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The Benefits of Meditation:
Relaxation and Stress Relief  

The benefits of meditation cannot be denied. People have been using meditation for stress relief and relaxation for many thousands of years, so there must be something in it right?

Meditation is a way for the individual to take control over their mind and thought processes.

It calms the mind and stops the mental noise we all experience every day in out heads, the constant chitter chatter to ourselves about this and that and the worry about the what if and shall I’s etc.

By shutting all this background noise out we are able to completely mentally and physically relax.

The primary teaching of mediation is to live only in the now, in the moment and not to think about the future or the past and all the anxieties associated with those thoughts. By totally excepting who we are in that moment with no negative thoughts about ourselves we are bale to experience a deep and satisfying level of relaxation which leaves no room for stress.

Meditation and Religious Beliefs

Many people believe that to practice meditation you need to believe in Buddhism.

However this is just not the case, yes meditation is used by the Buddhists but the fundamental technique and the benefits of meditation transcend any religious beliefs and anyone can carry out meditation, no matter what their beliefs are.

It is a mental exercise to allow you to be in control of your mind and thoughts and not a religious practice.

It is important to remember that, while meditation is essential to Buddhism, Buddhism is not essential to meditation. Thousands of people over year take a pilgrimage to India, the birthplace of Buddhism, for a religious experience rich with meditation. But whether you're headed off to a hotel in Jaipur India to strengthen faith, or simply meditating to calm your mind before a long day at work, it is ever bit as effective and relevant.

Types of Meditation

There are various ways meditation can be carried out. Some focus on words or sounds, some focus on items such as a candle or smell such as a joss stick.

There are many meditation techniques such as:

  • Zazen meditation
  • Walking meditation
  • Savasana meditation
  • Yoga meditation
  • Breathing meditation
  • Mantra meditation
  • Mandala meditation
  • Chakra meditation
  • Mindfulness mediation
  • Or if so desired with a prayer or religious ritual

However all these different methods all have one goal and that is to focus the mind.

The Benefits of Meditation

There has long been a connection between stress and meditation in the fact that meditation has been proven to have many benefits in reducing stress and having very positive effects on the physical as well as the mental.

Studies have shown that medication can:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Regulate breathing
  • Regulate heart rates
  • Calm brain activity
  • Encourage muscle relaxation

Of course one of the main benefits of meditation is its effect on the mind by promoting positive thinking and raising self esteem.

When To Get The Most Benefits of Meditation

Although meditation can be carried out anytime you wish there are two times of day when it is most beneficial: First thing in the morning and just before bedtime.

Practicing twice a day for 20 minutes each time will enable you to get the most benefit and stress relief. The more you practice the easier it will become and the more you will gain and relax. There are many Meditation CD's and MP3's available to help you with your relaxation.

Meditation does take some practice, trying to block out thoughts does not come easily as they creep in to your head all the time. It is doable, but does take patience and time, when your mind begins to wander, don’t fight it just guide your thoughts away and re focus.

As this site is not primarily about meditation, it would be impossible to cover all the many techniques available for stress relief. As mentioned above there are many form of meditation, finding the one that suits you best will be a journey of discovery that you have undertake alone.

However there is a basic method which I will explain here.

To get the benefits of meditation it is important that each session is carried out on a regular basis.

  1. Find a quiet comfortable place
  2. Wear very loose comfortable clothes
  3. Find a comfortable posture where your spine is straight and there is no muscle tension, cross legged, standing, sitting in a chair etc.
  4. Close the eyes and take several slow deep breaths, in through the nose and out through the mouth.
  5. On each exhale say the word PEACE
  6. Focus on the word and feel your body relax with each breath
  7. When you have relaxed your body and are feeling calm, say out loud the word “one”.Repeat this word over and over again; as you say each word reduce its loudness until you are simply mouthing the word.
  8. Now repeat this word over and over again in your mind.
  9. Eventually you should not have to focus on the word but your mind should be empty.  If unwanted thoughts start to creep in, re focus by saying the word “one again out loud as before until your mind is clear again.

This meditation should last 20 minutes to gain the most benefits of meditation and stress relief.

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