"The mind is definitely something that can be transformed, and meditation is a means to transform it." Dalai Lama
Meditation is a formal practice that is practiced for a specific amount of time. Meditation is not a part of any religion; it is a science, which means that the process of meditation follows a particular order, has definite principles, and produces results that can be verified.
While in a meditative state, you simply observe your thoughts, feelings and what is happening in and around your body. Meditation may sound like a simple idea, but regular practice can lead to truly life-changing results.
Below are just 10 of the many ways that meditation can improve your life.
Anxiety is a natural response to threatening situations, but sometimes the brain misinterprets innocent events as potentially dangerous, leading to inappropriate anxiety. Prolonged or chronic anxiety can cause a range of troubling symptoms, including headaches, nausea and digestive problems. Meditation helps to calm the mind and prevent inappropriate triggering of the anxiety response.
Headaches and Migraine
Several studies have shown that meditation is an effective treatment for chronic headaches and migraine, particularly those associated with stress and muscle tension. In fact, many doctors now advise a combination of meditation, relaxation techniques and regular exercise to treat persistent headaches when no underlying cause can be found.
Low self-esteem can have a negative impact on all areas of life, including career, family and personal relationships. Lack of confidence in your own abilities can also prevent you from achieving your goals. Meditation encourages feelings of acceptance and compassion towards yourself, helping to dissipate the negative self-image you may currently hold.
Hypertension, or high blood pressure, is a common condition that can be caused by a number of physical and emotional factors. Whatever the cause of high blood pressure, meditation can help to reduce stress levels and aid relaxation, resulting in lower blood pressure levels. Meditation can also work in conjunction with conventional medications to control age-related hypertension.
Several studies have been conducted into the benefits of meditation on patients living with long-term depression. Meditation based treatments were found to be highly effective in helping patients to control their condition. Used in conjunction with talking therapies, meditation practices can bring lasting relief from depression and mood disorders.
Meditation helps to remove mental clutter and clear space to learn new things. For students, adult learners and those trying to master a new skill, meditation is a valuable tool that can enhance learning. Regular meditation can boost overall cognitive function, including memory, concentration and analytical skills. Meditating for just a few minutes before studying can greatly increase information retention.
Meditation promotes a non-judgmental attitude and acceptance of the world and other people, helping to build empathy and compassion for those around you. Empathy is one of the key factors in successful relationships, particularly within marriage and romantic relationships, as it enables you to better understand your partner’s needs.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is a distressing, and sometimes debilitating, condition that can have a serious impact on the lives of sufferers. Generally, PTSD is the result of traumatic life events that the brain has been unable to fully process. Meditation helps the brain to make sense of and accept difficult events, as it promotes a calm and accepting attitude towards feelings and emotions.
Insomnia and some sleep disorders can be the result of the body’s inability to relax and wind down at the end of the day. Meditation helps to prepare the body for sleep and releases any tension in the muscles. Using a aromatherapy diffuser wtih relaxing essential oils, such as lavender, chamomile or ylang ylang while meditating can greatly increase relaxation.
Meditation has been used for centuries as a way to increase self-awareness and explore innermost thoughts, feelings and emotions. Meditation enables you to connect with your emotions, values and motivations on a deeper level.
Meditation is a powerful technique that can have a far-reaching impact on many different areas of your life. Daily practice can help to improve your physical and emotional health, as well as your relationships. Meditation can also facilitate learning and improve cognitive function in those studying or mastering new skills.
AnJenette Afridi, MA, ERYT-500, is a pioneer in Lifestyle Medicine, Mindful-Based Strategies, and Creator of INHALE EXHALE SMILE℠ Meditation and Mindfulness Targeted Skills-Based Training. AnJenette is a Lifestyle Medicine Consultant and a Meditation and Mindfulness Master Teacher with 30+ years in private practice. “AJ’s” professional credentials include a Master’s Degree in Psychology (MA) 1997, Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (ERYT-500) 2002, American Psychological Association (APA) Member 1996, American College of Lifestyle Medicine Member, Academy of Integrative Health & Medicine Member, and Harvard Medical School CEU’s in Lifestyle Medicine and Mind Body Medicine (Herbert Benson, MD) the last 15 years.
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AnJenette aka AJ has worked with corporations, hospitals, health centers, schools, and private clientele including adults and children. She is often featured at public and private in-person and online events, and she hosts events as well. AJ's warmth, credibility, and energetic sense of humor create an atmosphere that supports expansion, creativity, and abundant possibility.
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This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any medical issue or disease. The author does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of this article and will not be held responsible for the content of this article. The information in this article is not intended to replace a personal relationship with a qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice. Always consult your personal health care provider for specific medical advice.