What is meditation?
Meditation is a practice that is rooted in various cultures and religions that aims to promote spiritual growth. Over the years, it has evolved several times and has been used to achieve mental clarity and a calm and stable emotional state by focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity to train awareness and attention.
Meditation has also been used to practice mindfulness, or the ability to be present and become fully engaged with whatever the person is doing in the moment.
How and when to meditate
Meditation is used to train the mind, in a similar way that fitness is an approach to training the body. The aim of meditation is mindfulness and can be started by bringing the attention to breathing.
According to clinical psychologist Laura Maciuika, the best time for meditation is first thing in the morning and as part of a daily routine. It is also best performed when we are feeling stressed or at the end of the workday.
Health benefits of meditation
One of the goals of meditation is to promote relaxation. Other than that, meditation offers several health benefits which include:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Improves blood circulation
- Lowers heart rate
- Reduces perspiration rate
- Slows down respiratory rate
- Less anxiety
- Lowers cortisol levels in the blood
- More feelings of well-being
- Reduces stress
- Manifests positive life changes
Meditation can also be used to offer relief from depression, insomnia, and panic attacks. It is used to help with drug addiction, a form of pain management, and of chronic illness.