Benefits of Meditation

Benefits of Meditation

Benefits of Meditation

In the past meditation has been regarded as a ‘way-out there’ activity only practised by people with flowers in their hair or who were regarded as the New Age Types. It was not regarded as useful for the mainstream people and certainly not for the A-type personality with their workaholic and stressful lifestyles. But that is no longer the case as meditation is now coming into its own as a result of the benefits of meditation being better understood. Meditation is now being taught worldwide in businesses, schools, prisons and hospitals. Indeed, doing meditation is akin to having your own free private health cover.  More & more studies reveal that meditation is good for the health. And meditation combined with a balanced and healthy life style, plus psychotherapy is sure to turn a person’s life around from ill-health to good-health.

Of course, it doesn’t have to have a holistic health approach of diet, therapy and meditation.  In the beginning just taking a short time to relax and de-stress during each and every day will do wonders for your health.  A daily meditation is a simple thing to do. Benefits of meditation comes in all shapes and sizes and even if you find you can’t stop the minds constant chatter if you just spend a few minutes during the day trying to focus on one thing (your breath for example) then you are starting to practise meditation.  

It is time to get rid of the old beliefs that meditation can only be practised in a cave in the Himalayas, as that is definitely not the case.  Meditation is available to you each and every day. If you persevere with your practise, even one that only lasts a few minutes each day, you will find there will be an improvement in your health.

If you don’t believe what is written in this article there is a growing list of studies being done by many universities around the world.  Harvard Medical School have recently completed a meditation study on Mindfulness that showed meditation may ease anxiety and mental stress. 

Although the studies by the scientific community are still ongoing and all the dots have yet to be joined, there is growing evidence that meditation is good for you.  It will only be a matter of time before the empirical evidence of science fully backs that up.  However you don’t have to wait for scientific proof – you can find out for yourself by starting to meditate today.

How to Meditate

  • Find a place where you can be on your own for a few moments every day
  • In that space sit or lie down and close your eyes and focus solely on your breathing
  • Count the breath in 1-2-3
  • Hold the breath for one count
  • Count the breath out 1-2-3
  • Hold the breath for one count
  • Repeat for 3 cycles.
  • Open you eyes
  • Get on with your day

You can do this as often as you like in one day

The secret is to find that quiet place where you will not be disturbed for a few minutes.

The benefits of meditation is your private health cover that does not expire, it is free and it can be used whenever you want to use it.

That is not a bad investment.

What type of Meditation suits you?

What type of Meditation suits you?

Type of Meditation

Meditation is regarded as a simple process but there are so many type of meditation that trying to find out what type of meditation suits you can lead to a lot of confusion.  As a meditation teacher I am often asked what is the best type of meditation and which one would be the easiest one to practise.  Before I say more I would like to make it clear that meditation does not have to be involved with a religious or spiritual practise.  Meditation is a discipline and like any training you will gain more by doing it often. 

Best Meditation Practise 

As with any new activity it is best to keep the practise simple and when starting meditation that is good advise. Do whatever works for you and keep doing it.  When the times comes to move onto a different type of exercise you will know when you are ready. Indeed you may find you like to vary on a daily basis how you meditate.  The main point is to spend a short time, or however long you want, doing some sort of daily meditation practise.  Just taking a short time out will help you learn to meditate but it will also improve your health as you start to relax and destress.


  • Find a place where you will not be disturbed for at least a few minutes.
  • Make yourself comfortable – sitting or lying down.
  • Meditate

Sound Meditation

You have probably been doing this type of meditation without even realising that is what you have been doing.

  • Choose some soothing music and preferably with headphones relax as you listen to the music
  • Keep you mind focused on the music
  • Do not let random external thoughts disturb you as you listen to the music.

Do this for as long as you can stay focused on the music

Transcendental Meditation

This is a meditation that was extremely popular in the 1960’s but there are still many people who practise it.  Founded by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, Transcendental Meditation became very popular when the Beatles made a visit the the Maharishi’s Ashram and learnt to meditate.  The discipline involves the use of a mantra, a word in Sanskrit that the meditator repeats during a 20-minute meditation session.  The Preparation is the same as the above. The mantra that suits you is given during a 2-day course, which are not cheap. Your mantra is not exclusive and is based on the teacher who trains you and your date of birth.

Breath Meditation

This is a meditation that focuses on your breathing and can be done anywhere but to start it is good to adopt the preparation above.  It consists of being aware of the breath and silently counting the breath in and silently counting the breath out.  The total focus is the breath and the idea is to keep your mind focused on the breath.  As the breath never leaves you – this is a meditation that can be done absolutely anywhere – for as long or as short as you like.

Mindfulness Meditation

This is probably the most popular form of meditation in this present day.  It was founded by Jon Kabat-Zin in 1979 and is now practised throughout the world in hospitals, and Mindfulness Meditation Schools. It involves breath awareness but also body awareness. As you focus on the in-breath and out-breath you also focus your attention on your physical body from the toes upwards.  It is a meditation that can be done anywhere.

Of course there are many other forms of meditation but any of the above will give you a good start. Learning to meditate in a group is also very helpful and it is worth searching out a local meditation group. Having to go to a class every week is another way to help you maintain your discipline.

Meditation Combats Sleep Deprivation

Meditation Combats Sleep Deprivation

Sleep deprivation is something that stops any person from performing at their best. As you get older it can become more difficult to sleep and coupled with an ageing body this results in your days not being as productive or as enjoyable as you may want them to be.  However it seems help is on the way to help you sleep. A study involving a group of 55+ people who attended a 6-week mindfulness meditation program showed remarkable improvements in their sleep quality. It was shown that meditation combats sleep deprivation resulting in a better night’s sleep for older people. The study was lead by Dr David Black an assistant professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California.

Dr Black said that mindfulness meditation probably helped settle the brain’s arousal systems. As meditation has no known side-effects, unlike prescription sleeping-drugs, mindfulness meditation is a good alternative. The study lasted 12 months and involved 2 groups. 

One group changed their routine prior to sleep. They established a more regular routine for going to bed and avoided caffeine and alcohol prior to sleep. The other group attended a 6-week mindfulness meditation course led by a qualified instructor. At the end of the study the people who did the meditation approach showed a better quality of sleep than the non-meditation group.

The study showed that Meditation was very beneficial in combating sleep deprivation in older people.

Curated by Liz McCaughey


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