About this course
There is no doubt that stress is a huge issue for thousands of people today. In fact stress is often referred to as the silent killer. It can creep up on you and take hold of your life in devastating ways. If you are dealing with stress in any way, it could be to your benefit to start incorporating some form of meditation into your daily routine.
The face of meditation has changed to a certain extent today. This has been made possible by the acceptance of meditating in different places and in various ways. The whole purpose of meditating is to allow your mind and body to connect and to discover that inner peace.
The following ways are simple things that you can do to enjoy the benefits of meditation.
Enjoy sitting back and relaxing while soaking your feet in a tub of warm water with added bath salts. This can help you remove all the stresses from your long, hard day.
Use an icepack, wrapped in a washcloth, on the right side of your body while sitting and meditating. This is supposed to help cool your liver. It is thought that people with an overactive liver have more mind chatter than others.
Use some type of external aid to assist you with meditating. This could be a phone app to remind you when to meditate. Or you may prefer to use music or listen to motivational tapes.
Meditate while walking or jogging. You can listen to motivational tapes or just repeat your favorite quote whilst outside walking. You may wish to focus on just one thing during your walks, such as what a person or thing means to you.
While yoga and Tai Chi have been around for a long time. These are activities that have seen an increase in popularity in recent years. Both are excellent ways for helping you meditate and deal with the stresses of life.
Listening to music is another great tool you can incorporate into your life. Binaural beats are extremely popular and effective when it comes to meditating.
Your doctor or health care provider may also have ideas for how you can incorporate meditation into your life. In fact, doctors are recommending meditation to their patients frequently these days. It is extremely cost effective as all it requires is your time to learn the different ways of meditating.
It is important to choose a meditation method that suits your body and your frame of mind. If you are dealing with a health issue you may not have the ability to sit with your legs crossed for longer periods. It may be easier and more soothing to sit in a chair and soak your feet.
When you feel at ease you will find it much easier to meditate and reap the full benefits successfully.
Today it seems as though everyone in society is busy. Who isn't running around trying to juggle careers, schools and home life? This can become a traumatic experience for some. The pressure from your peers and friends to fit in and succeed are enormous. So how do you deal with all of this while still keeping your sanity?
Lately there has been a ton of research conducted on the benefits of meditating on a regular basis. Meditation is nothing new, by any means, it is an art form that has been practised for centuries. So why is it now being looked at as a healing process?
In short we can put it down to our society as a whole. Families today see both parents working and this places added pressure on the entire family. Everyone is always rushed. You go to work to run home and prepare dinner. Then there is homework to be done, laundry that needs doing and there seems like there is never any time for you!
Just look at some of the tools that you use in your life. You probably carry around a Smartphone or an iPad or laptop. This just increases your activity levels. Even on the bus or in the car you are busy doing something. Years ago a bus ride could have been viewed as a restful experience.
When was the last time you turned off all of your devices for 24 hours or even less? Quite some time ago I expect!
Meditation gives you that time in your day when you can slow down and relax. Just sitting in a comfortable chair and closing your eyes for 20 minutes can be a huge help. Your body and your mind finally have the time to take a break. You can stop thinking at a million miles per hour, instead you have the time to focus on just one thing.
Research has shown that using some type of meditation method has helped reduced stress, crime and violence in society. It has also shown increases in understanding, positivity and in people experiencing that peaceful, glad to be alive feeling.
You can really see just how busy we are as a society. This is why taking up the art of meditation is an excellent choice for many people. Meditating forces you to take time out, sit down and clear your mind.
After a few sessions of meditating you will notice that your concentration levels have increased as well as your productivity levels. Overall you will start to enjoy living life to the fullest again.
There is no doubt that kids are more pressured today than ever before. The result of this is an alarming increase in the number of children dealing with stress in the classroom.
This is a widespread problem and stems from many different sources. Classroom stress can be attributed to children having low grades and feeling pressured because they are not good enough. It can also be caused by feelings of anxiety and depression.
