The Benefits of Meditation in a Fast Paced World
Of the many benefits of meditation, you would think that survival in today’s world might be at or near the top of the list. And how, you may ask, can meditation help me survive in the 21st century? Because meditation is an antidote to stress, the kind of stress that comes as the result of isolation, loneliness, alienation and creates related illnesses and depression.
Meditation provides a way of transforming stress and anxiety into balance and ease. During meditation the body shifts into a state of restful awareness, which is a counterbalance to all the negative effects on the body-mind cause by chronic stress.
But in order to enjoy the benefits of meditation you will first need to carve out a few minutes a day, and it’s right at this point that you may discover your first “resistance” to meditation, in the form of thoughts, all of which are giving you good reasons not to meditate or why you just don’t have time to do it.
The real difference in getting past the resistance come in how you approach meditation to begin with. If you approach meditation as an obligation, something you need or should do, the chances are, you will meet with a great deal of push back, if on the other hand, your approach is one of curiosity and joy, you will get to taste the richness of the meditative experience and enjoy the commiserate benefits,
In the post I’m sharing with you here, the author informs us about “the benefits of meditation in a fast paced world” from his perspective. So here it is…
“In today’s world, very few of us have the time to stop and properly rest and relax. Most of us spend our time going from one activity to the other as if we’re nothing more than a busy bee in a giant hive. The problem with this lifestyle is that we’re all slowly wearing ourselves down to nothing. Our bodies need the rest that we deny them so often in order to properly recharge and heal. There are, however, quick forms of rest that can help to rejuvenate us and give us some much needed energy. One form of this is meditation.
Many people view meditation as only a spiritual and religious activity. While it is used by many religious and spiritual people, anybody else can gain the benefits of meditating. Meditation itself is only the act of using controlled breathing techniques to relax the body and clear the mind. Anything that would make meditation spiritual or religious is the individual, not the practice. In order to properly meditate, you need to be breathing properly. If you chest rises when you breath in, then you are breathing shallowly and improperly. If your abdomen rises when you are breathing, then you are filling your lungs completely and breathing properly.
Take a deep breath, inhale slowly and fill your lungs to capacity. When you lungs are full, hold the breath for a second, then exhale slowly. During meditation, you are focused on your breathing. Keep breathing like this until you feel relaxed. In order to focus yourself more on your breathing; inhale, hold, and exhale to a count. For example: Inhale for a count of 5, hold for a count of 2, exhale for a count of 5, hold for another count of 2 and repeat. If a count of 5 is not long enough to fill your lungs, make the count longer (but don’t hold the breath for longer than a count of 4). Keeping a count during deep breathing helps to focus you more on just that activity while clearing everything else out of your mind.
While you can use the breathing exercise at just about anytime in any place, it’s better to have a quiet place to relax in order to reap the full benefits of meditation. Any place that offers you at least a few minutes of privacy is ideal. Whether it be at home, in your car, in the break room at work or even in the bathroom, a few private minutes during the aforementioned breathing exercise will help you to relax. Sit, stand or lay in a comfortable position and initiate the breathing exercise. Relax with every inhale and let tension leave your body with every exhale. Even if you only have the time to do this for a minute, you should feel more relaxed and ready to face the challenge(s) that lie ahead of you.
One of the major upsides to meditation is that you can take as little or as much time as you want with it. Obviously the longer you meditate, the better you’ll feel, but you can still relax yourself even if you only have a minute or two. Another upside is that meditation can help you take your mind off of stress, or even pain (like getting a shot, piercing, tattoo, etc.) or can just help you to bring your mind to focus on a task that you deem to be important (like homework, housework, or a business project).
If you want to meditate to focus, just bring the task to the front of your mind after you use the breathing exercise to clear everything else out. Keep breathing and think about the task at hand. Tell yourself that you want to get the task done in a specific time frame, that you will keep your focus on the task and block out distractions until it is done. Keep this up until you feel ready, then get started with your task. This may be hard at first, but the longer you do it, the shorter the time it takes to keep your focus until you don’t even have to meditate to focus on a task.
Remember that you can meditate just about anywhere at any time and you can use the breathing exercises to simply relax yourself when you need to.”
Meditation is surrounded by paradox and developing a practice is one of them. Because, first of all, the ‘act’ of meditating is not an ‘act,’ it’s a state of being, and secondly, we tend to think of freedom as escape from routine and discipline, and yet, in meditation, it’s the creation of a regular practice that liberates us by creating space within as we discover our true nature.
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