The Oxford English Dictionary defines the verb ‘meditate’ as: to focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes, or as a method of relaxation.

There are many different meditation techniques, including: transcendental meditation, prayer, Zen meditation, and Buddhist meditation. Some methods require the body to be absolutely still, or to be moved with controlled deliberation, while other types allow for free movement of the body. While the methods are different, the end goal of all types of meditation is to lead to a mind that is at peace and free from stress by the use of quiet contemplation and reflection. For many, meditation is part of their daily routine.

If practiced regularly, meditation can bring about healing of both the body and the mind.

One of the physical benefits of meditation is a decrease in blood pressure. In addition there can be an improvement in breathing due to the increase of air flow that gets to the lungs.  Practitioners also find that their resting heart rate is lower which takes some of the stress of the heart. Meditation is also said to promote a youthful appearance, and help in chronic diseases such as allergies and arthritis. It can also help in post-operative healing, enhance the immune system by increasing the activity of ‘natural-killer’ cells and reduce the action of viruses.

Ladies may find it reduces pre-menstrual tension, and because evidence shows that chemicals in the body that are associated with stress are lower in practitioners, it can be said to lead to less anxiety for all. Some find it helps decrease depression. This is because it has been found to increase serotonin production which influences mood and behaviour.

Those who meditate say they become less bothered by little things which they previously magnified and turned into serious things. Through meditation, they learn to detach and live in the here and now, rather than worrying about the past or future.

ref: focus-magazines

Practitioners also find that meditation improves their memory and levels of concentration. This makes them more productive. A further benefit is known as ‘Knowledge of Self.’ Meditation allows a deeper understanding of our inner self and some feel that through meditation they gain a better understanding of their life’s purpose and become more self-confident.

the goal of meditation isn't to control your thoughts, it's to stop your thoughts controlling you.

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