Then there is the issue of bullying and violence in schools. Even teachers are reporting that they are suffering from burnout.
Learning today is done on computers and this can lead to information overload in some children. While this can be a great method for teaching, some children are using their computers for more than that, and not in a productive way.
All of these technological advances are great for students and teachers. One downside is that using computers and other mobile devices, doesn't allow your brain any down time.
Even during recess and lunch breaks, children are busy on their phones sending text messages and chatting. When do they have time to spend a few minutes sitting quietly?
Stress amongst school aged children is so rampant that many schools are now introducing 'quiet times or periods' into the school day. Some schools do this by scheduling quiet times before school starts and before it ends for the day.
This has been put into place not just for the students but for teachers alike. It gives everyone the chance to sit quietly for a few minutes to either read a book or to just rest and relax.
In the United States a committee was established, in 2005, for Stress Free Schools. This was done in conjunction with the David Lynch Foundation for Consciousness Based Education and for World Peace. This program reflects the benefits of using quiet time and meditation in schools today.
By teaching children at a young age how to handle their stress, it is hoped, that by adulthood they will have a good grip on dealing with this potential killer.
As well as including some form of meditation into the lives of your children, you also want to give them more time to play and just be kids. It seems as though kids are being pressured into growing up and becoming mature at a much faster rate. This may not be done intentionally, busy parents are just reflecting their lifestyle and habits onto their children. Often without even knowing it.
As you are aware there are several ways you can meditate. While each method may have different benefits, we will take a look at the overall benefits of meditation in general.
How Meditation Affects Your Brain
It is so easy to stress out your brain these days. You are busy at work, you have a family to take care of and provide for. This can lead to you not eating correctly, not exercising enough and we haven't even touched on social impacts such as drinking and smoking. It is easy to see that your brain is extremely taxed out.
As you become stressed out you start to make impulsive decisions. You are always in a rushed state, so you don't take the time to think things through. This can lead to making bad judgements that could affect everyone around you.
Using meditation methods such as the Mindfulness or Transcendental ones you can minimize and even reverse these effects on your brain. By giving your brain permission to stop and relax, you are allowing it to enter a period of restfulness while still staying alert.
What this achieves is that it helps to strengthen the communication process in your brain. Without getting too technical, this is where your brain's prefrontal cortex and different areas that control brain functions are located.
The result of this restful period is that your ability to make strong, well thought out decisions is restored. Outwardly you project a more stable and confident appearance to your colleagues.
The overall benefits you will reap from meditating include:
• Feeling as though you have a purpose in life
• Your behavior becomes less impulsive
• Your decision-making skills are enhanced
• Your memory works much better than it used to
• You stop abusing things such as cigarettes, drugs, and alcohol
• Your energy levels are increased
• You become much healthier overall
• Your immune systems work better
• Your self-confidence levels are increased
• You feeling of well being is improved
• Your relationships are better
• You just feel happy and optimistic about your life
So if you are not totally happy or satisfied with your life then you may want to incorporate meditation into it. The nice thing about meditating is that it doesn't take very long at all. A twenty minute session, once or twice a day, can do wonders for your health.
The subject of meditation can be confusing and even intimidating to some people. Meditation is an art form that dates back thousands of years. It is well known for being a practice that monks and other religious people participated in.
Today meditation is associated with many health benefits for the mind and the body. It is being used more widely, and what most people don't know, is that there is more than one form of meditation.
The best way to describe mediation is by this; it is a practice that allows a person to train their mind to a better way of thinking. This could be to stop focusing on the past and let things go, or to develop a more positive mindset.
The practice of meditation allows you to learn how to relax your mind and your body. It can help you develop a new life force, also known as gi, ki, and prana. At the same time you can learn how to love again, have compassion, improve your generosity and to forgive things.
