Does Meditation Really Work?

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Does meditation really work?Meditation is often cited as a way to reduce stress, harness your Chi energy, calm the mind, and help create a better you. It always brings with it a bit of mysticism, and many gurus say that it has been around for thousands of years as a form of enlightenment. But is there any sort of scientific evidence that meditation actually helps people in their daily lives, or is this just an esoteric claim made by the select few masters out there that claim to have reached different planes of enlightenment?

Meditation has a long history of being used within different religions as a way to become more aware of God’s presence, or to be more in tune with the our modern world meditation is seen as something that few people do, and only those that think they’re better than everyone else. Some people might meditate sometimes, but most would rather turn the TV on or get lost in a video game to receive the same kind of clearing of the mind.

The Claim
The claim comes not from anyone specific organization or company, but from all of the self-help gurus out there that have mentioned meditation as part of their system to make you a better person. Everyone is quick to give the advice to meditate, and others are also willing to provide tips on how to do it the right way. Several of the claims include that you can clear your mind, get rid of stress, feel better, find your center, develop your Chi energy, get in tune with your inner body, get closer to God, get inspiration, become clairvoyant, leave your body, go into a trance, block out the world around you, heal your body, heal the disease, get more energy, fight the aging process, manage your anger, and plenty more.

The Hype
The hype comes from the overall belief of society that meditation is reserved for the select few out there that are in tune with nature and their bodies. Meditation is available for everyone in equal amounts. It is not something reserved for Buddhist monks or the Dalai Lama. It is not reserved for a specific religion, or a certain book. There’s no one way to meditate, and there’s no company out there that has a monopoly on meditation products, or has trademarked or patented the perfect way to meditate.

The Cost
The act of meditating will always be free. After all, it only involves quieting your mind and body, shutting off the stream-of-consciousness thoughts that you have, and getting back to your more natural self. However, there are so many different meditation programs and systems out there that you can spend hundreds of dollars trying to learn how to meditate. It’s really up to you which way you want to go. Something as simple as sitting with your legs crossed in an empty room and focusing all of your attention to the end of your nose can work at quieting the mind just as much as spending a few hundred dollars to have guru walk you through a guided session.

The Commitment
One of the hardest things about meditation is finding the time to do it, and also remembering to do it. Another stumbling block is having the patience required to get good at meditating. It can be frustrating having your mind constantly wander off in directions that you don’t want to go. The goal is to have no thoughts, so when thoughts start creeping in it easy to beat yourself up about it, defeating the whole point of meditating, and causing you to come out of the session feeling worse than when you started.

But if you have the patience for it, and the commitment to stick with it until you get good at it, you’ll find that you’ll be able to meditate just about anywhere, and that you won’t need to meditate for a long period of time in order to receive its benefits. Some gurus out there claim that the goal is to walk around in a sort of constant meditative state, instead of just entering it from time to time.

Scientific Evaluation
Unlike other alternative practices, meditation has gotten its fair share of attention and scientific research. There’ve been hundreds and hundreds of tests done to see what sort of effect meditation has on real-life events. It has been shown to improve conditions like an increase in metabolism, a decrease in blood pressure, an increase in brain activity, a decrease in stress, and a reduction in pain.

The power of the human mind is one of the last great mysteries in the world, so it’s no surprise that scientists are still learning about what can be done with it. When you focus all your attention inside your body, things will definitely change. Some changes come about instantly, and others take time to develop but will appear with repeated sessions as you get better and better.

Is There a Right Way to Meditate?
The good thing about meditating is you just can’t get it wrong. Any conscious attempt at getting a quieter mind, and taking a break from all the chaos in your life will have strong benefits not only to your health, but also to your spirit or energy. If you’re looking for a a few basics to help get you started, there are plenty of videos that you can watch to get an idea of what it’s like.

It’s a good idea to have a goal in mind when starting off meditation. Are you using it as a form of escapism to block out parts of your life you’re not happy with? Are you meditating in order to attain something, like they show in The Secret? Are you meditating as a way to tap into another plane of existence? The type of meditating that you do will have a big bearing on how you go about it, and the kind of results you’ll get.

Meditating On Your Own
Perhaps the best way to meditate is the way that you find on your own. It could be a mixture of lots of different meditation forms, all rolled into one that works for you. Only you know how much time and effort you’re willing to devote to it, or how much you need in order to be happier. Maybe you’re going through a tough time in your life, and you feel that meditating will help you cope. Or perhaps this is a great time in your life, and you just want to make it better and better. Whatever your reason for meditating, it’s easy enough to get started.

Just block off a time of your day where you’ll try to get rid of his many distractions as possible. Turn off your cell phone, turn off your computer, turn off the TV, and just be silent for a little while. With all the technology we have these days sometimes unplugging can be very therapeutic. It can also be a little unnerving returning back to silence and sitting alone with your thoughts. Work at ridding yourself of all thoughts, and creating a strong presence in the moment. Don’t think about what you have to do later, or what you should be doing now, just sit and be still.

Guided Meditation
This is where you listen to an audio, and have a meditation expert help you relax your body and mind so that you can produce the desired effect. These come in many different formats, such as meditating for success, meditating to decrease your stress, meditating to get over a fear, or simply to calm yourself down and think more clearly.

Mantra Meditation
This is where you repeat the same phrase over and over again as a way to clear your mind of all of your other thoughts. This can also be used in conjunction with The Secret, where they tell you to think about what you want and picture yourself having it. You could sit and meditate and tell yourself again and again that you have what you want, and according to the Law of Attraction like attracts like and it will eventually materialize in your life.

Final Meditation Review

Many spiritual teachers try to claim that their own form of meditation is the best way to do it. There is no right or wrong way to meditate, and it really varies by the individual which form will be most effective. If you’re totally lost when it comes to how to meditate, it’s helpful to choose one form that is most appealing to you, and then add your own twists and adjustments until it feels right for you.

Our Recommendation
There are very different forms of meditation, and not all of them will suit you. It is important to find your own form of meditation, something that helps you get into the body and get in the moment. You don’t have to think of it as a coping mechanism to get through life, or a way to achieve things you want to achieve, but it is a good way to slow things down, get grounded, and help appreciate your life more.

What do you think? Does Meditation work or not?

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