The word “meditation” often elicits images of devout men sitting silently in
mystical temples far away. It can seem foreign and certainly something too
far removed from daily life to have a practical application for business or
even for personal gain. You may have preconceived notions about what
meditation entails or cultural or spiritual beliefs which you feel may hinder
you from participating in meditation. While meditation does have its roots
in several spiritual practices, it is increasingly being recommended by
Western medical professionals as research is bringing to light the multiple
health benefits of regularly engaging in this form of focused relaxation.

Regardless if you choose to meditate for spiritual reasons or for physical
and mental health, meditation generally consists of the following elements:

• A relaxing environment: whether it is in the woods, by the lake, in a
studio, or in your living room, mediation usually occurs in an
an environment that is physically comfortable and free from noisy
distractions. Some people choose to sit on a cushion and focus on
their breathing in complete silence while others may choose to lay on
their beds and listen to relaxing music.

• Posture or movement: during mediation, the participant will generally
sit in a specific posture, such as with the legs crossed, spine straight,
and hands resting on the knees. Sometimes participants will lay
down or engage in specific movements, such as yoga or t’ai chi.

• Focus: while meditating, the participant will focus on a number of
things from their simple breath, the feeling of energy moving through
the body, an object, a value or ideal, or a word or phrase called a

• An open mind: during meditation, the participant allows their mind to
let thoughts flow through their mind without judging them. Often
times, the meditator will observe the thoughts instead of suppressing
them and then gently bring their focus back to the intended subject.

Meditation, especially when used as a regular part of a healthy lifestyle,
has multiple benefits. When you review the list below, it will be easy to see
why so many people are incorporating it into their professional and
personal lives to help them achieve a greater sense of success.

How many other activities can provide so many physical and mental benefits?

Physical Benefits
• Decreased heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol
• Improvements of symptoms of insomnia
• Reduction of symptoms of PMS
• Reduced thickness of artery walls, reducing the risk of heart attack and
stroke by 8 – 15%1
• Improvement of chronic pain symptoms
• Reduction of the distressing symptoms of asthma, allergies,
depression, cancer, fatigue, and heart disease2
• Decreased muscle tension
• Improvements in levels of energy
• Increased immunity to fight off disease
• Reduction of free radicals, resulting in less tissue damage3
• Higher skin resiliency
• Slowing of the aging process
• Decreased experiences of headaches and migraines
• Improvements in fertility as meditation helps regulate bodily

Mental Benefits
• Decreased anxiety and nervousness
• Increased feelings of independence and confidence
• Causes the brain to age more slowly by increasing grey matter in the
• Increased creativity
• Increased ability to problem-solve
• Increased ability to concentrate
• Greater sense of self-awareness
• Reduction of negative thoughts
• Increased serotonin, resulting in improvements in mood and behavior
• Improved ability to learn new tasks
• Increased productivity
• Increased emotional stability
• Increased sense of intuition
• Increased ability to resist impulsive urges
• Increased job satisfaction
• Fewer distressing symptoms of mental illness
• Decreased feelings of aggression and road rage
• Improvements in listening skills
• Increased tolerance
• Increased ability to empathize with others and demonstrate
• Increased sense of wisdom
• Ability to live in the present moment
• Increased ability to forgive others

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