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Meditation is a great and simple way to deal with life’s stresses. Meditation calms the mind and the body. It is a state of being all of us can learn and apply to our daily lives. As a part of a healthy lifestyle, meditation can add energy, focus, and enjoyment to our personal experience. With as little as 10 minutes a day, significant improvement in our physical and mental states can be gained. With a small investment there is a big payback.
There is a growing body of scientific research indicating that meditation is highly effective in reducing physical and mental stress. Here are some of the results of more than 500 studies on meditation:
There are many effective ways of meditating. The technique described here is a variation of Herbert Benson’s Relaxation Response. The book by the same name is available in most book stores. It is a simple but powerful way of gaining greater control of your mind, body, and life.
To perform the meditation, you first need to choose a word or phrase that is calming to you. It can be a religious term such as God, Jesus, or Shalom, or a phrase such as “peace on earth.” It can be a secular term or phrase as well. Some people find the words love or peace calming. The point is that you need to choose something for yourself. Don’t pick something that adds to your tension.
A note of caution: Sometimes during meditation, people experience uncomfortable thoughts or feelings. You can stop the meditation at any time if you feel the experience is becoming too difficult.
After you have decided on a word or phrase, follow these steps:
There is no best time to meditate. Find a quiet setting with ample time to complete your session. Most people choose the early morning or evening to do their meditating. Pick a time that suites your lifestyle, but be consistent.
Start with five minutes. Build up the time slowly until you can do 20 minutes. You might want to try two 20-minute sessions eventually, one in the morning and the other at night. If you can only do five minutes, don’t worry. We all have our comfort levels.
If you wish to speak to a counselor about any personal issues or want to join a group, you may make an appointment at the Personal Counseling, 0203 James Hall, 718.951.5363. All sessions are free and confidential.