health benefits of meditation

Are you having problems with chronic pain?  Do you have sleep problems or anxiety?  Would you be interested in a treatment that does not involve medication or invasive medical procedures?  Healthcare research has demonstrated the benefits of meditation.  The following link provides a brief overview of some of the benefits of meditation as well as supporting research:

Basic Components of Meditation

Meditation can be a lifelong study, but getting started is not complex or difficult.  Unlike many pursuits, you don’t need to read books or enroll in a class to commence learning.  Here are some components of meditation that you can try today without any study:

  • Slow and relaxed breathing.  Use your diaphragm muscles.  You should feel your gut expand.
  • Relaxed muscle tone.  As your muscles relax, they will feel loose and heavy.  It is important to relax all muscle groups from head to toe, including small muscles, such as in the forehead and neck.
  • Clear your mind.  Don’t think about the past or future.  It often helps to focus on a nature scene that is relaxing to you.  If your mind wanders, focus on the feelings of your body and the relaxation of being in nature. Try to use all of your senses (for example, being able to hear the waves of the ocean, taste and smell the saltwater, see the blue of the sky, and feel the sand on your feet.

A beginner does not need to meditate for an hour or even 20 minutes.  Five minutes of meditation per day will yield benefits to physical and emotional health.  Consistency is very important.  If you can meditate most days for only 5 minutes per setting for 30 days, you will gain far more benefit than inconsistent practice.

Additional Resources

If you would like to learn more about meditation there are a number of options.  Most libraries have DVDs and audio recordings of meditation exercises that can be loaned out, in addition to books. Youtube has videos demonstrating meditation, and there are many free websites that have comprehensive information on meditation.  There are also online courses on meditation (for example,

Meditation is a simple way you can invest in your emotional and physical health today.

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