A loved one’s death, sudden unemployment, broken relationships — these are just some of the painful situations people around the world go through. It’s common to feel burdened or sad when these unfortunate events occur. But, some people have it worse.
Depression is a common mental illness worldwide. In fact, more than 300 million people are suffering from depression globally. Unlike short-term unfavorable response to life’s difficulties, depression goes beyond mood changes and emotional breakdowns.
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A review published in the JAMA Internal Medicine showed that meditation programs can help reduce depression, anxiety, and stress-related health problems. But how exactly can meditation affect one’s mental health and spirituality?
This article will dive into the wonders of meditation, and its impact on people’s mind and inner peace. You will also learn about the various types of meditation and how you can put them into practice.
Meditation takes various forms. You can choose from a wide array of meditation types, depending on your needs and preferences. Below are some of the best ways to meditate:
Also called the Metta meditation, the Loving-Kindness meditation aims to develop a loving and kind approach towards all things, even daily stressors or personal detractors. Through this practice, meditators allow their minds to receive love and kindness by repeating compassionate messages to himself or herself, and certain people.
This meditation practice anchors one’s mindfulness on the heart, promoting feelings of love and compassion towards oneself and others. The Loving-Kindness or Metta meditation can benefit people who are frustrated, resentful, offended, and bitter, and those who are experiencing interpersonal conflict. This type of meditation, which has been associated with reduced anxiety, post-traumatic stress (PTSD), and depression can promote positive emotions and vibrations.
In Mindfulness Meditation, practitioners are invited to be present at the moment. Instead of being stuck in the past or worried about the future, mindfulness teaches the meditator to be aware of what surrounds him in present time. This type of meditation does away with judgement. A person simply observes his surroundings calmly without discrimination.
This practice is a common form of meditation, which anyone can perform almost anywhere. Because this meditation type is also commonly practiced, several studies were already conducted on its impact on one’s mental health. Research showed that mindfulness meditation can improve one’s focus and memory, reduce obsession with negative feelings and impulsive, irrational reactions. Studies also revealed that mindfulness can promote relationship gratification.
Transcendental meditation, on the other hand, makes use of mantras that are repeated within 15 to 20 minutes, twice every day while the practitioner is seated with eyes closed. This practice allows the practitioner to be perfectly still and at rest, and achieve a total absence of mental limitations.
But compared with other types of meditation, the Transcendental Meditation (TM) involves an authorized teacher and a seven-step course. Following a lecture, an interview, and a personal instruction from a certified instructor, a unique mantra will be given to the meditator, which should be kept confidential. The instructor regularly meets with TM meditators to make sure that they are doing the technique correctly.
While meditation programs are said to help improve several mental health problems, other reports suggest that it can also worsen the condition of people suffering from certain psychiatric conditions. So, if you have a mental health condition, it is best to check with your physician first before you practice meditation techniques. Also, remember to discuss your condition (if there are any) to your instructor before proceeding with the TM method.
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