Today’s fitness focuses mostly on exercise and diet, although mental health and stability is just as important but often overlooked. Physical and mental health is related the same way nutrition and exercise is. Individuals need to take care of their mental wellbeing just as they take care of their physical health. Meditation is one method that is internationally used and very effective.

Meditation is a state of deep concentration and continued thought. This method of preserving mental health dates back thousands of years and was originally used to understand sacred forces in life, but nowadays meditation is used for its medical benefits and to obtain a calm and peaceful lifestyle. Some benefits can include:

–          Reduced headaches
–          Improved memory
–          Better lung function
–          Less stress
–          Improved concentration
–          Weight loss
–          Improved mood
–          Reduced anxiety

There are countless advantages meditation has to offer.

It’s important to know that meditation does not need to be performed on a mountaintop or under a cherry blossom tree like some stereotypes suggest, however when choosing your meditation area make sure that your meditation space is clean, distraction free, isn’t too bright, and most importantly is spacious. Although movement during meditation is limited, having a few feet of space on each side of you improves the meditation process. A great quote by an unknown source writes, “If it’s possible for the body to move freely, than it’s possible for the mind too.”

During the meditation process it isn’t necessary to sit in the lotus position while meditating, but avoid lying down. If you do lie down you’re at an increased risk of falling asleep. The way to get the most out of meditation is to sit up with a straight back and clear your mind. Also to maximize results try not eating 3 hours in advance of meditating, you want your body to focus on breathing, not digesting food. Taking a shower beforehand helps too; a lot of people believe you cannot cleanse your mind without a clean body.

 Meditation is not time consuming, between a half an hour and an hour per day should be fine, but meditate only for as long as you feel comfortable. Meditating in the morning has been proven to be more effective than later in the day, but remember to make sure you’re fully awake!

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