What is Meditation?
For some, meditation is to sit still with closed eyes, focussing, only, on a mantra; while, for others, to rhythmically run or swim is perceived as meditation.
Ultimately, a similar, calm, centred, and content emotional state is the result.
Mostly, though, meditation can be defined as a set of techniques that are intended to encourage a heightened state of awareness and focused attention.
To meditate, commonly, means to dissociate from a more stressful state.
Some key things to note about meditation:
- Meditation has been practiced in cultures all over the world for thousands of years.
- Nearly every religion, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, has a tradition of using meditative practices.
- Many people practice forms of mediatation independently of any religious or spiritual practices. Athletes, Businesspeople, Physicians, and Parents successfully meditate.
- Meditation can also be used as a psychotherapeutic technique.
Types of Meditation
Meditation can take on many different forms, but there are two main types: concentrative meditation and mindfulness meditation.
How do these two forms of meditation differ?
- In concentrative meditation, you focus all of your attention on a specific object while tuning out everything else around you. The goal is to really experience whatever you are focusing on, whether it's your 'breath', a specific word or a mantra, in order to reach a higher state of being.
- Mindfulness meditation includes, among others, both mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Mindfulness can target different issues, such as depression, which means that its focus may be different from practice to practice. Overall, it involves the state of being aware of and involved in the present moment and making yourself open, aware and accepting.
There are thousands of studies that have shown mindfulness meditation can positively impact mental and physical health. Whether it's by reducing stress, improving sleep, increasing focus, or improving relationships, research shows mindfulness works.
- Reduces 'lifestyle-induced' Stress.
- Controls Anxiety.
- Promotes Emotional Health.
- Enhances Self-Awareness.
- Lengthens Attention Span.
- Increases tolerance.
- Studies prove reducing Age-Related Memory Loss.
- May Help Fight Addictions
- Improves Sleep
- Helps Control Pain