The Practice of Meditation: What Is It and How Can It Help?

meditation

The information age made the world so different than what it used to be. People now have a shorter attention span than ever before. One study says this narrowing of attention is due to the amount of information that the public receives daily. Vast amounts of information are delivered at alarming rates—constantly. Owning one social media account can immediately bombard you with endless information.

People today also need to multitask to cope with the bustling rush of everything. According to another study, technology and the generation’s hyperconnected lives contribute to all these.

There is still one way to escape all this informational chaos. Meditation can improve an individual’s attention span and reduce impatience. If you’ve always been curious about it, read on. This article will help you understand meditation better.

Defining Meditation

Meditation is the spiritual practice of training yourself to have heightened awareness and focus, developing a healthier sense of self, and better perspectives in the process. Despite misconceptions, it is not the process of shutting down oneself completely. It is not about turning off your feelings and thoughts. Instead, it is a set of defined techniques to take your awareness and focus on another level. 

It is not only the process of focusing at the moment; there are more layers to it than that. Here are some essential facts to know about meditation:

  • It has been practiced by different cultures for thousands of years.
  • It is part of the practices of various religions, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, and Islam. Although it has a primary purpose, people still use it as a guide towards their individual goals. 
  • It has many types. Two of the main types are concentrative meditation and mindfulness meditation.

The core of it all is being mindful of what you do. Even when your thoughts wander as you do important things, you can always find your way back through breathing exercises and being present in the moment. 

A Glimpse on the Formalized Meditation: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)

Most studies on meditation involve a lot of research around the MBSR practice. It is an eight-week evidence-based program that provides people with mindfulness training. It is a formal meditation program facilitated by a trained teacher and is specially developed for people with stress, anxiety, depression, and pain. 

The sessions’ duration and frequency can vary depending on a person’s preference. Still, the program’s ultimate goal is for participants to apply what they learned independently in their daily lives. 

This practice uses mindfulness meditation and body awareness through yoga and understanding the patterns of one’s behavior, thinking, feeling, and action. Recognizing these aspects of one’s behavior can reduce a person’s distress while also encouraging a higher level of well-being. 

Most of the studies on meditation you will encounter today are based on this program. MBSR has been the favorite subject of meditation researchers have been looking into because people do their methods differently outside the clinic. 

Conclusion

No matter how you define and use meditation in your life, they all share the same purpose—for people to be more mindful of what they do, how they think, and how they feel to become self-aware. Meditation can make a person better at treating themselves and reacting to the world around them. If you are the type of person who has been so distracted or out of focus lately, perhaps meditation can help you.

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