Meditation is ancient in its origins and it often comes up as a way to improve your overall health. Many people use this technique and will swear by the results. If you are considering adding meditation to your healthcare regimen, take some time to consider what it does, how it works and whether or not it fits into your lifestyle.
Meditation takes many forms, but the most common method is to control your breathing and limit the presence of environmental distractions. Taking slow, deep, regular breaths and slow full exhalations form the most basic technique. Limiting the intensity of your thoughts is also key. This can be done by simply trying to clear your mind or to focus on a single thought, idea or visualization. This often proves difficult but gets easier with practice. The immediate benefits are slower heart rates and even lower blood pressure. This can lead to reduced stress and the easing of anxiety. While these benefits are often immediate, it takes repetition and practice to maintain this state.
Physical therapists often use meditation as a way to allow muscles to relax, lose tension and thereby reduce physical pain and improve motor function. This can lead to reduced dependence upon medications which can save you money and get rid of the side effects common with prescription drugs.
Mental health professionals also use meditation in their recommended therapies. The calming and soothing effects can help mitigate the problems associated with anxiety and depression. By training yourself to ease your thoughts and breathe, you can calm the intensity of the thoughts that often aggravate your levels of stress.
If you find meditation difficult at first, you may wish to try guided meditation. Healthcare professionals, yoga instructors, and even trainers can help you by doing guided meditations that will allow you to shift focus from your own thoughts to the words spoken to you. You can even find recorded guided meditations that you can play on your favorite media device. Using this method may become your favorite way of getting into the meditative state.
Finding the time and the right environment to do meditation is often the greatest challenge people face. You need to schedule the right amount of time for your needs. If it takes you longer to relax and clear your mind, you will need to set aside a greater block of time. Also, you need to ensure that your environment is suitable. This includes reduced noise, commotion and in some cases, lighting. Being comfortable is also key so that you limit any additional physical strain.
While studies on meditation have been done and some do indicate that there are real benefits, scientists do still disagree on the levels of benefits resulting from meditation. That said, it cannot hurt to try. Overall, the true benefit is up to you and the amount of time you devote to the practice. You may just find that meditation is just the medication you need.