EDITORIAL: Calm the mind and focus on one deep breath at a time

by | Feb 19, 2020 | Editorial

Meditation, a practice wherein an individual uses different breathing techniques to relax their body and mind, has countless benefits.

It is an ancient practice that is powerful and free and it can help bring peace to chaotic minds.

It was first developed in India, the wall arts from the Indian subcontinent provide the oldest documented evidence of people practicing meditation.

Meditation helps reduce ailments including blood pressure, anxiety, stress, and depression. It promotes emotional health, enhances self-awareness, increases attention span, helps fight addiction and improves sleep.

It helps relax the mind and body. It stimulates the production of nitric oxide, which helps blood circulation. Nitric oxide also works as a link in cell communication in the brain.

A Massachusetts General Hospital study showed nearly 64 per cent of the participants who meditated daily for three months experienced a drop in blood pressure levels.

For people who are new to meditation, a simple breath in and breath out for 15 minutes every day with eyes closed can be a good start. Meditation is mindful breathing. While meditating, focusing all attention on breathing is the key.

Meditation promotes emotional well-being and increases attention span.

A 2011 University of California study assessed participants aged between 22 and 69 both before and after they attended a three months’ meditation program.

The participants practiced different meditation techniques and immediate findings suggest meditation enhanced emotional well-being and increased attention span.

With the ever-increasing psychological issues among young adults, engaging oneself in meditation can be helpful.

According to Statistics Canada, around 23 per cent of people over 15 years of age reported that most days are stressful. Work and finances are the main causes of stress to these people.

A New York Times study led by J. David Creswell, an associate professor of psychology and director of the Health and Human Performance Laboratory at Carnegie Mellon University, assessed 35 unemployed people who were under heavy stress. Blood was examined and brains were scanned both before and after a three-day meditation.

Only half of the participants were taught mindful meditation. The results that participants who meditated showed lower levels of a marker of unhealthy inflammation in their brains.

The merits of meditation are well-documented. Humber College should host meditation courses and events on a regular basis by inviting experts and can help students manage the stress they go through.