The entire world is now looking towards the benefits of meditation as a solution for many modern world problems. We still have the problems of hunger, terrorism, women safety, racism and many more such issues related to the physical world. Above all these issues, the majority of people are dealing with the inner struggle. We are not able to cope up with all the information and stress. This is where meditation is being promoted as a stress management tool. There are many benefits of Meditation apart from stress management.
Let us look at some of the benefits of meditation. My intent is to make you aware of these life-changing benefits so that you can include meditation as a part of your daily activities.
Problem – This is the most sought after benefit of meditation. Most of the people who took up meditation were suffering from stress. In the modern world, the pain has shifted from physical to mental. We easily get stressed for even a small thing. We have accepted that stress, anger and frustration are normal.
Benefit – Daily practise of meditation reduces the flow of negative thoughts. We may not control the first negative thought but we can control the following thoughts. We choose what we want to think and hence we choose how we want to feel.
Practice – Sit in a quiet place. Relax your body and mind. Follow the meditation routine that you like. Take a few deep breaths and then get back to normal breathing. Now focus on your breath. Either concentrate on the air near your nostrils or on your stomach. When we are stressed, our breathing gets shallow.
When you intentionally focus on your breath, it becomes normal and deep. Change in breathing will relax your mind and will reduce stress. Whenever you are overstressed or getting a panic attack, train your mind to withdraw from it and practice above.
Problem – We do many things for which we regret later on. Traits like anger, frustration are part of our personality. This affects us and the people around us. We lose the complete control of how we react in some situation.
Benefit – When you train your mind with meditation, you get the power to choose the action. Viktor Frankl has said that “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.” Through meditation, we can develop this power and get out of auto-response.
For, e.g. Our normal response is to get angry when someone does not act as we wish. We can develop the response system in which we realize that everyone behaves as per their own condition.
Practice – Meditate on the situation in which you behaved or reacted based on auto-response. See how you can react or respond better. Meditate on how you can decide not to choose anger over the calm conversation. Over a period of time, you will be empowered to not react immediately and decide your response which is beneficial to all.
Problem – Have you heard of ADHD? It is called Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. It is considered as a chronic condition and we all are moving towards it. We are not able to focus on a single task for more than 5 mins. We need distractions like mobile. The surprising truth is that it is very common today. We can’t even sit idle for 5 mins. This is affecting our personal and work life.
Benefit – In Yog sutras, Patanjali has shown various ways in which we can improve our concentration. Concentration is a must to reach the final stage of enlightenment that is Samadhi. Even if we are not aiming for Nirvana, we should aim for higher concentration as that will improve the quality of our life.
Meditation helps reduce distraction and train the mind to focus on the given task. In meditation, you reduce different types of mind waves and create a huge wave of a single thought or thought pattern.
Practice – Take up one object and meditate on it. In the starting take the external object and once you have mastered, focus on the internal one. For, e.g. concentrate on the tip of the nose. Observe what you feel there. Try to keep your focus on it as much as possible. If your mind wanders, then bring it back to the tip of the nose.
You can also concentrate on any sentence or any word. I prefer “Aum”. See what images it brings to your mind when you hear or speak that word. In the starting, you will focus on the gross form of the object. Slowly, you will see the finer parts of it. If you develop the capacity to focus on one thing, then you can do it on any object or task.
Problem – The root cause of many of our troubles lies in our capacity to control the senses. We get fat because we cannot control our tongue. Waste our time watching mindless serials and movies. In extreme cases, we get addicted to alcohol or drugs. People commit crimes of molestation because they could not control their sense pleasures. We have confused happiness as sense pleasures and we believe that they are the highest goals of life.
Unfortunately, we don’t realize, but we are wasting a huge amount of our energy and time in achieving those sense pleasures. The sad part is that they last for a very short time, and we keep on attempting to experience it again. Due to this, we get into all sorts of pain and suffering when we fail to experience those pleasures. Do you want to live a life where you are a slave to these low and short-lived pleasures?
Benefit – Senses are powerful when the mind is associated with it. You might have experienced that If your eyes are open but if the mind is not associated with it, then you do not see anything. The mind is busy in thinking thoughts and not with the act of seeing. In meditation, you stop the mind going outward. You stop the mind mixing with senses. After long practice, you get the full control of your senses.
Practice – Senses have control over us because we assume our real self as this body. In this practice, we will meditate on our true self. Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths. Make your body and mind relaxed.
Meditate on this, Who am I? Am I this body? I cannot be this body as I am aware of the body. How can I be something of which I am are aware of? I can only be aware of something which is separate from me. The way I am aware of the objects around me, I am aware of this body. I am conscious of this body growing and I am aware of all the part of it.
I am not the mind as well. I am aware of all the thoughts that are appearing there. I am aware of all the emotions I experience. In my deep sleep, my body and my mind are inactive and I am still present. I still experience the rest and void.
I am not the body, I am not the mind. I am existence absolute, knowledge absolute, bliss absolute. I am an eternal witness of this world, I am supreme consciousness.
For whatever reason you take up meditation, you are going to see many benefits. The ultimate benefit is to realize our true self. Keep that intent in mind and all other benefits of meditations are bound to come. You can visit Meditation page for guided meditations.