• 5 August 2022
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MEDITATION – BENEFITS, AND PRACTICE

MEDITATION – BENEFITS, AND PRACTICE

For decades, meditation has been the focus of scientific studies. Most Pakistanis would see meditation as a religious ritual, but a growing number of people from all faiths and beliefs are practicing it, as it has been proven to be helpful in several aspects of our daily lives, both psychological and physiological.

BENEFITS OF MEDITATION:

Following are the most scientifically backed benefits of meditation that have been proven several times.

Meditating for just eight weeks increases brain matter in three primary areas. Firstly, the left hippocampus controls learning and memory recall. Secondly, the posterior cingulate cortex can control where our mind wanders. Lastly, temporoparietal induction and empathy. Moreover, the size of the amygdala in the brain is reduced resulting in less fearful behavior.

To further expand on the last paragraph, it helps you better manage stress and drastically reduce depression symptoms. Meditation changes how our brain responds to stress and anxiety. These and other key symptoms of depression are reduced through regular meditative practice.

It promotes growth in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex of the brain that controls willpower. Moreover, meditation is better than a typical 12-step program as there is a lesser chance of relapse a year later after being declared free of an addiction.

Concentration and focus are increased via meditation, attention span is increased even for mundane tasks.

Meditation decreases the amount of C-reactive blood in the protein that is correlated with the development of cardiovascular diseases. Three months of meditation significantly manage blood pressure problems.

It also enhances attention, working memory, and recognition memory.

Also, better sleep quality and reduction of insomnia-related symptoms are commonly reported.

Most important, It makes you happier. Experiments show that long-term meditation practitioners have 30 times the gamma waves in their brains than other people. These rays are associated with compassion, self-control, and a general feeling of well-being and happiness. As you keep on meditating your happiness grows along.

HOW MUCH DO I HAVE TO MEDITATE?

Mostly it is recommended to meditate for 20 minutes a day. You can also split this into two sessions of ten minutes. You should start small with only two-minute sessions and gradually work your way up.

WHEN AND WHERE?

You can meditate anytime and anywhere right after you wake up or directly before you go to sleep. I would recommend meditating after waking up as it is easy to practice it in the morning. It also gives you a good mood for the day. Meditating with lying down is not recommended as you are prone to falling asleep.

HOW TO MEDITATE?

The primary task is to focus on your breath and feel how it goes inside and outside of you. Notice that little bridge between inhale and exhale. Other non-essential recommendations are to close your eyes, your head straight facing forward, sit with your back straight and your hands in your lap or on your knees making a circle with your thumb and middle finger. A lot of thoughts will emerge in your mind and you will be constantly distracted, as soon as you realize that you are meditating, bring your focus back to your breath. You should set an alarm as time seems to pass a lot slower while meditating. This will prevent you from constantly checking or thinking about how much time is left.

That is all there is to meditation. You are training your brain to be present in the moment and not to ruminate. Hence, all the positive side effects.

HOW LONG BEFORE I SEE RESULTS?

A lot of people will take some time to see results as we are brought up in such an environment where being mindful is very uncommon. Most people would start seeing results around the four-week mark. It also depends on the frequency and depth of your meditative sessions. The more you meditate the faster the results but the most crucial factor is to convert the practice into a daily habit.

For a final note, meditation is basically about working with the mind and training your consciousness. Simply meditating with the mind leads to an improved sense of presence, calmness, attentiveness, and an enhancement in valued human qualities such as empathy and patience.

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