Studies on the relaxation response have documented the following short-term benefits to the nervous system:
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Concentration meditation involves focusing on a single point.
In this form of meditation, you simply refocus your awareness on the chosen object of attention each time you notice your mind wandering. Through this process, your ability to concentrate improves.
Mindfulness meditation encourages the practitioner to observe wandering thoughts as they drift through the mind.
Through mindfulness meditation, you can see how your thoughts and feelings tend to move in particular patterns.
Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods.
Sometimes called Zazen, it involves specific steps and postures and is studied with a teacher.
The goal is to find a comfortable position, focus on breathing and mindfully observing one's thoughts without judgement.
Practitioners of mindful meditation focus their attention on only one thought. The goal is to be firmly affixed to the present moment. This typically means concentrating on the breath - observing each inhalation and exhalation - and without consideration to other thoughts.
The mental discipline developed through meditation may help break dependencies.
Research has shown that meditation may help people learn to redirect their attention and control their emotions and impulses.