Take Time Out To Meditate!
For too many of us, it seems almost a condition of living in the 21st century that we should have unquiet minds. Our thoughts are scattered, incessant, and demanding. They drive us from one action to the next, from one problem to another, from ill-considered judgements to temperamental reactions. We yearn for peace and balance in our lives, but are lucky if we stumble upon these gifts even fleetingly.
Our thoughts will not stand still. They control us and offer little in the way of respite. They cause us stress and they burden our soul.
And yet it need not be this way. There exist time-honored techniques which we can use to calm our minds and bring ease and balance to our lives. One such technique – and perhaps the most powerful of them all – is meditation.
Meditation is the art of relaxing the body and calming the mind. It can be used by anyone to help them cope with medical problems, anxiety related issues, and – more generally – with the day-to-day stresses that we encounter in our daily lives.
Meditation has existed for thousands of years. No one can say for certain where it first originated, but it exists as a practice in many different forms across the world. Numbered amongst the types of meditation that have gained currency and acceptance are transcendental meditation, prayer, mindfulness meditation, Zen meditation, Buddhist meditation,Taoist meditation and spot meditation.
Whilst all of these have different requirements of their practitioners and are different in their operation, they each have a similar goal; to quiet the mind and free the body from stress through the use of contemplation and reflection.
In the end, it is up to the individual to discover the type of meditation that works best for him or her. Rest assured, it is a discovery worth making and one that we shouldn’t immediately shy away from on the basis that “we don’t have the time.”
Firstly, any practice that improves the quality of our lives is worth pursuing, no matter what the time investment. Secondly, (and contrary to popular perception) meditation need not be an extended, drawn out process requiring us to retreat from the reality of our day-to-day lives. For those amongst us who are time poor, but who want to find calm in the middle of chaos, a book such as Eric Harrison’s ‘The Five Minute Meditator‘ might prove a good place to start. Alternatively, there a number of sites on the internet that offer insights into meditation and how it can find a ready place in our lives.
A profound, deep peace can be achieved through meditation. For that reason alone, it’s worth giving it a go.
The Benefits of Meditation (And Why It’s Good For Your Skin)
Ask most people about the benefits of meditation and you will probably be met with a momentary hesitation, followed by a vague assertion that it can help you to relax. In truth, its potential is much wider than this. Indeed, there exist dozens, if not hundreds of benefits to be derived from meditating regularly. Meditation is not only good for the soul, but the body and mind as well.
Numbered amongst meditation’s long list of benefits, all of which have been tested clinically, are the following:
Benefits To The Body
✦ It enhances the immune system
✦ It can lessen the pain associated with chronic diseases
✦ It can reduce high blood pressure
✦ It can provide relief from asthma
✦ It can speed up post-operative healing
✦ It can cure headaches and migraines
Benefits To The Mind
✦ It can assist with focus and concentration
✦ It can help resolve phobias and fears
✦ It can help to reduce bad habits and increase productivity
✦ It can help still aggressive impulses and lead to better, more sociable behaviour
✦ It can help in overcoming addictions like smoking
✦ It can increase creativity
Benefits To The Soul
✦ It can help provide balance and peace of mind
✦ It can assist you in learning to live in the present moment
✦ It can develop a deeper understanding of both yourself and others
✦ It can help you to become more compassionate and deepen your capacity for love
✦ It can help you to better accept yourself
✦ It can change your attitude towards life
Ultimately, many of these benefits are derived from the fact that meditation helps us to
eliminate the negative consequences of stress. Stress is an all too common factor in daily
life and is – at least in part – responsible for many of the illnesses which afflict our modern
An often overlooked consequence of stress – and one which meditation can help
overcome – is skin damage. Whereas many synthetic cosmetics (as well as make-overs
and surgery) tend to simply hide the consequences of stress and its impact on the skin,
meditation deals with its root causes.
Put simply, meditation offers people a way to cope with their stress by helping them to
relax. Not only does it help to reduce blood pressure, but it actively suppresses the stress
hormone cortisol. At the same time, it also helps activate the youth-related hormone
DHEA, which has proven anti-aging benefits. The result is a more radiant complexion and
In a similar vein, at World Organic we often introduce essential oils such as Vanilla or
Sweet Orange into our products. We do so because these ingredients have a calming
effect, inducing positive moods and thus relieving stress. Like meditation, they can have a
regenerative effect on our skin, simply by helping us to balance our emotions.
In the end, meditation can be an important component in helping you live the life you want.
It is a way of keeping things in perspective, a means of finding focus and balance in our often turbulent lives. Practise it regularly and it can deliver what you want – mind, body and soul!
All of these benefits have been recorded as a result of clinical study. For more information, a good place to start is www.lorinroche.com/page4/page4.html
For more information on the causes and consequences of stress, refer to our blog on stress.