There’s a difference between meditation and mindfulness.
Although they both share the same essential task, meditation is a period of time that you devote to staying present. Unlike mindfulness, which you can practice at any time of the day, meditation asks that you find a quiet place to be silent and pay attention to your inner experience.
Meditation is the practice of having a point of focus and attempting to keep your attention centered on that point of focus throughout the meditation. The task is not an easy one and most beginners will find that their mind is in fact hard to keep still. Their attention strays from the point of object to thoughts, memories images, or other inner experiences. Yet, over time, with a practice of meditation, the mind becomes more still. Attention is able to stay present longer and strays away less and less often.
With this ability to stay focused on one point for an extended period of time comes many emotional, psychological, and even physical benefits.
The Benefits of Meditation
- Those who meditate develop the ability to recover from anxiety and stress and return to a calm state.
- The heart rate of practitioners tends to be slow and relaxed.
- Those with high blood pressure will often experience a decrease in their blood pressure as a result of their meditation practice.
- Those who meditate tend to have a calm and stable nervous system.
- During meditation, practitioners tend to experience a quieting of thoughts and enter into a state of relaxation.
- Someone who meditates on a regular basis will tend to develop a positive views of themselves, others, and the world.
- Those who meditate will tend to have the ability to stay positive under stress.
- Those who meditate tend to have the ability to accept themselves and others.
- Those who meditate tend to respond to life versus react. They develop the ability to consciously choose versus react out of emotional impulses.
- Meditation improves concentration.
- Those who meditate tend to develop a healthier lifestyle.
- Meditation practitioners tend to experience happiness.
- Meditation can slow the process of aging.
- Meditation can boost the immune system.
- Meditation increase self awareness and the ability to make healthier choices.
- Meditation reduces stress.
These are just a handful of benefits of meditation.
Although the practice is a simple one – keeping your attention on one point of focus – when the mind changes so does one’s life. And meditation certainly brings about a change in mental activity. For instance, one of the and most noticeable results of meditation is the pace of thoughts slows down. Instead of excessive thinking (to the point that it interferes with sleep), those who meditate tend to slow down. They tend to have more space between their thoughts, giving them the ability to choose versus react to life. They tend to begin to make new choices so that eventually they are living a happier and more fulfilling life.
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Vantage Point Recovery is a lifestyle management and recovery center in Thousand Oaks. We share mental health tips and other helpful information on the Vantage Point Recovery Blog. If you need help or support mental health awareness, please connect with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.