Meditation’s an old practice. According to Wikipedia, it appears to have references back to the Hindu Vedas of India and Nepal. The Vedas are a large body of texts said to have originated from regions of India, and in them, the practice of meditation is referred to as early as 1700 BC, making the practice an extremely ancient one. Throughout the years, it’s been used as a means of contemplation and reflection, both spiritually and non-spiritually. And for good reason.
How To Do It
The essence of meditation is quite simple. While there are many different forms and postures you can use, the focus is clearing your mind, or reaching a state of mental silence, and becoming aware with oneself. Meditation usually heralds the best results when practiced in quiet places with little to no outside distractions. It can be done while sitting, supine (lying on your back), or standing. Popular postures in Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism are the Burmese (cross-legged), full-lotus (cross-legged with feet on opposite thighs), half-lotus (cross-legged with only one foot on the opposite thigh), and kneeling positions. Meditation can also be done while walking, called “kinhin”, or while performing simple tasks mindfully, called “samu”. Essentially, any comfortable posture will do.
The practice of meditation can prove to be very beneficial to your overall health, both physically and mentally, and well-being. Some proven benefits include reduced stress levels, increased levels of concentration, increased self-awareness, a slowing of the aging process, decreased blood pressure, and increased overall happiness.
It Rebuilds Your Brain
Along with plenty of mental and physical benefits, meditation has also been proven to have cognitive and psychological benefits. An eight-week Harvard study performed at the Massachusetts General Hospital found that it repairs and rebuilds grey matter in the brain in as little as eight weeks. Grey matter is a major component of our central nervous systems, and in the study, increased amounts in the hippocampus, a region of our brains thought to be responsible for memory and the ability to learn, as well as in certain structures associated with self-awareness and compassion, were discovered. An increased amount of grey matter in these areas means improvement in these functions of our brains.
I’ve recently been trying to meditate at least once a day, and I know it’s working wonders for my health. So when you have some down-time, take a few minutes to meditate. You’ll be amazed be the results.
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