According to the World Health Organization, the number of people living in urban centers globally had risen to 54 percent, up from 34 percent five decades ago. Rural urban migration has come with its own shares of challenges. There is mounting evidence to suggest that people living in urban areas are more susceptible to anxiety and depression as opposed to their counterparts in rural areas. To counter this trend, urbanites are embracing new techniques to stay healthy.
One such method is meditation. A number of researches have shown that having regular meditation produces tangible benefits for mental and physical well-being. The calming effect of meditation brings harmony and joy. Meditation is also believed to reduce the brain tendency to negative thinking and also keeps the mind at the present moment.
Physical and mental benefits associated with meditation
- Decreased high blood pressure and hypertension
- Reduced anxiety attacks, depression and insomnia often associated with stress
- Lowered cholesterol levels
- Higher production of DHEA -the anti-aging hormone
- Improved immune system
- Increased energy level brought on by an inner source of energy.
- Notable decreased pain, e.g, headaches, joint problems and ulcers.
- Improved mental stability
- Improved creativity and happiness
- Better clarity and peace of mind
- Problems become less magnified
- Increased ability to deal with anger and frustration
Here are a few tips to start you off with meditation
- Choose a quiet place where you will face minimal interruptions. Noisy surroundings are disruptive and make meditation less relaxing, enjoyable and meaningful.
- Ensure you are sitting in a comfortable posture. Make sure your spine is straight, shoulders and neck relaxed with eyes closed. In rare cases, for example when you are too ill to sit up, you can lie down as you meditate.
- Take a few deep breaths and exhale.This assists you to have a steady rhythm of breathing which in turn leads the mind into a peaceful meditative state.
- Choose a convenient time to meditate. Although you could meditate any time of day, experts believe that sunrise and sunset (as nature transit between day and night) is the most ideal time.
- Beginners are advised to mediate for 10 minutes twice a day. You can increase the length in time as you get more comfortable.