Nuns, Monks and Yoga?
When you think of meditation, what do you think of? Some people picture holy people, like nuns and monks, all together, silently in a room, While that can definitely be a form of meditation, it's actually a lot more than that, and meditation can play a significant role in helping you to have optimum mental health. It's true! In this post, we're going to take a look at what meditation really is and how it can assist you in achieving the best mental health that you can have.
What is Meditation?
Meditation, in short, is anything that allows you to calm and focus your mind. This could be any number of things, and it does not just have to be used in a religious context. It could include prayer and talking to your deity of choice, but it could also just involve sitting and doing breathing exercises. You become more mindful of yourself and start to see within yourself when you meditate, and it can really help you to feel more in control of yourself.
Meditation doesn't just mean that you're sitting there and being quiet either. Some people meditate on something that they're reading, or they meditate while they're taking a walk in the woods. Whatever helps you to draw into yourself and into your own mind could be considered meditation, and because of this, many psychologists and other professionals recommend it as part of your every day practices.
Why Does Meditation Help?
There are a number of different reasons that meditation can help you to become more focused into yourself and become a lot more healthy. Here are some of the main ones that have been supported by research and other things.
It has been shown to help you focus on yourself instead of everything that is overwhelming you. As humans, we have a tendency toward getting overwhelmed. We often put too much on our plates and start to feel a lot of stress because of it. The great thing about meditation is that it allows us to step away from all of that and to feel more comfortable within our own skin. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by your schedule or everything that you have to do, you can instead focus on yourself and your wellbeing, just for a little while, and get refocused in a way that is healthy and helps you to recuperate.
It can help to reduce the stress that you're feeling. As we just mentioned, it can help you to feel less overwhelmed, but can also help you to reduce any stress that you may be dealing with. Stress is really irritating at times, and sometimes we just don't know how to move forward when it becomes too much to bear. Because of this, it's important to take those "time outs" so that we can feel less afraid and more comfortable with the life that we're living. If you have stress because of anxiety or other mental health issues, it can help to alleviate some of that stress as well, which can make your disorder a little bit easier to live with.
It can help your body to stop being so tense. There are actually physical benefits to meditation as well. When we're stressed out, or even when we don't feel stressed, our bodies can react to the stress that we feel. By meditating and being more mindful of ourselves, we can help to let that stress go, thus reducing the strain and pain that our bodies may be feeling because of stress. If we don't find time to relax and get in touch with ourselves, our overall physical health can be negatively affected, so you can prevent that by taking time out for yourself to meditate on a regular basis.
The Spiritual Side of Meditation
It can help with your spiritual and emotional health. If you are a spiritual person at all, meditation can help you to feel more in touch with that side of yourself. It can also help you to become a lot more understanding of the emotions that you feel on a regular basis. By taking time away from the noise, you can start to hear your thoughts more clearly and listen to your body when it starts to insist that you take a break or do other things so that you can recover. Listen to your body - it's not going to let you down.
A counselor or therapist can help you determine the best ways to meditate so that it's the most effective for you and your needs. They can talk you through exercises that you can try and teach you how to be more comfortable with it. Contact one today and get started on your journey to wholeness and complete mental well being.
Corliss, J. (2014, January 8). Mindfulness meditation may ease anxiety, mental stress - Harvard Health Blog. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/mindfulness-meditation-may-ease-anxiety-mental-stress-201401086967
Harvard Health Publications. (2013). Benefits of Mindfulness. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://www.helpguide.org/harvard/mindfulness.htm
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2014, May 5). Stress management. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-living/stress-management/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858
NAMI. (n.d.). Mindfulness. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://www.nami.org/template.cfm?section=mindfulness
Shaw, B. (2009). Meditation provides physical, mental, and emotional benefits. Retrieved May 28, 2014, from http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/meditation-provides-physical-mental-and-emotional-benefits