How meditation can relax your mind

People who find it hard to sit still and concentrate sometimes remark that meditation can’t possibly be relaxing. They assume that it’s more likely to be boring, and intensely difficult to achieve. Meditating nonetheless, is the opposite of activity. It involves stillness of the mind, and often the body, which is something that people with a great deal of nervous energy find challenging to accomplish. Once they do, they can reap the benefits that come from achieving a quiet and focused mind for prolonged periods.

Focus

Meditation usually requires people to centre their thoughts, whether it is on their physical movements, an object, or a scene they picture in their mind. When they concentrate, problems, excitement and inner chatter fall away, leaving their mind free from clutter. Just as a room can be difficult to walk through when it’s full of mess, your brain can find it hard to think clearly when there is too much going on at once. Clear the room, or your mind, of debris and you will gain a sense of space and freedom. In addition, you will find it easier to access your spiritual side.

Types of meditation

Although all meditation requires de-cluttering the brain and accomplishing a sense of stillness, there are different ways of going about achieving relaxation in this manner. You might feel that sitting cross-legged for long periods is not for you, and find it easier to go for a gentle walk and focus on how your body feels as you move. Alternatively, you might prefer to chant, and concentrate on the sound you make or the meaning of a particular word.

Meditation can also involve looking intensely at an object, and viewing it from all aspects until you can close your eyes and see a picture of it in full detail in your mind’s eye. In addition, you might find it restful to visualize being part of a beautiful landscape, or engage in guided imagery.

Breath meditation, also known as zazen meditation, at first glance seems easy. Concentrating on your breath however, isn’t undemanding until you have mastered it via practice.

Empty mind meditation entails freeing your mind from thoughts almost entirely. You may focus on an image of white light in your mind until nothing else seems to exist.

Transformation of brain structure

It stands to reason that just as the body continues to profit from the results of exercise long after a workout has ended, the brain might continue to benefit from meditation. A study carried out at Massachusetts General Hospital showed that the brain can grow significantly in the areas of memory and compassion when people meditate regularly. Parts of the brain associated with stress however, can shrink, leaving them more relaxed.

It would seem that there is evidence to prove that meditating really can relax your mind and improve your brain. Learning how to release negative brain-clutter, and free your mind using the power of focus can make you a more peaceful person.

References:
http://www.anthonybasich.com/spirit/how-to-easily-unlock-inner-peace-with-zazen-meditation-part-2/
http://news.harvard.edu/gazette/story/2011/01/eight-weeks-to-a-better-brain/

About bridget

bridget webber

Bridget Webber’s background rests in mental health, counselling, hypnotherapy, NLP and art. She brings knowledge from her experiences into her writing and specializes in emotional wellness and the creation of, rather than search for, joy. You can catch up with her insights and musings on Twitter.

Twitter: @InsightManager

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