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What is Meditation?

Meditation is a practice that has been around since ancient times. It involves the practice of using a particular technique, such as mindfulness, to train yourself to have a better grip on your awareness while achieving a clearer mental state. Although it has been around for centuries there is no set definition of meditation as the term covers a broad category of practices that can be dissimilar in different traditions. The earliest references to meditation in history are found in India in the Upanishads. The Upanishads are Vedic Sanskrit texts, the most recent part of the Vedas which is the oldest scriptures in Hinduism and later supplied the basis of Hindu philosophies. However, meditation also exists in other Indian religions, East Asian religions such as Taoism and to monotheist religions such as the Abrahamic religions and Baha’i Faith. Since the late 19th century mediation has become commonly practiced in the Western world and now almost everyone has heard of the practice. The reasons it is so popular is due to the many benefits achieved by this practice.

One of my favourite things about meditation is all you need to do it is yourself and it can be practiced by anyone, anywhere, at any time. Meditation is relaxing and is reduces stress as it helps you refocus your attention and learn to stay centered. Furthermore, long term meditation has been shown to decrease feelings of anxiety and induce an improved general sense of well-being. As it helps you focus on the present it can also help you increase yourself awareness and gain a much better understanding of your mind and body. Some research claims that mediation can even help treat physical disorders such as cancer, tension headaches and high blood pressure.

My favourite meditation technique is referred to as mindfulness. Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present and aware. This can be extremely difficult to do when not practiced because we are always trying to plan ahead, or we are always stressing out about the past. To practice mindfulness meditation all you need to do is position yourself in whichever way you feel most comfortable and try to find a way to bring your awareness to the present by letting any thoughts you have roll by. It helps to focus on your breath. Breathing exercises can be implemented so that you can use your breath as an anchor to the present. If your mind begins to wander it is important to be kind to yourself as it is not always easy to remain in the present, just go back to your breath when you are ready. People have reported feeling happier, calmer, kinder and more patient after practicing mindfulness.

I think meditation is something everyone should try because I think it is a great way to relax and learn about your body and mind. Not only has this technique been around for centuries, but modern science also supports the fact that it has several physical and mental benefits.

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