"M.E. Time", the Power of Meditation & Exercise
Daily Meditation, even for just a few minutes, has a transforming effect on the body.
Meditation dates back thousands of years and it is a practice that has been used by monks, Buddhists, and other religious traditions to obtain enlightenment and self-realization. It is primarily a technique where one uses mindfulness, mental focus, or other tools to train attention and awareness to achieve mental clarity and an emotionally calm and stable state. Some of the earliest written records of meditation come from the Hindu traditions of Vedantism. The word meditation is derived from Latin meditatio, meaning “to think, contemplate, devise, ponder.”
The benefits of medication have been confirmed by hundreds of studies. The key benefits include:
Lower stress: A study published on the US National Library of Medicine found that mindful meditation showed reduced anxiety, less depression, less pain, and, to a small level, also improvement of mental health-related quality of life.
Improve focus and memory function: Meditation has been shown to improve focus and memory functions. One difference I noticed when I started meditating regularly was how easy it was to recall facts and memories, and I noticed a heightened ability to focus intently and longer.
Control anxiety: The American Psychological Association (APA) defines anxiety as an emotion characterized by a feeling of tension, worried thoughts, and physical changes like increased blood pressure. Meditation decreases anxiety.
Decrease depression: Per APA, “depression is more than just sadness, they add that people with depression may experience a lack of interest and pleasure in daily activities, significant weight loss or gain, insomnia or excessive sleeping, lack of energy, inability to concentrate, feelings of worthlessness or excessive guilt and recurrent thoughts of death or suicide”.
Improve sleeping: Sleeping disorders are quite common in our modern society. We have a sleep-deprived society and most people are not getting enough sleep to keep their body functioning at their optimum. The American Sleep Association (ASA) reports that 50 to 70 million US adults have a sleep disorder.
Promotes love and kindness: Metta meditation, a type of meditation also known as loving-kindness meditation, may increase positive feelings and actions toward oneself and others
With the laundry list of benefits, one gets from meditation, it is very puzzling why not everyone is doing it. The answer is a combination of culture, lack of knowledge of these techniques, and overall excuses involving the amount of time required to meditate. Meditation is something everyone can do and should do to improve mental and emotional health. It can be done just about anywhere, with no special equipment or places needed.
Exercise should be the partner of meditation. A regular exercise program will improve all of the above, and in addition, give a superior physical body.