- Alternative & Natural Medicine
Meditation: the benefits.
Meditation has a long history. In most peoples mind meditation seems to be the humming sounds coming from a "pretzelified" individual. It is a practice that has been in and out of 'fashion' many a-time.
The hustle and bustle of modern life demands the total emotional involvement of both mind and body. This usually means no time for the fun and simple things on a daily bases.
It is important to notice and acknowledge the signs; to know when to switch things off, even if only for a ten minute break. With some practice a meditative state can be gained quickly, which will be of real physical and mental benefit. Also while taking a 'breather' the brain and the body seem to reconnect.
Color, touch and sound can all be effective tools in meditation, used to bring on mental and physical relaxation.
Color: It is well documented that the different colors affect our well-being in everyday living...i.e. restaurants being painted red to motivate eaters to vacate tables faster, green walls for harmony, blue for peace and relaxation etc. In meditation color is used in similar ways. Test this out--find a comfortable spot to sit; close your eyes, take three deep breaths, and focus on red; once your whole minds eye is filled with red; slowly let it change into blue or green; gradually allowing it to fill your whole 'screen'; as the color fills in, you will notice your body relaxing and you will feel some inner peace. Congrats you have just meditated.
Touch: Young children sometimes hold or rub one earlobe when they feel tense. Worry beads rubbed between fingers are another good example of the benefits of touch to reach a calming state of mind. Find a nice sized smooth pebble in your driveway or use a peacan nut still in it's shell, or a large marble for this next experiment. Test this out--find your comfy sitting position; close your eyes; take three deep breaths; feel the marble in your hand; pass it back and forth between your hands; totally concentrate on the smooth warm feel of the marble; see and feel the smoothness in your minds eye... Did you notice a calmness come over you? Congrats you have just meditated.
Sound:The 'ahum' chant repeated over and over by the yoga instructor has its purpose. Its called a mantra. It's creating a focus point which will help to bring on a meditative state. It takes a bit of practice and should be done with sound, eventually with practice, it will be enough to imagin the sound but that takes some time. It doesn't have to be the 'ahum' any simple smooth short word can be used, especially a word with the letter 'm' at the end i.e Mom, calm, jam. The sound of either of these words, calmly repeated on and on with each exhaled breath can be just as effective. Test this out: You know the drill; find your comfy spot to sit; close your eyes; take three deep breaths; using your word of choice or 'ahum' chant it as you let out each breath; listen to each chant; really hear each chant; by the time you've done this twenty or thirty times you will start to feel relaxation setting in. Congrats, you did it again you have just meditated.
Some people will refer to 'my happy place' it means just that, they or their mind has found a place or level where the brain can be disaccociated with the suroundings. This would be a very deep state of meditation, if you will. To try to capture that 'special place' for a beginner will take practice. Using all three of the above mentioned methods is relaxing and will do the body good no-matter how short a time you can dedicate to it.
Lets try one more experiment Test this out: Again find your comfy spot; three deep breaths; close your eyes; start chanting 'ahum' while the color blue is slowly filling your 'screen'; gradually this scene of a fall forest with all the yellow,orange and green hue fills your minds eye; still chanting as you breathe out, you can almost hear the leaves rustling in the wind...You are relaxing and almost melting into your chair...
If done regularily meditation will be able to bring you to a cozy fuzzy place where you can rejuvenate in harmony and calmness just so you can return to the breakneck speed of everyday life. Also knowing that when it gets to be too much a couple of 'ahums' spell relief
Keep trying, it takes practice. It is not an easy task to switch off the brain even for a few minutes. When I first started I never got too far because I always fell asleep. I was told by a professional that this was common and to just persevere. Meditation has helped me tremendiously over the years, especially as I used to work seventy plus hours weelky.
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