The negative effects of stress, worry, fear and anxiety upon our health has for many years concerned modern society. In this, the fastest paced, most stressed period that humanity has experienced, it is critical for us to be aware of the strain we are placing upon our bodies just to keep up.
In short, a spinning mind means spiraling health!
According to the Meditation Society of Australia this is where meditation excels. An ancient practice that can be dated back to the east at least six thousands years ago, meditation has for years been gaining a groundswell of widespread modern acceptance.
People who meditate have been shown to quickly achieve health benefits such as slower heart rates, lower blood pressure, reduced oxygen consumption and lower lactic acid levels. Some have used meditation to help with everything from headaches and respiratory problems to cancer and coping with death. It is seen as a crucial tool in treating many mental illnesses such as depression or schizophrenia while it has also been shown to actually boost functionality of the immune system. Beyond the science, however, one common health benefit in dealing with stress is perhaps the most important, and that is meditation’s ability to help the practitioner to shut up and listen.
The clatter of the media, of advertising, of stress and anxiety creates a cacophony of noise that makes it increasingly impossible for us to hear ourselves”, says Sunirmalya Symons of the Meditation Society of Australia. A non-profit group with a free meditation course on the web. Sunirmalya says that meditators are more attuned to their bodies and its requirements because they are able to ‘intuitively’ feel its needs.
"Meditation is listening. Listening not for words or sentences but intuitions. We are very complex beings with trillions of physical functions, not to mention the multitude of mental and spiritual dimensions we each possess. From time to time, we need to hear what our body, our mind and our soul are saying to us. Our health - physical, mental and spiritual - absolutely soars when we take the time to listen." He says that people that meditate have been shown to eat more healthily, exercise more and generally possess more vigor.
There are so many pressures on individuals to ‘try that’ or ‘have this’, that it becomes impossible to actually know what is right for you. With meditation we develop a faith in our own internal dialog, a faith that is fortified by the simple result of it time and again being right.”
Sunirmalya says that the free online meditation course at www.meditation.org.au is something everyone should try. "Meditation is for every one without exception, but each of us will meditate in different ways, so try the course if it doesn't work for you - try another one, there's a multitude on the web."
Meditation may be old, but it seems it is one of the most important tools for our health and wellness in our modern world.