Meditation: What is It......
and How Can It Benefit My Health?
Meditation is a relaxation technique used to focus the mind and enhance concentration. Its literal meaning is derived from the Latin word meditari (to think, to dwell upon, to exercise the mind) and the Latin word mederi (to heal). Essentially when someone meditates they are exercising their mind to heal.
Meditation can be an important tool for a survivor. The practice of meditation teaches us to switch off the worries of the day and focus our mind towards a singular relaxing thought. Some people hear the word “meditation” and they automatically assume that worship and prayer are involved. While there are people who use worship and prayer to meditate, it is NOT necessary to worship or pray to achieve a meditative state.
Meditation can prove to be a helpful to survivors in many ways. First and foremost meditation helps reduce stress. It has been noted that many survivors suffer from chronic illnesses where stress is the root cause. By reducing stress levels you can produce healthier physical results. Meditation increases your oxygen consumption and reduces your respiratory rate and it helps the heart to function properly. Physically meditation works to relax the systems in the body and helps them achieve optimum performance.
Psychologically meditation has been shown to increase self-confidence, help control thoughts related to phobias and fears, improve emotional stability, and decrease restless thinking and a tendency to worry. People who meditate find it easier to gain peace of mind. They are able to keep things in perspective and gain a greater acceptance of themselves and their attitude toward life.
Meditation is a free technique that you can try on your own to help relieve some of the stress you may be feeling from your own trauma. Outlined below are some quick steps to get you started with your meditation routine. We will also post some suggested meditative thoughts to help you along the way. Please visit our site daily to view the meditation thought for the day.
Simple Meditation Steps:
- Create a Space. Have a place that you can go where you will not be interrupted. This should be a place where you feel calm and comfortable; it does not have to be a large area.
- Create the Environment. Your space should be a space that is quiet and with no distractions.
- Begin to Unwind. Place yourself in a seated position with your back straight. (keeping the back straight helps promote deep breathing) Close your eyes and take a few slow deep breaths.
- Start the Relaxation. Visualize a place that you enjoy and clear your mind. Some people find it helpful to focus on one word or a phrase to help rid themselves of everyday thoughts that seem trapped in their conscious mind. (see our Daily Meditations section for ideas and phrases) Each person is different, so the duration of each meditation period will vary. The ultimate goal is to achieve relaxation so choose a meditation length that makes you most comfortable.
- Finish the Relaxation Slowly. When you have finished meditations it is important to continue to breathe deeply and stretch a little. Savor the feeling of being relaxed.