Meditation is a group of mental training techniques. You can use meditation to improve health and mental skills, and also to help improve physical health. Some of these techniques are very simple, so you can learn them from a book or article; others require the guidance of a qualified meditation teacher.
WHAT IS MEDITATION
Most techniques called meditation include these components:
- Sit or lie down in a relaxed position.
- Breathe regularly. Breathe deeply enough to get enough oxygen. As you exhale, relax your muscles so that your lungs are empty, but effortlessly.
- You stop thinking about everyday issues and problems.
- You focus your thoughts on some sound, some repeating word, some image, some abstract concept or feeling. All your attention must be directed to the object you have chosen to focus on.
- If some strange thoughts creep in, stop that strange thought and return to the meditation object.
Different meditation techniques differ depending on the degree of concentration and how strange thoughts are treated. Using some techniques, the goal is to concentrate so intensely that strange thoughts are not produced.
In other techniques, concentration is more relaxed, so that strange thoughts arise easily. When these strange thoughts are discovered, the person interrupts them and returns to pure meditation in a relaxed way.
The thoughts that come up often refer to things that you have forgotten or suppressed, allowing you to rediscover the hidden memory material. This rediscovery will have a psychotherapeutic effect.
THE EFFECTS OF MEDITATION
Meditation has the following effects:
- Meditation will give you rest and recreation.
- You learn to relax.
- Learn to focus better on problem-solving.
- Meditation generally has a good effect on blood pressure.
- Meditation has beneficial effects on the body’s internal processes, such as circulation, breathing, and digestion.
- Regular meditation will have a psychotherapeutic effect.
- Regular meditation will relieve the immune system.
- Meditation is generally pleasant.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN HYPNOSIS AND MEDITATION
Hypnosis can have some of the same relaxing and psychotherapeutic effects as meditation. However, when you meditate, you are in control of yourself; through hypnosis, you let someone else or some mechanical device control you. In addition, hypnosis will not have a training effect on the ability to concentrate.
A SIMPLE FORM OF MEDITATION
Here is a simple form of meditation:
1. Sit in a good chair in a comfortable position.
2. Relax all your muscles to the best of your ability.
3. Stop thinking about anything, or at least try not to think about anything.
4. Exhale, relaxing all muscles in the respiratory system.
5. Repeat the following in 10 to 20 minutes:
- Breathe so deeply that you feel like you are getting enough oxygen.
- Exhale, fully relaxing your chest and diaphragm.
- Each time you exhale, think of the word “one” or another simple word inside you. You must think of the word for a long time so that you can hear it within you, but you must avoid using your mouth or voice.
6. If strange thoughts arise, simply stop those thoughts in a relaxed way and continue to focus on the breath and the word you repeat.
As you do this meditation, you should feel more and more relaxed in your mind and body, feel that you breathe more efficiently and that blood circulation throughout the body becomes more efficient. You can also experience increased mental pleasure during meditation.
THE EFFECTS OF MEDITATION ON DISEASES
Like any type of training, meditation can be exaggerated to make you tired and exhausted. Therefore, you should not meditate so much or so concentrated that you feel tired or mentally empty.
Meditation can sometimes cause problems for people with mental illness, epilepsy, serious heart problems, or neurological diseases. On the other hand, meditation can be useful in treating these and other illnesses.
People with these conditions should check what effects different types of meditation have on their own health problems before starting meditation, and be careful if they decide to start meditating. It can be helpful to learn to meditate with an experienced teacher, psychologist, or health professional who uses meditation as a treatment module for real illness.