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Thursday
Mar082007

Meditation 101 - A Quick Start Guide for Busy People

Meditation can reduce your stress levels and make you healthier and happier. But if you’re one of the many who are interested in the benefits but feel too busy to read a book or look up a class, the benefits of meditation may feel out of reach. Read on to cover the basics and find out how you can get started in just five minutes…

 

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Altered State

 What is an altered state? Simply put, it's a state that's different to your usual state of waking consciousness, and different from your sleeping state too. It's like a state between the tow worlds of wakefulness and sleep, you're very relaxed, but you're awake, you can be very focused, yet you're very relaxed.


Meditation produces highly beneficial alpha brain-waves that result from deep relaxation. One of the many benefits of meditation is that it's positive effect on the nervous and immune systems of your body can stay with you for hours, unlike recreational relaxants where the body swings back into a stress aroused state as soon as their influence has worn off, the rewards of meditation are both long lasting and accumulative. The more you meditate the better you get at it and the better you feel.

 

Stress Antidote

Stress is considered a contributing factor in up to 80% of all illness. At best it makes you irritable, unpopular and unproductive, at it's worst it makes you miserable and sick.

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Meditation helps soothe stress by allowing the sympathetic nervous system to stand down. The sympathetic nervous system is what fires the "fight or flight" response, but it's only designed for short-term use and if triggered to frequently or held on-line for too long you begin to loose vital energy and immunity. Your relationships suffer, your work suffers and your health suffers. In short, stress equals suffering, but meditation can quickly act as a powerful and enjoyable anti-dote and gain you entry into the pleasurable realm of the relaxation response.

 

 

 


Research has repeatedly shown that regular practice of meditation for just 10-20 minutes a day significantly reduces the symptoms of stress.

 
If you feel you are running too hot, it's because you are immersed in the red alert energy of your sympathetic nervous system. By learning some simple meditation exercises you can douse the fire of self-destruction and get cool, calm and collected in minutes.

Chinese Medicine considers the sympathetic nervous system to be yang and it's balancing counterpart - the parasympathetic nervous - system to be it's yin.

The parasympathetic nervous system serves to return the body and mind to a calmly functional state where no danger is perceived. It is a stand-down state, an "all clear" signal to your body and mind that they can relax and get on with what they want to be doing. Meditation triggers the parasympathetic nervous system and gives you a welcome break from the adrenaline fuelled states that can be so destructive to your body.

Meditation: an act of self-kindness

When you go on an aeroplane, the flight attendants tell you that in the event of an emergency you should put your own oxygen mask on before trying to assist anyone else. Why? Because you're no good to yourself or others if you're gasping for air.

Here on the ground, things might be less dramatic, but the principle still applies. If you are riddled with stress, then you are, (to a degree directly related to the amount of your stress) useless.

If you want to care for yourself and your friends and family better there are few gifts you could give yourself that are as valuable as the experience of meditation.

Get started today with our Beautiful Calm Meditation and Relaxation MP3s...

 

Image credits: 1st photo by mae&leon flickr (CC) 2nd photo by Pro-Zac flickr (CC)

 

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References (2)

References allow you to track sources for this article, as well as articles that were written in response to this article.
  • Response
    Welcome to the fifth edition of Brain Blogging - a semi-monthly blog carnival that aims to review posts “related to the brain and mind that go beyond the basic sciences into a more human and multidimensional perspective.”This carnival is p...
  • Response
    Many times, you will get stunned by the enormous quantity of meditation intelligence handy.

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