Meditation is defined by a variety of practices that train attention and awareness. Meditation is a very commonly seen in many different world religions. Today, meditation is a very good stress reliever, and it is used by all different people, all around the world. Meditation traditionally was practiced in order to achieve insight and spiritual growth. However, in most Western countries, meditation is solely practiced to achieve stress reduction.
There are two different types of meditation seen most commonly, concentrative meditation, and awareness meditation. Concentrative meditation is when you simply focus your attention on a single object, such as your breathing or a candle flame. This is beneficial in stress reduction, as it causes a slow, deep, rhythmic breathing, which is said to be one of the best stress relievers, promoting relaxation. Awareness meditation is entirely different, as your focus is not on one thing, but several. So, awareness meditation stimulates your attention to flow and to examine any and everything that comes to mind. All various types of meditation are said to have other benefits other than stress reduction and relaxation. These benefits include: heightened empathy, creativity, self-esteem, and alertness. There is also said to be a decrease in anxiety, interpersonal problems, and reoccurring depression as a result of regular meditation. Meditation can be used in a variety of psychotherapies and other medical scenarios to treat mild pain, to enhance blood flow to the brain, and to increase immune function. It is unclear why meditation has such good results, as it could be from any of the other factors that go into it. Overall, no matter what the reason, meditation is seen as a good stress reliever that many people can benefit from.