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It is believed that meditation dates to several thousand years ago. This ancient form of practice is said to have originated from India and rapidly spread to the rest of the world.

As it birthed in many different regions of the world, different names were given to the word meditation. Shamanism from the Natives, Zen from Japan, Taoism from China and Dyana from Buddhism are examples of practices that make up meditation.




 Nowadays meditation is not just a tool used by those seeking to develop their spiritual insight but instead it is now becoming a daily practice by the masses. Let's look at how meditation is beneficial.



As we hustle and bustle throughout the day trying to meet deadlines at work and balancing and managing time with family and friends at times all this can be challenging leading to difficulties in maintaining a healthy equilibrium between all.

Did you know that once meditation is introduced in our daily lives, we tend to become more creative and productive at work? Meditation can trigger calmness giving clarity in conception of new ideas that lead to a positive impact in the fields of demanding work and can also help to maintain a cordial environment at home as well.



In the 1970's a survey was conducted whereby people who meditated daily were monitored to conclude how the onset of meditation could play a major role in one's overall health.

After numerous studies it was observed that the benefits were innumerable. It was noted that people who suffered from hypertension were able to lower their blood pressure. High levels of cholesterol had been reported to have declined, muscles felt much more relaxed, pain intensity lessened, and an increased alpha rhythm meant that the brain waves slowed down to inhibit relaxation and this helped to significantly to reduce stress.

Scientific research has also shown that meditation can help manage health problems such as anxiety, asthma, insomnia, tension headaches, cancer, depression, and even irritable bowel syndrome.



 Excessive information overload in our day to day lives is overwhelmingly challenging and can lead to anxiety. Meditation can help manage stress by strengthening the ability of tolerance and patience by giving light on how to handle any nerve-wracking situations and aid in reducing negative emotions. It helps in focusing on the present.



 First and foremost, there is no right or wrong way to meditate. If one attains inner peace it is wise to conclude that their objective goal has been accomplished.



For any beginner it is advisable to look for a quiet place as one can easily be bound to be distracted even at the slightest noise. Make sure that there is no access to television and to phones. Light an incense stick or a scented candle of your choice. As you bring your awareness, ask yourself what it is you wish to achieve from meditation and slowly close your eyes and take a leap of faith into a journey of serenity.



 This at times can be very challenging especially for first timers as one tends to easily get distracted. Let's look at some tips which will help you manage meditation.

Bring the center of your attention to an image. How about looking at the flame of a candle making it the focal point. One can also choose to focus their attention on an object. Chanting “OM” or mantras that are high vibrating symbols can bring enlightenment. Finally, concentrate on your breathing and get into a state of peacefulness.



This technique is highly recommended in assisting in releasing stress.

Inhale deeply for 3 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds and finally release your breath on the count of 5 seconds. It has been proven that when you exhale is more than inhale you reduce stress, and it helps encourage the body to come into the state of mindfulness.



With the aim of achieving inner peace, various methods can be used to encourage relaxation and a stress- free mind. Let's look at home methods below to help you make your pick and what you resonate with, remember there is no wrong or right way to meditate.



Become aware of your breath and focus on all your emotions and thoughts. Be careful not to judge yourself but instead let go, while fully living in the present moment and positively accepting everything with love and gratitude. Open your heart to forgiveness, love, and compassion.



Designed gracefully, this is a self-paced series of a mild form of the Chinese Martial Arts combined with a series of breathing techniques whereby postures and movement are subtle in comparison to that of martial arts. This tool is very useful especially for those who can't sit still for a long time.



At times sitting still in one place can be nerve-wracking for some, so instead choose to take a walk and enjoy the simple wonders of nature. Gazing at the shapes of clouds, watching the colourful chirping birds, enjoying the benefits of the sun’s rays during daytime and for the night lover stargazing and listening to crickets chirp at night can bring about tremendous peace and serenity to the mind. Have a Go.



This practice is implemented whereby one may choose a set of positive affirmations or one may repeatedly use sacred symbols to keep negative thoughts out of bay. It can boost one's frame of mind bringing tranquillity to the person.



This system is said to have originated from China whereby one practices breathing, meditation, relaxation, and physical movement all at once. As this package has a little bit of everything one may undertake this practice.



What's the best time to meditate?

The best time to meditate is in the early hours of the morning just before sunrise as that is the divine time. Stillness brings calmness and this can lead to an uplifting mood.

Is it ok to sit down on a chair or lie down to meditate as I can't sit cross legged on the floor?

There is absolutely no problem doing meditation in any form. As a matter of fact, one can walk, can stand and also move in particular movements such as that of Tai chi and also the Sufi dance. Any posture is good so long as one is not tilting, slouching, or drifting away to sleep. Posture is key.

I have a busy schedule; how can I find the time to meditate?

Meditation doesn't need hours of sitting, even five to ten minutes a day is ideal. I highly recommend morning hours before the sunrise as one can enjoy the stillness or try to allot some time just after a shower and in-between your breakfast. Once you feel comfortable with your meditation time try increasing the duration to meditate. Life will surely start feeling better as everything works harmoniously.

Do I have to give up on my religious beliefs to meditate?

Absolutely not, meditation can on the contrary be supplemented by prayers as there is no harm. After all meditation is just about sitting quietly, breathing in deeply and turning your attention inward.

Can children meditate?

How I wish that meditation is taught at a tender age in school or at home as children are not subjected to conditioning and don't have many problems. This helps as they can quickly be receptible to the state of meditation therefore making them the best candidates.

As I conclude this feature let me leave you with a quote to marvel on and digest. Buddha once said that " If you are quiet enough, you will hear the flow of the universe. You will feel its rhythm. Go with this flow. Happiness lies ahead. Meditation is key."


By Disha Sharma

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