​Meditation: Can it benefit you?

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When we hear the word meditation, we think about saints meditating in calm and serene places, in various postures. However, it is not only saints who could meditate. The word meditation incorporates different aspects that include the use of a particular technique to achieve self-regulation to bring about changes in mental processes. Meditation could be open-minded, that is, being passively aware of the surroundings, or it could be focussed on something, such as your breathing or a word or a phrase being repeated. Many studies that have looked into the effects of meditation and have found that it can induce relaxation, reduce stress and anxiety, help in relieving some mental disorders like depression and improve cognitive functions like attention and concentration.

Meditators are more empathic (ability to feel another person’s emotions well) and this could help in relationships also. Some studies (most of them on Buddhist monks) have shown that long-term meditation could even result in positive physiological and anatomical changes in the brain.

Meditation does not always need peaceful surroundings or a calm environment. In fact meditation can help in calming the mind. So the next time you want a break, just close your eyes, feel your breathing, or just passively listen to sounds from outside. You could do this in any posture you are comfortable in, for a few minutes or as long as you like, but if possible, for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Each person could develop his/her own way of meditation and change it as required. Though this sounds simple, it could help you in more than one way, in different aspects of life, personally, cognitively and even in your relationships, by making you more relaxed and less stressed.