What is meditation and how can it help you?

What is meditation and how can it help you?

Today’s Stress and Anxiety

I’m sure you’ve heard more than once about how meditation can help calm your mind, reduce stress, better manage anxiety, etc…

However, I believe that meditation is more than just a strategy that can help you manage stress.

For me, meditation is a philosophy of life that if you take it seriously can help you change the way you see the world and relate to it, making you a much freer, more conscious and happier person.

I think we live in a world in which we go so fast and on automatic pilot that we don’t forget to live.

And that’s how it goes.

15% of people need to resort to anxiolytics and antidepressants to cope with their daily life, these drugs have tripled their consumption in the last 10 years and even if it doesn’t make noise in the media there are more deaths from suicides than from traffic accidents.

We are so used to running around trying to cover all our responsibilities (many of them self-imposed) that we forget the really important, those little things that have the ability to make us happy.

How long has it been since you’ve enjoyed a sunset? A child’s smile? A good conversation?

What is meditation?

Meditation is a practice in which the individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either for:

  • To obtain some therapeutic benefit (To increase self-esteem, to overcome some fear, to generate motivation, to increase creativity, to solve internal conflicts, to dissipate emotional blockages, to favor the confidence in oneself, etc…).
  • Recognize content without feeling identified with it (Get rid of judgments, comparisons, negative thoughts and play the role of spectator and actor in the world around us).
  • As an end in itself (Simply for the enjoyment it provides and for all the benefits it can bring to your life)

In short, to meditate is to concentrate on breathing, on an external object, on a voice, on the world around you, on your own mind, on your internal sensations, etc…setting aside the judgments of value and impertinence that only have the function of making your life bitter.

If you manage to flow with the experiences without judging them, live the present and let each moment present itself as it is, without forcing anything or pretending anything more than what is happening here and now you are going to get rid of fear, anxiety and worry that generates you project yourself into the future as well as the nostalgia, sadness, guilt and resentment that can provide the past.

It is true that there are times that you will have to project to the past and the future, you must not forget that the mind is a very useful tool.

Sometimes it is necessary to make plans, set timetables and even it is positive to let your imagination fly, to dream awake, or to resort to the past to explain certain things or to recall certain moments…

However, even if you are not aware of it, the only way to do all this is from the present moment.

You think about the future from now on, you remember the past from now. You can’t do it from another moment!

There is nothing wrong with mental time travel as long as you are aware that you are doing it here and now.

Benefits of meditation

If you get to be present and conscious you will not only stop wasting your life (if you spend most of your time in the past or in the future without being conscious that you are doing so from now, you are wasting your life because you are not enjoying the only thing that exists, the present moment) but you will also enjoy other benefits such as:

  • Recover the balance between body and mind.
  • Enrich personal relationships, connection with others and with nature, listening and learning at all levels.
  • Respond more consciously and less automatically to the stimuli of the environment.
  • Break the irrational conditioning and beliefs that you have been acquiring throughout your life history and generate greater mental flexibility. Reset your mind.
  • Know yourself better and detect more precisely what your sources of stress and discomfort are.
  • Be aware of the influence that your thoughts have on your emotions, your emotions on your actions, your actions in your life and how all this is directly related to the processes of health-disease.
  • Improve emotional management in any situation.
  • To be happier.

Besides, did you know that…?

  • Regular meditation has shown the same efficacy as certain anxiolytic and antidepressant drugs.
  • Meditation increases positive emotions and satisfaction in your life.
  • Meditating boosts your immune system and reduces pain and inflammation.
  • Meditation improves memory and attention
  • Meditation promotes constancy and concentration
  • Meditation promotes empathy, understanding and solidarity
  • Mediate increases the volume of your brain in certain parts related to emotional management, memory, introspection, attention and thought.
  • Meditating helps you see your life and the world in greater perspective.
  • Meditating increases resilience in difficult times
  • Meditation has shown improvements in diseases such as cancer, fibromyalgia, asthma, psoriasis, headaches, hypertension, chronic pain, and heart disease.

So meditation is the panacea?

Not at all. Meditation is not a magic pill that will solve your problems overnight.

In life there are no magic pills for almost nothing. And if someone sells you something like it, one of two, or is deceiving you or is a simple temporary patch.

So no matter how much you meditate I’m sorry to tell you that you’re going to keep having problems, yes, you’re going to embark on the most exciting journey of your life: The journey to self-knowledge and personal development.

James Prior