By Richard Pettinger
Meditation is an ancient tradition which enables the practitioner to reduce stress and increase his-her sense of inner well being. Meditation works by reducing our attachment to our thoughts. By being able to switch off from our daily activities and thoughts we can reduce our stress levels and over time experience a sense of inner peace.
Stress occurs because we have many pressures on our time. These demands can come from; work, family, friends and financial pressures. We get stressed because we feel it is difficult to cope. As a consequence we can spend a lot of time thinking about our problems. However thinking about the magnitude and scale of our problems doesn’t help us to reduce our stress levels. In fact thinking can make the situation worse. We just feel confused and helpless about our myriad problems.
Meditation can help Reduce Stress in various ways.
1. In Meditation we make a concerted effort to remain only in the present instance. In meditation we are not thinking about the past or the future.
2. Meditation teaches us to control and reduce our thoughts. When we live in the mind and are constantly thinking, it is impossible to have real peace of mind. However through meditation we can elevate our consciousness beyond the realm of the thinking mind. By meditating on our heart we feel that we are not the slave of our thoughts.
3. Meditation with meditative music can be a very effective way of reducing our feelings of stress and worry. Meditative music embodies the qualities of meditation and inner peace. When we listen to the right kind of meditative music it is much easier to dive deep within and forget the problems of the world.
4. Meditation and Breathing. A significant aspect of meditation is that we focus very carefully on our breathing. We allow our breathing to become soft, natural and rhythmic. By focusing on our breath we can have very good meditation. Our breathing is very important for affecting our levels of stress. When our breathing slows down it helps the mind to calm down; our worries and anxieties soon leave.
Meditation can definitely help us to reduce our levels of stress. However to get the most benefit we need to practise regularly. If at first it seems difficult to control our thoughts, we need to persevere. We can also try meditating with music for meditation. Through repeated practise we can discover the very important art of reconnecting with our inner self. When we can do this stress will significantly reduce.
Richard is a meditation student of Sri Chinmoy. He contributes some articles to Radio Sri Chinmoy. www.radiosrichinmoy.org
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