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Learn About the Ancient Practice That Can Help You Reduce Stress and Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle!

meditation, meditate, transcendental meditation, meditation techniques, how to meditate, benefits of meditation, history of meditation Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years as part of spiritual and religious practices in the Far East, but has also captured the interest of many natural health practitioners and wellness experts in the Western world. More people are realizing the health benefits of meditation, and it’s not only celebrities that are incorporating the practice into their lifestyle!

Not only is meditation a healthy and safe activity, but it can help relieve stress, increase awareness, and help you maintain a healthy life. Curious about how meditation works? Here’s what you need to know about this valuable practice:

History of Meditation

Achieving a state of bliss and enlightenment is a yogic practice, and the techniques originated in India, Japan, and other areas of the Far East. Eastern cultures emphasize the use of natural processes and practices for spiritual and religious reasons, and yoga is a common daily activity. A natural outcome of yoga is the meditative state, a state of mind that increases focus, mental clarity, and concentration. The entire process replenishes the body and mind with oxygen, and can help to strengthen both mental and physical strength – this enhances well-being, reduces stress, and can even help solve problems in your day to day life.

There are different types of meditation, and these can be practiced for various purposes. The most common forms of meditation include: transcendental meditation, mindfulness meditation, and stress reduction meditation. Each type encourages different thinking processes and breathing patterns.

Benefits of Meditation

There are hundreds of health benefits of meditation, and natural health practitioners have long used it as a form of treatment and therapy for people dealing with stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. People recovering from trauma or highly stressful situations can also benefit from effective meditation practice. A few key benefits of regular meditation practice include:

  • Increased awareness
  • Deep relaxation
  • Lower anxiety
  • Increased self-confidence
  • Improved healing processes
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Increased ability to manage and cope with stress
  • Overcoming phobias
  • Self discovery
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How to Meditate

Meditation is considered a practice and not simply an activity; you’ll need to do it frequently enough to move through different states of mind in each session. Meditation is a lifelong practice, and a simple, daily routine is the best way to get started. All you need is a quiet and comfortable space, a meditation mat or yoga mat, and about 10-15 minutes to begin a session. A typical meditation session begins with you sitting or kneeling on the floor with hands loose and facing upward.

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  1. Close your eyes and take one deep breath.
  2. Pay attention to your breathing. Make sure you are breathing evenly, keeping the same rhythm or “beat” as you inhale, and exhale.
  3. Keep the head upright and centered on top of the spine.
  4. Relax the shoulders and begin the meditation by clearing your mind and getting rid of nagging thoughts.
  5. Take a deep breath for a count of 3 seconds, and exhale for the same count. Repeat 10-15 times. Focus on your breathing and try to keep your mind clear.

As you practice more often, you’ll build upon the length of time for each inhale and exhale cycle. The standard practice is a repetition of 10-15, and the entire process can take as little as 10 minutes each day, or up to an hour depending on how long you have been practicing. When you are finished, you can expect to feel deeply relaxed, more focused, and rejuvenated!

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Article Written By: Sabah Karimi; Sabah writes on health, wellness, and lifestyle for DivaVillage. When stress levels run high, she knows she can always turn to a brief meditation break to relax and focus.

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