Meditation is the mental exercise that is aimed at controlling the mind and helping it relax, strengthen, respond better and remain under control without any involuntary thoughts or reactions getting generated.
The exercise is to keep the mind in check when under pressure or under any external stimulation that can cause an outbreak of uncontrolled emotions. It does not mean that the mind becomes passive.
It simply means that the mind becomes capable of taking more rational decisions than getting carried away in a rush of emotions. It means that there is an overall control and equanimity in the brain and hence a person remains calm even under the most drastic situations.
There have been two forms of meditation. The first form helps an individual concentrate better and trains the body and the mind not to react to any unwarranted stimulus.
This is called the Concentrative meditation. The most basic form of Concentrative meditation requires you to sit quietly and focus your attention on your breath. Focusing on the inhalation and exhalation helps you breathe more deeply thereby supplying the body with the much needed extra oxygen.
The second type of meditation is the mindfulness meditation. This involves in enhancing the awareness of impressions and images around one’s self without being affected by them.
This involves a person sitting quietly and just witnessing all that goes by in his/her mind. One is not supposed to react to any feelings, images or thoughts or get carried away. This helps one keeping oneself aloof from any external stimulus and thus this helps in gaining effective self control.
Meditation does not only have psychological benefits. There are many physical benefits also. Meditation helps one relax. It helps slow down the metabolic rate, lowers heart rate and hence does not let there be extra pressure on the heart.
It helps decrease high blood pressure too. It helps in the inhalation of more oxygen which helps rejuvenate the body and allows the damaged cells to be replaced quickly. This in turn also reduces the physical aging process.
Then there are the psychological advantages. There is decreased stress and anxiety, irritability and moodiness and also assists in learning and enhancing memory.