Relaxation and stress relief are some of the top benefits and reasons many of us begin a mediation practice. Learning how meditation helps you relax and understanding the why behind it can help enhance your experience.
In this article, I want to explore a little into how meditation helps you relax. Also, what you can expect as benefits of consistent meditation practice.
Numerous studies have shown that there is a direct link between meditation and relaxation. What distinguishes this from the other techniques is that with meditation, your mind continues to be focused and alert when you learn to focus on an object, thought, or by visualization.
But which should you focus on?
The answer depends on the individual. The important thing is that it is something that they are comfortable with.
One of the simplest things to concentrate on is your breathing. In fact, most meditation techniques start out this way to help your muscles relax and your mind and body become one.
Sometimes, using visualization and staring into an object can produce similar results. It doesn’t have to be a “physical” object because when you are trying to get some sleep, you can focus on a cloud or the open ocean.
If thinking about an object is not your thing, then you can try to focus on sounds or words. This is the reason that there are CDs that you can buy that play calming music or with someone in the background talking to you during meditation and relaxation sessions.
When such things are used, this is better known as mantra mediation or transcendental meditation. This technique has been studied widely in the medical field because the body gains a state of profound rest. As you wake up, your brain and mind become alert ready to get back to work.
Challenges Of Meditation And Relaxation
The biggest challenge with meditation and relaxation is the fact that you will often be distracted with other thoughts as you try to block them out. When you are doing this at home, it is beyond your control if a car drives by or there are other sounds coming from the outside. The same goes if you feel an itch and the tendency is to scratch it.
Since ignoring it won’t do any good, you just have to accept it. Through practice and learning to have a passive attitude, these things will no longer affect you.
Let’s face it. All of us need time to relax when the pressure builds up otherwise we crack. You can drink a beer after work or watch television when you get home but the truth is, such activities do not truly relax the body.
For that, the best answer is meditation so you not only relax the body but also the mind. You should do your best to stay awake because instead of concentrating on your breathing, you could already be dreaming which is not what this exercise is all about.
You’ll eventually feel more energetic with meditation and should do this on a daily basis. After all, it only takes 15 or 20 minutes or so to recharge your batteries.
Does this change who you are as a person?
For me, that’s hard to give a definitive yes or no. You become more calm and disciplined when everyone around you is going crazy. You will have an increased ability from this to better make the right decisions at the right time. Soon, people will notice the change in you and say something about it.
Some might even ask how you do it and when that happens, you will know that this activity has paid off.