Benefits of Meditation
Meditation can be thought of as a tool which can be used to combat stress and help with some physical problems like asthma and anxiety. It is also beneficial in coping with depression and can help one sleep better and feel happier. On a deeper, more spiritual level meditation may be used to calm the mind and make the person more peaceful. It is likened to a doorway into the unknown and is used to explore the depths of the brain to greater degrees that one would normally do.
Trains the Mind
If our minds are at peace, it follows that we will then be free from mental discomfort and worry. It will then be possible to experience true happiness. When our minds are not at peace, we are not in a happy place, even though our conditions may be perfect. In training our minds to be at peace with everything, through meditation, we will in due course become more peaceful, and it will be possible to experience a purer form of happiness. This will enable us to stay in this contented place for longer periods of time, and even under difficult circumstances.
When you first start to meditate, you will possibly find it hard to control your mind for any length of time. Our mind may be likened to a leaf blowing in the wind, blown about by external forces. When things go well, the mind is happy. On the other hand, when things do not go well, the mind is unhappy, discontented and subject to negative feelings like anger and frustration. Meditation is there to teach the mind to be thankful in any situation and to deal efficiently and kindly with situations of all types.
Mood swings like this are only natural because we are human and external situations are a close part of our days. When we add meditation into the picture, we find that we can remove ourselves from external circumstances and not be influenced by them. Over time, we will find that we develop a balance of the mind where it is like a gentle wave on the ocean, rather than a crazy combination of highs and lows, which oscillates between extreme happiness and depression. If meditation is practiced regularly, you will find that your mind is trained systematically and over a period of time you will be able to eradicate the feelings that cause problems and suffering. This then is the way to find an inner peace which is also known as ‘nirvana’. In this way, you will experience peace and happiness in every walk of your life.
While relaxation may not be the primary goal of meditation, you will find that it is often the result. The term ‘relaxation response’ was the opinion of researcher Herbert Benson at Harvard University where he conducted a study of people who practiced meditation. In Benson’s words, the ‘relaxation response’ is an opposite, involuntary response that causes a reduction in the activity of the nervous system.
Since this statement, studies have shown numerous benefits of meditation. Researchers are now focusing on whether a regular meditation routine brings long-term benefits. They are also studying the effects on brain and immune function in people who regularly meditate.
The goal of meditation is simply to be present and in the perfect state of mind. A Buddhist believes that the benefit of meditation is the total liberation of the mind, from things it cannot control. When we meditate every cell in the body undergoes a change, because they are filled with more energy (known as prana). The entire physiology of our system changes and this results in an increase in joy, peace, and contentment.
Meditation can improve health with just 20 minutes a day.
From an article of Jacky Miller’s article on the Ultimate Guide to Meditation