Meditation: What is it and how does it work?
MEDITATION AND MENTAL HEALTH
“Meditation is not the means to an end, it is both the means and the end.” Krishnamurti
Many think meditation is only for Tibetan monks, but by fact is nothing more than training for mind and heart. It is a practice that uses special techniques to reach a state of calm. Through meditation, we try to achieve mental and emotional freedom.
Try to pause yourself, relax and control your mind to reach a state of wellness. There are proofs that meditation reduces stress and anxiety, which lead to a decrease in the risk of heart disease. Plus, it slows down aging and helps to control emotions.
Some people believe that meditation can change your way of seeing things, allowing you to notice what is going on around without prejudice, in a broader and fuller way. Others see it as a space of relaxation and peace, which helps to explore inner self and the environment.
Before, it was strange to hear one of your friends practiced meditation. Today (and from my own experience), the number of people I know who practice it is unbelievable. As a friend of mine said: “Thanks to meditation, I have come to transform certain negative behaviors or beliefs which did not allow me to grow or carry on with my life. I have realized about parts of me that I did not know they existed.”
Its practice generates several changes such as the increase of gray matter in certain parts of the brain. These modifications positively affect learning, concentration, and social relationships. A study revealed an increase in gamma waves in people who meditate which are directly related to intelligence, compassion, empathy, self-control, and happiness.
Types of meditation
There are several types of meditation; the two that I considered as the main ones are:
Zen. – This type is usually associated with yoga and concentrates only on breathing. It is known for helping to change the way of thinking, feeling, and acting. It also serves to increase and strengthen positive thoughts.
Transcendental. – This one repeats a mantra (a phrase, word or sacred syllable recited as support of meditation) which has certain qualities of vibration that help to calm your mind.
Currently, meditation techniques are varied. For those who wish to start practicing from scratch, will need some guidance. Lately and due to my workload, I tried to find an activity to release some stress, and get relaxed. After researching a little, I have decided to look out for technology and download an app to help you meditate through a guided process.
Meditating has become much easier, and just by asking your mobile personal assistant: “I want to meditate”, you can get a list of apps or methods that you can use to start this practice. There are many ways to meditate for every schedule: to start the day or for sleeping, among others.
Where to meditate?
Many people wonder where is the right place to sit down and disconnect for a while when starting to meditate wonder. Over time, I have learned that the most important thing is not the place, but the will to forget everything for a moment. I recommend to do it in an open area and surrounded by nature if it is possible.
When meditating, the sounds around you play a relevant role. Both your thoughts and these sounds accompany you during the process. If you are listening to traffic and people shouts, it will be more complicated to achieve that state of calm. If all that you hear are birds, the trees movement by the wind, a river or the sea waves, you can connect with the environment on another level, and that will make meditation easier.