Most people have this idea that meditation is only for hippies, Buddhist monks, or yoga fanatics. This isn't necessarily so, especially considering the numerous health benefits to meditation. It's been proven to lower blood pressure, energize the body and mind, and assist in recovery from illnesses, from depression to alcoholism. So, why should you meditate and how do you get started?
Before I go into how you get started, you might want to know exactly why you should get into this whole "meditation" thing. Health benefits aside, it feels good! Though it may seem frustrating at first to get the mind to shut down and the body to relax, after a little practice the mind becomes used to going into meditation mode. Another benefit to meditation is that it's not only good for your physical health but for your mental health as well. Though you may think you're not at a risk, with over sixty million Americans becoming depressed each year it's obvious that our culture and lifestyles have become increasingly more stressful. Taking ten to fifteen minutes each day to meditate, center our thoughts, and relax is among the best things we can do to keep our bodies in top condition.
So, you want to start meditating now? There are a number of ways you can start. You could go the old-fashioned route and pick up a meditation music CD from your local Target or Wal-Mart. This might work for some but many people find it difficult to meditate in their own right way. A great tool that's now available for free thanks to the internet are meditation podcasts. For those not familiar with podcasts, go to themeditationpodcast.com to try one of my personal favorites. You can also search iTunes for other podcasts that feature guided meditations and imagery.
If you're feeling really ambitious, in most cities you can find yoga lessons, a Zen meditation center, or other forms of meditation or relaxation classes. These instructors can not only teach you this ancient art but while there, you can meet others who are just as curious about the benefits of meditation as you are.
Don't be turned off to meditation because of meaningless stereotypes. Meditating doesn't automatically make you a new age hippie nor does it go against your current religious beliefs. It's simply spending some time focusing your thoughts and concentrating on a single goal: relaxation!