|Written by Catherine Davis|
Meditation has wide ranging long term benefits for psychological well being. In fact recent neuroscientific research on Buddhist monks has shown that, with time and practice, mental training can produce physical changes in the brain that cultivate positive emotions.
Meditation is often described as a state of relaxed awareness, where the body is still and the mind is quiet, alive to the sensations of the moment.
Attention is focussed on one particular thing – our breathing, a word, object or image – the contemplation of which helps us to stand back from our thoughts. This creates an inner space and clarity that enables us to control the mind and maintain a healthy equilibrium.
Not only does regular practice increase contentment and relieve feelings of stress and anxiety, it also boosts our capacity to think clearly and creatively and improves concentration and memory.
Meditation can be difficult at first, and beginners start with just a few minutes each day for about a month. It may help to attend a class or course where meditations are guided, or use a book or audio tape to practice at home.
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