“Your mind is like this water, my friend. When it is agitated, it becomes difficult to see. But if you allow it to settle, the answer becomes clear.” ~ Bil Keane
The Buddhist Centre defines mediation as a means of transforming the mind. The quality of a person’s life is in direct proportion to their thoughts. This makes the ability to transform your mind and subsequently, the thoughts therein, a key step in the pursuit of success.
More and more people are discovering the benefits of meditation. Many successful people have even gone as far as saying that meditation is a key part of their success.
Some of the people who swear by meditation include Oprah Winfrey, Hugh Jackman, Richard Branson, Paul McCartney, Angelina Jolie, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Eva Mendez, Michael Jordan, Kobe Bryant, Misty-May Trainor and Derek Jeter.
Though meditation has its fans, there are those who are hesitant to try it out. At the top of their list of concerns is whether meditation truly works. Yes, meditation does work. You don’t even need to take the word of a celebrity as proof. Numerous studies on meditation confirm that it can do wonders for your body, mind, and entire existence.
Following are a few ways meditation does you a world of good along with the studies that confirm that.
Meditation has been shown to improve your health by increasing your immune function (Psychosomatic Medicine, ScienceDirect), decreasing pain (National Institutes of Health), and inflammation at the cellular level (ScienceDirect Study1 Study 2).
Meditation boosts your happiness by increasing positive emotion (Psychosomatic Medicine, America Psychological Association), and decreasing depression (Springer), anxiety (The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, ScienceDirect), and stress (America Psychological Association, Psychosomatic Medicine).
Your social life also gets a boost from meditation as it increases social connections and emotional intelligence (America Psychological Association), feelings of compassion (Stanford Medicine), and it helps you feel less lonely (Psychological Science).
Meditation also boosts your self-control as it improves your ability to control your emotions (Stanford Medicine)
Meditation helps increase attention and focus (Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience, PLOS Biology, ACM, ScienceDirect), improves memory (ScienceDirect), creativity and innovation (PLOS), and it helps you multitask better (ACM).
Types of Meditation
Just as there are multiple ways to exercise, so too are there multiple forms of meditation. The most popular forms of meditation are the following.
- Mindfulness meditation – this involves paying attention to your thoughts that come to your mind without judgment or involvement. The goal of which is to avoid unconscious or mechanical activity and building self-awareness.
- Spiritual meditation – this is for those seeking spiritual growth by developing a deeper connection with your God or Universe.
- Focused meditation – involves concentration using any of the five senses. The goal of this practice is to help you acquire more quality focus in your life.
- Movement meditation – this practice combines awareness of your breathing and movements of the body with the goal of improving the mind-body connection so as to calm and quiet the mind.
- Mantra meditation – this involves the repetition of a word or phrase with the goal of focusing the mind to achieve a state of higher awareness.
- Transcendental meditation – a practice that involves avoiding distracting thoughts and promoting a state of relaxed awareness through the use of a silent mantra.
The type of meditation one chooses to do depends on what they wish to achieve from their practice. If it’s your faith your looking to work on you would choose spiritual meditation whereas if you were looking to become more self-aware you would focus on mindfulness meditation
How to Start Meditating
The beauty of meditation is that there is no singular “correct” way to practice meditation.
The guys at A Life of Productivity, have a comprehensive easy to follow mediation guide for first-timers. Check it out and get started so that you too can start reaping all the great benefits meditating has to offer.