Food For The Soul – Why Meditation Is Important

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day unless you’re too busy then you should sit for an hour.” – Old Zen Saying

A lot has been said and written about meditation in the recent past but how important it is to meditate every day? There are many schools of thought on this and there’s no universal answer to this question.

Meditation is a practice where an individual aims to achieve many things like mindfulness, increased or better concentration levels, calm state of mind, relieving of stress, emotional balance, spiritual awakening, etc. There are numerous techniques to perform the act of meditation and each technique is unique in its own way.

Some of the common meditating techniques are:

  • Silent Meditation: In this technique, people are urged to observe silence. This can be done while sitting in one position, lying down or observing silence or maun for more than 24 hours at a time.
  • Chanting Meditation: In this technique, people meditate by chanting a name (usually a God’s name) or a mantra.
  • Focused Meditation: In this technique, people focus on an object as a form of meditation.
  • Visual Meditation: In this technique, people are made to visualize a scene or a setting that would bring them peace or happiness. This technique relies on a person’s imaginative powers.
  • Breathing Meditation: In this technique, people are made to focus on their breathing and typically follow the 4-3-7 breathing rule.

Meditation – Science or Spirituality?

Meditation has been practiced since times immemorial. The roots of meditation cannot be affixed to a particular religion or ethnicity. It has been practiced in various religions like Jainism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam alike. Every religion has a different meditative technique that the followers practice.

It won’t be wrong to say that roots of meditation lie in spirituality but benefits of practicing meditation have been proven by science. So, meditation is an amalgamation of science and spirituality.

Benefits of Meditation

Now I meditate twice a day for half an hour. In meditation, I can let go of everything. I’m not Hugh Jackman. I’m not a dad. I’m not a husband. I’m just dipping into that powerful source that creates everything. I take a little bath in it.” – Hugh Jackman.

The sedentary lifestyle is making meditation ever so popular. Meditation is gaining momentum as more and more people have started unearthing the benefits and importance of practicing meditation on a daily basis.

Here are some of the benefits of practicing meditation regularly:

Helps in dealing with Mental Health Issues

Meditation has been scientifically proven to calm a person during an anxiety episode and in dealing with depression.

If I had not been meditating already, I would certainly have had to start. I’ve treated my own depression for many years with exercise and meditation, and I’ve found that to be a tremendous help.” – Judy Collins

Medical research has ascertained the importance of meditating in dealing with depression.

Helps in Reducing Stress

Stress has become a part of the modern lifestyles so much that people often don’t realize that they are stressed out due to their work, job or routine life. Meditation helps in calming down the human mind which helps in combating stress on a day to day basis.

Helps in curing sleep disorders

Insomnia has become a part of the sedentary lifestyles that humans have adjusted to. Besides stress, insomnia and other sleep disorders have become a common occurrence in people these days. Meditating before bedtime helps in promoting sound sleep.

Improves attention span and concentration

The Focused Meditation technique helps in improving attention span thereby increasing concentration levels. It is therefore proven helpful in controlling or curing ADHD in many people.

Helps in reducing or keeping a check on Blood Pressure

High blood pressure is the direct outcome of high stress levels. Since meditation is known to reduce stress levels in a person, it directly helps in keeping a check on blood pressure. There are various studies that show the effect of meditation in maintaining the blood pressure.

The best thing about meditation is that it can be practiced or done at any time and any place. It is the best remedy available for various health issues that the humans face in today’s time. Isn’t it the cheapest therapy available?