Let Meditation Help You Relax and Focus

In a culture where everything is high-tech and fast paced, new trends are arising, and over the course of the last twenty years meditation has changed from something ‘only the hippies do’ to becoming a viable and easy way to forget the struggles of day-to-day life and just relax. And relaxing, in turn, will help you focus better on most tasks at hand.

The earliest recorded use of meditation as a life tool comes from the Hindi traditions that date to around 1500 BC. So while it might seem modern and trendy, meditation has been around for a very long time. Perhaps the people most associated with it are the Buddhist monks, who use it as a means to achieve enlightenment. The Buddhists use meditation in an attempt to access their ‘higher mind’, where they believe the human mind starts to operate on a different frequency. The purpose of meditation for the Buddhists is to silence the noisy part of the mind and achieve true inner peace. It is in this way that you and I can use it as a tool to focus our own minds.

There have been several studies into why and how meditation works over the years, but a definitive answer has never been found. In a recent eight-week study at Harvard University scientists concluded that the active process of meditating twice a day will benefit your stress levels, help you to be more balanced, and theorised that meditating on a regular basis might even help the brain to rebuild grey matter.

The outcome of the study seems to be the same as the general scientific consensus regarding the practice of meditation. People who meditate in the morning and at night are happier, healthier, and more able to focus on individual tasks. Meditation has been used as a studying aid, a physiological aid, and a tool to simply keep one calm.

If used regularly it will increase your ability to focus on individual tasks — a dying art in a world so focused on multi-tasking. This is due to the mental challenge it presents — to silence the mind. To do this we focus on the moment, on the here and now, and we absorb the infinite silence and try to reflect that on the inside.

So the next time you consider taking ten minutes to cross your legs and silence your mind, don’t feel silly. You are performing a medically beneficial piece of stress management that might well benefit you (and your family or workplace) by calming you down and making you more productive.

It’s been years now since meditation was reserved only for the hippies and the religious; now it’s actually cool to go to ‘meditation’ classes. Though there really is no need to attend a class if you can’t get to one; if you’re feeling stressed and need a timeout, just meditate on your lounge room floor for five minutes, and reap the rewards.

(This article first appeared on Medium.com)

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