Meditation is and has been one of the most common practices in human history. Various cultures and societies have performed meditation in one way or another, though whether or not they called it such is irrelevant. The origins likely lay in India and have spread since. Though it has been strongly linked with religion for most of its history, many practice meditation without any religious context.
Meditation is a large and rather broad field consisting of multiple practices. You have probably heard of transcendental meditation and know of some of the mantras used in meditation. While there are many different ways to meditate, it is generally done to achieve a sense of full attention, awareness, and tranquility.
For this, we will focus on mindfulness in meditation. While there is a lot to this, at its core, mindfulness is nothing more than maintaining awareness and focus on the current point in time.
While many commonly associate this practice with achieving clarity by emptying your mind of all thoughts, people actually tend to focus on a single thing, such as counting breaths. When being mindful, thoughts ebb and flow, but you are not meant to turn your attention to them. Instead, you make a mental note and return your focus back to your singular thought. To start, you can focus on the breathing patterns, a sound, or a feeling. But it must be in the immediate moment.
Meditation is known to have several benefits. Numerous beneficial effects have been linked to meditation, and many cite improvements in their ability to stay focused, keep calm, and assuage stress. However, it is important to note that meditation should not be considered an alternative to seeking professional medical or health advice, treatment, or expertise; instead, it is best done alongside more traditional methods.
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