Meditation can help teach us how to calm our minds and can lead to powerful reductions in stress, anxiety and depression. Practitioners also claim meditation increases mental efficiency and alertness and raises self-awareness, all of which contribute to relaxation. Wellbeing Wednesday

It is practiced in many forms, including:   
Transcendental meditation: Repeating a word or phrase, called a mantra, either silently or aloud.

Mindfulness meditation: A person observes sensations, perceptions, and thoughts without judgment as they arise.

Meditation in motion: Tai chi, qigong, and the Japanese martial art aikido use poses, stretches and controlled breathing.

The goal of meditation is to different for everyone. It can also be self-guided by choosing a quiet place, sitting or resting with eyes closed, noticing the breath and letting go of all worries and stresses. It has proven benefits of promoting relaxation and reducing chronic pain and sleeplessness. So why not give it a try, here’s a simple breathing mediation.

A Simple Breathing Meditation

The first stage of meditation is to stop distractions and make our mind clearer and more lucid. This can be accomplished by practising a simple breathing meditation. We choose a quiet place to meditate and sit in a comfortable position. We can sit in the traditional cross-legged posture or in any other position that is comfortable. If we wish, we can sit in a chair. The most important thing is to keep our back straight to prevent our mind from becoming sluggish or sleepy. The first stage of meditation is to stop distractions and make our mind clearer and more lucid.

We sit with our eyes partially closed and turn our attention to our breathing. We breathe naturally, preferably through the nostrils, without attempting to control our breath, and we try to become aware of the sensation of the breath as it enters and leaves the nostrils. This sensation is our object of meditation. We should try to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else.

At first, our mind will be very busy, and we might even feel that the meditation is making our mind busier; but in reality we are just becoming more aware of how busy our mind actually is. There will be a great temptation to follow the different thoughts as they arise, but we should resist this and remain focused single-pointedly on the sensation of the breath. If we discover that our mind has wandered and is following our thoughts, we should immediately return it to the breath. We should repeat this as many times as necessary until the mind settles on the breath.

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