What is meditation

Meditation is a variety of psycho-physiological practices (religious or wellness) that make the mind clearer, understand itself, and control its mind. Depending on the technique, meditations are based on concentration and/or willpower. The practice of meditation originally came from Hinduism. It has an important place in yoga. Today, however, meditation is increasingly spoken of without its esoteric component--as a means of exercising the mind and becoming calmer.

scientists about meditation

The German psychiatrist and psychotherapist Johann Schulz and the American psychologist Edmund Jacobson are considered the founders of this method. In the first half of the last century, they developed a method based on spiritual and religious practices. It was aimed at elimination of psycho-emotional disorders, treatment of neuroses and correction of psychosomatic diseases. Jacobson proved that through muscle relaxation (one of the popular techniques) it was possible to reduce the overexcitation of the nervous system, allowing it to recover and regain its stable state.

The benefits of meditation

The ability to achieve a state of relaxation is necessary for everyone, regardless of the anamnesis. If you can devote at least 20-30 minutes a day to this technique, your life will undergo wonderful changes. You will have a better heart rhythm, pressure and breathing, the blood supply to the brain and major muscle groups will be normalized, muscular clamps will disappear, and mental activity will improve. You will feel a powerful burst of energy and increase your resistance to stress.

Scientists have shown that our subconscious mind does not distinguish between real events and qualitatively visualized images. Bright calming fantasies can give a person the same pleasant sensations as possible reality. Positive emotions and a state of peace will move from the subconscious mind to the consciousness, thus producing a therapeutic effect. Just close your eyes, steady your breathing, and imagine yourself in a picturesque and safe place. Become aware of all the details: colors, sounds, scents, and tactile sensations. The more vivid your images, the better.

During mental excitement, our body muscles involuntarily tense and send the appropriate signals to the brain. The muscles should be relaxed and the number of signals sent to the brain should be reduced and, as a consequence, a state of peace and relaxation should be obtained. Take a comfortable position and mentally say to yourself: "I am relaxing and calming down. My shoulders (back, arms, torso, legs) are relaxing, becoming warm. In this way, go step by step through all parts of the body and relax them. End the session with the affirmation, "I feel light and good.

Historically, meditation has been used for otherworldly experiences. That is, the experience of being in touch to a higher power, a God or gods. "It is very likely that the circle of those who had this experience was limited the priests and a certain number of sacrificers," says Mircea Eliade in the first volume of "History of Faith and Religious Ideas". That is, these spiritual practices were perceived exclusively as a process of touching something higher, divine and remained the privilege of a special category of people. It is interesting that many ancient techniques in a modified state have been preserved to this day. to this day. For example, stopping the inner monologue to achieve purity of consciousness. However, the process of meditation itself The process of meditation has ceased to be sacred, which is especially evident in modern techniques. The first technique considered would be the progressive relaxation method of the American physiologist.

The physiology of meditation

There is a part of our brain that is responsible for fear. It is the amygdala, which works as an alarm system, looking for sources of danger around us. To ancient man, it kept us alive by picking up rustles in the forest or aggressive tribesmen. For modern man, it often works as a "false alarm", awakening unreasonable anxiety. Studies have shown that amygdala activity decreases when a person is in a meditative state. These findings have been reported both in experiments with people with no experience in meditation and in trials with both healthy people and those suffering from chronic anxiety. The effect is comparable to the effects of medication, only it does not cause side effects. Regular practice reprograms the fear center and reduces anxiety and symptoms of anxiety disorders and panic attacks.

Meditation and deep sleep

Meditation helps you relax and not dwell on thoughts that interfere with sleep. This practice activates the area of the brain responsible for the transition to deep sleep. It helps us fall asleep faster and get a better quality of sleep. When they compared the sleep characteristics of two groups (one who practiced meditation and one who didn't), they found that the participants who meditated fell asleep faster, slept more deeply, and slept longer, compared to those who didn't meditate.