There are many different ways that you can meditate. Most people picture someone sitting in the middle of a room chanting. You don’t have to chant if you can learn to visualize instead. The chanting is just meant to be a way of focusing your thoughts.
You don’t have to have any special training to meditate either. If you are a practitioner of yoga, then you likely get instruction during classes. You can also listen to audio tapes and learn about it on the internet.
The basis of meditation is to achieve a calming state in the mind and the body. Think about when you turn in to bed at night. It usually takes the mind at least thirty minutes to calm down. You may not even realize it at first, but your mind replays the happenings of the day along with going through things you have to do tomorrow. It is anything but a quiet place on the inside when you finally stop moving.
The mental benefits of meditation may be self-explanatory but we will talk about them here anyway. Meditation involves breathing. You learn to control your breathing as a way of controlling your body and your mind.
The brain gets more oxygen during meditation. Increased oxygen means a clearer, more focused mind. Situations in your life that were bothering you can be sorted out and solutions found. Instead of wasting time and energy worrying about the problem, a clear head can sort through possible solutions and choose the most reasonable one without the hindrance of stress.
When there is decreased stress in the body, it frees the mind. You may experience a lower frequency of anxiety, depression, worry, irritability and restlessness. Without all those things, memory is improved and so is your ability to absorb new information. You may even notice a boost in your creativity levels.
What about the body? A calm mind can affect the body as well. As the stress falls away from your mind it does the same for your body. Muscle tension is decreased. People who meditate often enjoy lower blood pressures and heart rates. You will find that your lungs have a greater capacity of air than before.