Making meditation work for you … Meditation looks different for different people, but one thing is for sure: it is quickly gaining popularity in Western culture. It has many professional and personal benefits including increased productivity, reduction of stress and depression, and reduction of troubling physical symptoms such as headaches and muscle tension, to name a few.
The word “meditation” often elicits images of devout men sitting silently in mystical temples far away. It can seem foreign and certainly something too far removed from daily life to have a practical application for business or even for personal gain. You may have preconceived notions about what meditation entails or cultural or spiritual beliefs which you feel may hinder you from participating in meditation. While meditation does have its roots in several spiritual practices, it is increasingly being recommended by Western medical professionals as research is bringing to light the multiple health benefits of regularly engaging in this form of focused relaxation.
Meditation involves being intentional and mindful while placing your body in a comfortable position. While meditation does take several forms, from laying down to sitting to moving to balancing in various positions, many meditative exercises start with and can be completed with a simple sitting posture. This posture can be used for meditation involving mindfulness, breathing, imagery, gazing, prayer, and music among other things.
The meditative sitting posture is important because it allows the meditator to sit comfortably, allowing for good circulation and alertness while engaging in relaxation. Maintaining alertness is essential as meditation is not simply just relaxation, but it is also a mindful awareness. The idea of being centered basically means returning your scattered thoughts and attention back to yourself and the space of your body.
After engaging in meditation, the mind and body are relaxed, relieving the symptoms of stress. Meditation increases the ability of the mind to engage in creative tasks, tasks which require intense focus, and tasks which require problem solving. Additionally, meditation helps your mind cope with barrage of information that can pass through it in a given work day.
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