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April 19, 2017
Meditation and yoga are age-old practices known for bringing inner peace to their practitioners. Those who get stressed out easily may find that practicing meditation and/or yoga restores their calm and brings them clarity. A simple and inexpensive (and sometimes free!) way to combat stress and finally relax, meditation and yoga can help those suffering from debilitating anxiety overcome their struggles.
In fact, the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health called meditation a “mind and body practice that has a long history of use for increasing calmness and physical relaxation, improving psychological balance, coping with illness, and enhancing overall health and well-being.” So, in other words, meditation works.
Meditation and yoga were first used for ancient people to gain a greater understanding of life’s mysticisms. Thousands of years later, it’s now used by many people, men and women alike, to beat the blues and decompress. It’s available for all level learners, it’s inexpensive, and positively impacts your mood. What’s not to love?
Meditation and yoga allow practitioners to let their bodies enter states of deep relaxation and quiet their minds. The tranquillity of the practices allows them to rid themselves of negative thoughts and combat stress. In fact, practicing meditation and yoga is believed to alleviate allergies, anxiety disorders, asthma, depression, fatigue, pain, and sleep problems. Sounds like I’ll need to give both a try, ASAP.
There are lots of types of meditation. “Meditation” is a general term used to describe mindful techniques that lead to a state of relaxation. No matter what type of meditation you choose, the goal of inner peace remains the same. Different types of meditation include, but are not limited to, guided meditation, mindfulness, yoga, tai chi, and qi gong.
You can try many of these types locally in group-led classes or you can research them yourself and try them at home. (Note: it’s much better for you to learn proper technique from a professional in a class environment) Other types of meditation allow you to sit still and listen which is obviously something safe to try on your own.
One key element to meditation of any kind is the ability to focus your attention. Focusing your attention while meditating will allow you to free your mind of worry and help you overcome any distractions.
Relaxed breathing is yet another key to meditation. In fact, some practices, such as yoga, rely on breathing techniques for correct practice. When people are stressed out, they tend to breathe really shallowly; that’s why meditation relies on deep breathing to work the diaphragm muscles and expand the lungs. More air leads to better brain function and better brain function means better meditation.
Another key to successful meditation is practicing in a relaxed setting. To get the most out of your practice, you’re going to want to meditate in a place that’s quiet and calm. Getting comfortable and quieting your inner thoughts can take a lot of practice, so meditating in a relaxed environment is essential for beginners. Not only does practicing in a quiet setting make meditating easier, it also reduces stress simply by removing any aggravating environmental factors.
There are tons of reasons to choose practicing meditation and yoga over some other kind of mindful technique. In addition to being believed to alleviate all kinds of symptoms of illness, meditation can also physically benefit your body by promoting better blood flow, better circulation, and a healthier way of breathing. Besides, practicing meditation and yoga can be done for free – who doesn’t love that? – or, if you’re not a solitary hermit like me, you can choose to participate in a class setting instead.
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