What is Meditation?
Meditation is a form of exercise where an individual practices training their mind or inducing themselves into a state of consciousness in an attempt to come to some sort of beneficial realization. The term "meditation" itself covers a wide array of practices that are meant to promote relaxation, increase internal energy or life force (qi, ki, prana, etc), or boost the feelings of compassion, love, patience, generosity, and forgiveness.
The most known benefit of meditation is promoting relaxating by reducing stress and anxiety levels but there are many more benefits that meditation has to offer. Reduced stress and anxiety levels result in the body becoming less responsive to stress hormones, which leads to lower blood pressure. Reduced stress also leads to reduced inflmmation within the body, a factor related to heart disease, arthritis, and asthma. A recent study at the Ohio State University found that increased relaxation boosts the immune system, which in turn helped recovering cancer patients as well as helped create a greater resistance to tumors and viruses for the elderly. Meditation can also help increase fertility in women. Women are more likely to concieve during a period of time in which they are more relaxed rather than stressed. Stress also reduces the count and quality of sperm so there is a common belief that meditation can also benefit men in regards to reproduction.
There is no guarantee that everyone who attempts meditation will experience all of these benefits. At the very minimum, meditation gives the brain a much needed mental break and will lead to improved mental clarity.
Types of Meditation
Some of the most popular forms of meditation are Mindfulness Meditation, Spiritual Meditation, Focused Meditation, Movement Meditaion, and Mantra Meditation.