Numerous studies have shown that there is a direct link between meditation and relaxation. What distinguishes this from the other techniques is that with meditation, your mind continues to be focused and alert when you learn to focus on an object, a thought or by visualization.
But which should you focus on? The answer depends on the individual. The important thing is that it is something that they are comfortable with.
One of the simplest things to concentrate on is your breathing. In fact, most meditation techniques start out this way so that your muscles will be relaxed and your mind and body become one.
Sometimes, staring into an object can produce similar results. The best part about is that it doesn't have to be physical because when you are trying to get some sleep, you can focus on a cloud or the open ocean.
If thinking about an object is not your thing, then you can try to focus on sounds or words. This is the reason that there are CDs that you can buy which play calming music or with someone in the background talking to you during your meditation and relaxation session.
When such things are used, this is better known as a mantra mediation or transcendental meditation. This technique has been studied widely in the medical field because the body gains a state of profound rest. As you wake up, your brain and mind becomes alert ready to get back to work.
The biggest challenge with meditation and relaxation is the fact that you will often be distracted with other thoughts as you try to block them out. When you are doing this at home, it is beyond your control if a car drives by or there is other sounds coming from the outside. The same goes if you feel an itch and the tendency is to scratch it.
Since ignoring it won't do any good, you just have to accept it. This skill is called "poised awareness" or "attention awareness" and by being able to have a passive attitude these things will no longer affect you.
Let's face it. All of us need time to relax when the pressure builds up otherwise we crack. You can drink a beer after work or watch television when you get home but the truth is, such activities does not truly relax the body.
For that, the best answer is meditation so you not only relax the body but also the mind. You should do your best to stay awake because instead of concentrating on your breathing, you could already be dreaming which is not what this exercise is all about.
Those of you who feel more energetic with meditation and relaxation should do this on a daily basis. After all, it only takes 15 or 20 minutes or so to recharge your batteries.
Does this change who you are as a person? The answer is no. You just become more calm and disciplined when everyone around is going crazy so you can make the right decisions at the right time. Soon, people will notice the change in you and say something about it. Some might even ask how you do it and when that happens, you will know that this activity which you have been doing for the past few days or even weeks has finally paid off.
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