There are three types of meditation: mindful, concentrative and expressive.
Mindfulness meditation involves sitting silently and being aware of thoughts as they arise, acknowledging them and then letting them go. Being mindful means to live in the moment without worry or anxiety about the past or the future.
Concentrative meditation involves a focus on an object such as a word or phrase (mantra), an object (belly breathing), an image (visualization) or a sound (music).
Expressive meditation is perhaps the oldest of the styles of meditation. Expressive meditation can take the form of chanting, dancing or rapid breath work.
Christian tradition has contemplative practice and many of the worlds religions have a meditation tradition.
The important thing to remember, regardless of what form of meditation you choose to practice, is to practice every day.
Quieting the mind allows you to “unpack” the stress from the day. Accumulating stress causes cortisol levels to increase. Cortisol is released as part of the fight or flight response. When the state of “fight or flight” is sustained, adrenal burnout occurs. Persistent cortisol secretion leads to an accumulation of visceral fat around the waist, insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome.
Beta endorphins are endorphins produced by the pituitary gland. They are powerful natural painkillers and high levels produce a feeling of well being.
Among many other benefits, meditation decreases cortisol levels and increases beta endorphins.
Meditation is medicine. Food is medicine. Movement is medicine.