Meditation is the practice of using posture, breathing, and thoughts to focus attention. It is recognized by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) as an alternative therapy that may be performed in a private or group environment. Meditation is often performed as a means of relaxing and eliminating stress and distractions. Some people practice it to help with anxiety, depression, chronic pain, or symptoms associated with illness or disease.
You could benefit from meditation whether you are healthy or suffering from a health condition. Meditation is non-invasive and considered safe for nearly everyone. However, individuals with certain mental health disorders or conditions may need to consult with a therapist prior to engaging in meditation, as the NCCAM has reported some evidence that meditation could worsen some psychiatric conditions.
Meditation is performed in a controlled and relaxing environment. Guided sessions are helpful to beginners, who can learn how to focus attention and quiet the mind. Usually, meditation is practiced in a quiet, distraction-free location. You’ll be asked to perform a specific posture, such as lying down or sitting with your legs crossed in front of you. Throughout the session, your guide will instruct you to focus your attention – perhaps on an object or on your breathing. The goal will be to clear your head and heighten your sense of awareness and inner peace.
For many, meditation is a journey. If you continue to practice meditation, you may find that it becomes easier to focus your attention by time. Plus, you’ll gain many health benefits from long-term engagement in regular meditation. Whether you choose private meditation or continued sessions with a guide, you could find that you have lower blood pressure, less anxiety, less physical pain, and greater mental acuity.