There are numerous meditation techniques. Amongst these, mantra meditation is particularly prominent amongst practitioners of devotional yoga or bhakti-yoga. The Sanskrit word ‘man’ means mind, while ‘tra’ means to free. Mantra meditation frees your mind of fear and anxiety. But, it does even more than this, it opens your heart to reveal your spiritual nature of eternity and bliss.
Increased complexity in today’s fast paced world makes learning to free your mind particularly important. In previous generations life was simpler and possibly less convenient, but it was also less stressful. Threatening situations activate your body’s parasympathetic nervous system, releasing stress hormones to equip your body to address the threat. Your heartbeat quickens, your muscles tighten, you have increased energy, and your immunity and digestion shut down.
The threats your ancestors encountered in prehistoric times were immediate dangers, such as wild animals, that were quickly addressed. Once the danger was over, the parasympathetic nervous system was activated so their muscles could again relax, with their heart rate slowing, and their digestion again activated. This allowed their bodies to quickly return to a resting state for recovery.
Unfortunately, today’s pressures are constant. Workplace demands, tense relationships, deadlines, traffic jams, and fear of terrorism are unceasing threats. All of these stressors cause people to become anxious and lose tempers in anger. As such, many people are always in a fight or flight state and never come to relax and recover. They cannot sleep, digest, they have aches and pains in their bodies, and their immunity is depleted. The body cannot maintain this state of heightened alert for an extended duration of time. Over time, it leads to a crisis involving physical and emotional breakdown along with depression.
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