When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a candle in a windless place. – Bhagavad Gita
For mankind, meditation is the oldest and well-known technique for of relieving stress. Stress makes a person anxious, worried and tensed. Stress can’t be avoided as life will always be full of challenges. It is even present in every turn of life. There are various stress relieving programmes and stress management programmes doing the rounds, but none of them promise complete stress relief. This is because stress is required to be managed effectively. Meditation is recommended in these programmes. It is a simple and inexpensive way you can put all the day’s stress behind restoring your calmness and inner peace.
People often think of meditation as being mere relaxation, and there is also a famous book on meditation and health called “The Relaxation Response.” To many, relaxation is sitting in front of the TV after a tiring day, or sleeping till late on a Sunday morning. Meditation, however, not only involves relaxation but also develops mindfulness, which helps the stressed person to recognize unhelpful patterns of thought that give rise to the stress response, and also involves the active improvement of positive mental states such as kindness, compassion, patience, and energy.
In a paper published in the well-known medical journal – Behavioural Medicine, a study by eminent medical professionals showed that meditation has a general positive effect on psychological health. There are two kinds of meditation – mindfulness and spiritual.
Mindfulness Meditation – Here’s how you can conduct your own mindfulness meditation every day – When you exercise, focus your attention on your breath. Breathe in a scent like coffee or roses that makes you feel good. Squeeze and then release tense or numb parts of your body. Focus on the present rather than something that’s past or in the future. Visualize in detail a scene that makes you feel peaceful. Listen to music that calms and lifts you up.
Once you meditate, your relaxation response is activated. Your heart rate decreases. Breathing becomes slower and deeper. Blood pressure drops or stabilizes. Your muscles relax and your body begins to heal through your psychology. In addition to its calming physical effects, the relaxation response also increases energy and focus, combats illness, relieves aches and pains, heightens problem-solving abilities, and boosts motivation and productivity. Best of all, anyone can reap these benefits with regular practice.
Spiritual Meditation – Research indicates that when stressed persons access their spiritual self, they have a better way to deal with stress. Prayer is a form of spiritual meditation which has proven its effectiveness amongst various patients. Spiritual meditation has the exact same effects as mindfulness meditation if done at regular intervals.