Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. Originally, it was meant to help people deepen their understanding of the sacred and mystical forces of life. These days, many people turn to meditation for relaxation and stress reduction. Meditation produces a deep state of relaxation and a tranquil mind. Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and emotional stability. And these effects don't end when your meditation session ends. Meditation can have lasting effects on your emotional and physical well-being.
Don't be daunted by meditation. Anyone can practice meditation. It's simple and inexpensive and doesn't require any special equipment. You can spend a few minutes in meditation almost anywhere whether you're on the job, out for a walk, riding the bus, doing the laundry or waiting at the doctor's office.
Meditation and medical illnesses: Many healthy people use meditation as a way to relax the body and reduce stress. But meditation may also be useful if you have a medical disease or condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress. Scientific research about the benefits of meditation is continuing, and the results are mixed. Keeping that in mind, some research shows that meditation may help in many conditions.
Be sure to talk to your health care professional about the pros and cons of using meditation if you have any of these or other medical conditions. Meditation isn't a replacement for traditional medical treatment. But it may be useful in addition to your other treatment.
Fitting meditation into your lifestyle
When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day. When your mind is clear of distracting thoughts, you gain new perspectives and new ways of handling stress and other problems. You become more self-aware. You focus on the here and now not on your ever-growing to-do list.
While there are many different ways to meditate, the goal is the same inner peace. You may have heard about transcendental meditation, Zen meditation, movement meditation and other forms of meditation.
But don't let the thought of meditating the "right" way add to your stress. Sure, you can certainly attend special meditation centres or group classes led by trained instructors to practice
Practice meditation skills: Be kind to yourself as you get started with meditation. It's common for the mind to wander during meditation, no matter how long you've been practicing meditation, and that's OK, too. If you're meditating to calm your mind and your attention wanders, slowly return to the object, sensation or movement you're focusing on. You can use an image to bring yourself back to your focus if you'd like. Try this: Picture balloons floating away with your thoughts, or imagine your thoughts as pigeons and mentally clap your hands to get them to fly away.
Experiment and you'll likely find out what types of meditation work best for you. Adapt meditation to your needs at the moment. Remember, there's no right way or wrong way to meditate. What matters is that meditation helps you with stress reduction and feeling better overall.
Reader & Head Deptt. of Samhita & Sanskrit
Institute of Medical Sciences
Banaras Hindu University