Technically speaking, there is nothing magical or mystical about meditation. Meditation is an increased concentration and awareness; a process to live in the present moment to produce and enjoy a tranquil state of mind. It is about paying attention, in the only time we have, the Now. Living in the present moment allows you to release regrets from the past and worries about the future. Meditation is the oldest recognized relaxation technique known.
Mental, Emotional & Physical Stress
As human beings we are visually oriented, whereby we take in over two-thirds of our sensory information through vision alone. The abundance of sensory stimulation can bombard our conscious mind, and under the influence of stress, our mind juggles many thoughts produced both externally and internally as they compete for attention. Very often the consequences of this sensory stimulation is sensory overload, which equals mental, emotional and physical stress.
A Force For Change
Meditation is a tool used to de-stress the mind and bring mental, emotional and physiological homeostasis. When the mind is clear, it is receptive to new information, new perspectives, and new ways of dealing with unresolved problems. By taking up a meditation practice you are introducing into your life a powerful force for change.
Benefits of Meditation
1. Decreased symptoms of depression and anxiety
2. Decreased heart rate, blood pressure and muscle tension
3. Increased energy and stamina
4. Increased recovery time from surgery or injury
5. Increased focus and concentration
6. Increased sense of calm, happiness and overall well-being
7. Decreased asthmatic attacks and other allergic reactions
8. Significantly reduced stress-related illnesses
9. Decreased present-moment and chronic physical pain
10. Increased overall mental, emotional and physical homeostasis
Breathing Meditation Practice
The most universal method of meditation is a breathing meditation practice. You can begin this simple relaxation technique by closing your eyes and focusing your awareness on your inhale and exhale. Notice the cool sensation of your breath as it enters your nose. Notice the warm sensation of your breath as you exhale through your nose. Become aware of the feeling of your breath as your abdomen expands on your inhale and gently contracts as you exhale. Enjoy the Breathing Meditation Practice daily for five to 10 minutes. In this short period of time you can witness the benefits of meditation improving your overall mental, emotional and physical homeostasis, acting as a force for change and enabling you to live in the present moment.
Coaching and Counseling
Hilary Stokes Ph.D. and Kim Ward Ph.D. have been a team for 20 years, specializing in mind, body, spirit psychology. They are the authors of the bestselling books The Happy Map: Your roadmap to the habit of happiness and Manifesting Mindset: The 6-step formula for attracting your goals and dreams and founders of Authenticity Associates Coaching and Counseling. They are passionate about combining the best of holistic and traditional approaches to health and happiness. If you are interested in learning the answers to the most frequently asked questions on how to decrease stress and increase happiness sign up for their free video series.