and anxiety, and brings in positive flow of energy into the body.
Controls common health problems in elderly
The main issues generally noticed among the elderly such as insomnia, depression, amnesia, anxiety, dissatisfaction and feeling of loneliness, can be alleviated through practice of regular meditation.
It is natural for the mind to wander when practicing meditation for the first time. However, as we increase the time limit for meditation, we can see that slowly we begin to concentrate completely on meditation. Here are some tips to follow when meditating.
- Begin meditation by sitting down on the floor keeping your back straight, or use a chair, but, take care to keep your spine and head erect, for better concentration, as body and mind are connected to each other.
- It is better to keep your eyes open when meditating, as it helps in focussing better. When your eyes are shut, it is natural for your mind to wander about. However, having said this, ultimately you can adopt what makes you feel more comfortable, as some people find closing eyes more effective during meditation.
- Focus on something soft such as your own breathe, or a soft candle flame, or your favourite idol.
- The mind is constantly moving, and it is difficult to train the mind to stand still. Forcing the mind to remain focused on one object of perception is against the nature of the mind. Try to consider these thoughts as uninvited guests. The technique involves allowing the mind to be aware of thoughts, but remaining uninvolved on the level of meaning. Slowly, you will begin to learn the art of concentration.
- To begin with, meditate only for ten minutes. Stretch this time frame, only if you feel it is insufficient.
- Finding a suitable place to meditate is very important. The place of meditation should be very calm and peaceful.
- It is important to enjoy your meditation. Try to keep aside few minutes every day for practicing meditation. Later, this will grow to be a natural habit.
P.S: To ensure maximum effectiveness, the Transcendental Meditation technique should be learnt through personalized instruction from a certified teacher.