Meditation: What it can do for you
Meditation is one of the simplest forms of calming the mind and reducing the effects of stress. Almost all religions practice some form of meditation. Medical Practitioners advocate meditation for lowering blood pressure, relieving insomnia, and overall improved health. It’s the best way to balance physical, mental and emotional states. Meditation is not about squatting in the lotus position or chanting. Meditation is a process that can be simplified for the sole aim of serenity and calmness in our lives.
Sit in a comfortable position, cross legged or sit on a straight back chair. Be aware of your breath. Feel the air entering your nose, traveling inside, rejuvenating your body. Gradually exhale. Initially, breathe in and out deeply. Then slowly decrease the pace to a normal one and concentrate and focus on your breath. Thoughts of the past or future may come and wander in your mind. Be aware of your thoughts but gradually return back to your breath. Continue the process for about 20 minutes.
There exists over 100 forms of meditation. All these techniques have been found to be very effective and they all have the same objective — to concentrate the mind and cut off external stimuli and let the mind dive within itself. The breath meditation is most popular as it is simple and overcomes barriers of religion or understanding.
A majority of our health problems relate to stress. And we treat these health problems with medication and surgery. But it has been proven that meditation plays a big role in alleviating these conditions. When you practice meditation tension leaves the muscles, decreases anxiety levels and reduces stress hormones.
You are probably wondering how sitting still can make so much of a difference. Studies show meditation effects brain activity and more specifically the part which controls metabolism, blood pressure, respiration and heart rate. There are numerous anxiety and stress relieving drugs available on the market, but these drugs only offer temporary relief. Personally, I have been on these medications but found the side effects and addiction far outweighed the good.
I have practiced TM (Transcendental Meditation) since 1973. At that time I paid about fifty dollars to learn the technique from a practitioner of TM who was personally trained by the Maharishi. Today, it would cost about 2,000 dollars. But in reality, it is something you don’t need to invest anything other than your time and determination — a small technique that does a world of good for your health.
It’s simple; and can be practiced anytime and anywhere.
Why not take one step forward to good health and a stress-free life by practicing meditation today. I’d be glad to provide you with additional information.
Diana Young, RD, LD/N, CDE
Registered and Licensed Dietitian
Certified Diabetes Educator