Buddhist monks used meditation on a daily basis and it helped them perform all of their rituals. They would use things like prayer beads to help them keep track of things that needed to be accomplished. As well they would touch their beads while saying mantras.
Many religions incorporate some form of meditation into their beliefs. It is often used to help clear the mind and to sync your body and mind together. Mantras were often performed while in a sitting position and helped a person develop a calm state of mind.
The goal is to relax your mind and become totally aware of your thoughts and feelings. This can be done by clearing your mind and only thinking about one thing at a time. You may wish to focus on things like losing weight or forgiving someone for a recent action they took.
Today it is recognized that meditation can be done in many ways with tons of benefits. Taking part in yoga is one way to meditating. Kneeling or sitting and repeating phrases or quotes, is yet another way. It is even possible to meditate while walking, and numerous people actually perform it this way.
While at one time there may have been strict guidelines and expectations to meditation. Today how you meditate and where is more of a personal choice. You want to choose a location and position that is comfortable for you, and one that allows you not to be disturbed.
This method of meditation refers to an actual method that you can easily practice in the comfort of your own home. Transcendental is often used in conjunction with some organizations, in the context of this article we are referring to the method.
The technique associated with transcendental meditation is one that should be practiced twice daily, for twenty minutes at a time. It is best done when in a sitting position with your eyes closed. It is a widely used method for anyone wishing to improve or self-develop any aspect of their life.
Meditation works when you allow your mind to stop racing and thinking different thoughts. Instead you slow your thinking down and start to become aware of your body and your mind. This is known as finding your inner self.
When you can get your body into the correct state you will find that you are more aware, your body begins to relax and rest more, and that your brain works more sharply.
Transcendental meditation is extremely popular and is practiced by approximately 5 million people around the world. This method of meditating is known as a natural method and is used across all age groups, cultures and religions.
Due to its popularity there have been over 350 research studies done on this method of meditation. Even medical schools such as Stanford and Harvard have conducted studies.
While this method of meditation may be new to many people, it actually stems from an ancient Indian method or tradition known as Vedic. This tradition was handed down over the years and was recently introduced as the Transcendental methods by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, about 50 years ago.
The instructors and teachers that teach this method today, still use the same procedures and principles that were used thousands of years ago.
This method is very simple to implement as it requires no major use of concentrating, as other meditation methods do. The only effort that is required is for you to find a comfortable sitting position in a chair.
The process involves you transcending into a state of natural awareness. While your body becomes restful, your mind stays alert. This state is a natural response, which is why it is so easy for people to achieve.
If you have never tried any form of meditation, and would like to, transcendental meditation could be a great starting point for you.
Does your mind chatter or talk almost nonstop at you? This is something that millions of people are dealing with. This chatter can literally drive you crazy and make your stress levels reach new peaks.
One of the best ways to deal with this mind chatter is to start incorporating meditation in your life. Meditation can help different aspects of your life as we will discuss below.
It can help you to overcomes issues such as; anxiety, depression, mood swings, and feelings of confusion. Dealing with these feelings is a major problem for thousands of people around the world. Sometimes these thoughts can be detrimental to your life and can have devastating effects of your life. If you are dealing with any of these issues check with your doctor about the benefits of incorporating meditation.
Meditation also helps you build healthy outlooks when it comes to achieving things like losing weight. By meditating you are reinforcing a positive attitude. If you use motivational quotes you can easily improve your mindset. If your goal is to lose weight, congratulate yourself each day on your effects. Or you may want to focus on how fantastic you will look in those skinny jeans!
Meditation can help boost your creativity streak. When you clear your mind and reduce all that chatter your ability to focus and concentrate increases. When your mind is free you can allow it to wander and dream up all types of new things.
Meditating helps you feel re-energized. Your sessions do not have to last that long at all. A 20 minute session can help clear your mind and thoughts and leave you feeling refreshed and re-energized.
It also helps you deal with stress, this is achieved by reinforcing positive thoughts and by allowing you to focus on the tasks at hand. You will develop the skills need to deal with your stress more efficiently.
