Did you know that many of the great success and personal development gurus strongly advocate meditation as a way to help us improve, grow and achieve the life of our dreams? They all recommend meditation, because regular meditation can be completely transformative in terms of your emotional health and wellbeing and the best way to reduce stress!
Regular meditation helps us to step out of our mind and away from the constant chatter which can often be tiring, negative and even self destructive. Through meditation we are able to connect with our body, and through doing so, experience the wonders of being present, thus helping us to spend more time living in the now.
Meditation also provides a safe place for us to reconnect with our (often suppressed) emotions. Meditation gives emotions space to come up, and allows us to develop an awareness of them without having to act on or follow them. This can have huge benefits for us in our normal life. We become more adept at recognising our emotions (e.g. anger), and this helps us to realise we have a choice about how we behave or respond as a consequence of experiencing that emotion. We can then verbalise and dilute the emotion by saying to someone “I feel angry!”, without having to let that anger take control of us. In this way we do not end up acting out the anger so strongly with possible negative consequences for all parties involved.
Meditation can help us achieve a wonderful sense of calmness and peace. It is one of the best ways to reduce stress. It helps us to become more aware of what is really going on in our internal world. So many of us identify so strongly with our emotions that we think our emotions are “us”. We say “I am sad” or “I am angry”. This can often turn into repeated patterns of negative behaviour which can cause stress, anxiety and sometimes illness. Once we realise that we are so much more than our emotions, we are empowering ourselves to choose our response to any given situation. This is not always easy in the beginning, but with practise we can really transform ourselves and gain freedom from destructive and stressful responses which are often the cause of our stress and anxiety.
Meditations which focus on the breath, different parts of the body or sensations which are experienced throughout the body during a session of meditation, can be very strengthening for our immune system. Eckhart Tolle (1997) in his world famous book The Power Of Now says, “The more consciousness you bring into the body, the stronger the immune system becomes. It is as if every cell awakens and rejoices. The body loves your attention. It is also a potent form of self healing”. Meditation is a wonderful way of giving yourself the chance to experience this strengthening and healing of the body, and therefore a great way to release stress.
Deepak Chopra (1996), in The Seven Laws of Spirutual Success, describes meditation as a way of helping us discover who we really are. Here, we connect with “the power of the Self, or real power. When we experience the power of the Self, there is an absence of fear, there is no compulsion to control, and no struggle for approval or external power.” In addition, “it draws people to you, and it also draws things that you want to you. It magnetizes people, situations, and circumstances to support your desires”.
There are a whole host of other benefits which can be attributed to meditation. These benefits can affect us emotionally, physiologically, spiritually and mentally. All you need is 5 minutes to start off with and those 5 minutes can make all the difference to your stress and anxiety levels and how well you manage your busy schedule!
Looking to get started straight away? Meditation for Beginners has a simple exercise to get you going.
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