Meditation helps to improve your focus and your attention span. Participating in activities such as yoga or Tai Chi can help you in these areas. As can repeating motivational quotes or listening and focusing on sounds such as waves crashing against the beach.
Doctors are now recommending meditation to more and more of their patients. This can be a helpful way to deal with many health issues and it really doesn't cost anything! To date the results that have been seen from meditating are extremely positive, so it is something that is well worth looking into in more depth.
No doubt when you first hear the word 'meditation' a picture of a monk appears in your mind. While monks were certainly big practitioners of this art, meditation is more popular today than you might think.
People from all walks of life use meditation today. Business executives, athletes, stockbrokers and lawyers all incorporate meditation into their lives. Even large corporations such as Google, Target and General Mills advocate the use of meditation to their employees.
Meditation can be used for several reasons. This includes improving your spirituality, decreasing your stress levels and increasing your power of concentration and focus.
The basic concept behind meditation is that it allows you to control your own thoughts, instead of letting others control them for you.
People who regularly practise meditation find that their self discipline improves. In addition scientists are discovering that meditating can help improve your health by lowering your blood pressure and boosting your memory functions.
There are five basic components of meditation:
How many times in the day do you find your thoughts wandering? Probably dozens of times at least and this wandering process can be totally distracting.
Mindfulness allows you to stop all these thoughts from popping into your head. This is achieved by quietening these thoughts by concentrating on just one thing for about 10 minutes. Many people like to focus on the sounds of a waterfall or birds chirping in the background. Or you could just concentrate on your own breathing by coming aware of each breathe that you take.
This is where you use physical activity to help sync your mind and body. To perform this type of meditation you can simply walk or take part in a yoga class.
This is one type of meditation that you may have heard of. It is done by repeating a phrase or quote over and over. Select a phrase that holds meaning to you and repeat several times during the day.
With this form of meditation you simply focus on one thought or feeling. Choose a topic such as love or anger and then meditate on what this means to you.
This type of meditation uses some form of guidance. It could be a person in the same room with you or it can be done by listening to an audio tape. During the process you actually let your thoughts run away with you. This can be a very enjoyable and liberating experience.
The best thing about meditating is that it doesn't require a lot of time. All you need is to set aside 20 minutes per day for this beneficial exercise.
Use the following steps to set up your own routine for meditating and aim for at least once, if not twice, per day.
Select a Time
You want to choose a time that is convenient for you. During this time period ensure that you will not be disturbed. You need to feel relaxed and your mind should be free of worry.
Many people enjoy meditating either as the sun comes up or goes down. If possible you could even meditate outside.
A Quiet Location
This is very important as you don't want to have your spouse or children interrupt you. A quiet room in the house would work or even a secluded spot in your garden.
You need to sit comfortably while meditating. While sitting cross legged, or in the lotus position, is recommended it is not always necessary. You can sit comfortably on a chair and still receive the same benefits.
Meditate Before Meals
If you eat a large meal you often feel tired and lethargic. This is why it is best to meditate before you eat. But, do not try and meditate if you are on the verge of getting really hungry, otherwise your concentration levels will be disrupted.
As with any type of exercise you want to warm up, even if you are just going to be sitting down. This helps to get your blood flowing to all areas of your body and your brain. Plus it helps to make you feel more alert and ready to meditate.
Just the act of smiling can help you feel more relaxed and comfortable. Remember you are going to learn how to relax and allow your mind to wander. Feeling happier is one easy way to make this happen.
During the meditation process you will be sitting or standing with your eyes closed. When your 20 minutes are up you don't want to rush to open your eyes.
Instead, give yourself plenty of time to become aware of your surroundings again. In the same way you don't want to jump up and run for the phone! Allow your body to return to its conscious state again.
By following the above steps you can easily reap more benefits from your sessions. Remember that the more often you meditate, the easier the entire process will be for you.