Meditation and Relaxation Relationship

Contents



Passive Relaxation


You may think of the following as relaxation: watching the television; sitting down with a drink; reading a good book; sitting in the sun; walking in the park; or listening to music. There are many different ways to simply relax where you simply find yourself feeling relaxed through doing something pleasurable. This can be referred to as subconscious, or passive relaxation.


Active Relaxation

There are also techniques especially designed to achieve true relaxation, where you practise and develop something consciously, or actively, using a variety of relaxation techniques. When using active relaxation techniques, you slowly relax your major muscle groups in your body, with the purpose of stimulating your relaxation response; a protective mechanism against stress that reduces your heart rate, lowers your metabolism, and reduces your respiratory rate. A secondary, or side benefit of relaxation is that you may also calm and quiet your mind.


Relaxation Is Secondary Benefit Of Meditation

On the other hand, meditation is a technique practised in the mind to train yourself to be more aware of the here and now. The main purpose of meditation is usually to calm and quiet your mind. With meditation, you develop a mode of consciousness in which you are not focused on actively thinking. Instead, you focus on sitting and breathing, which in turn, allows you to clear your mind. When you meditate, relaxation is a lovely side effect, not the goal. Many people that meditate benefit from using active relaxation techniques before meditation as they help them access the inner stillness needed for meditating. However, with meditation, relaxation is often a secondary benefit, while some forms of meditation can be anything but relaxing.


Meditation And Relaxation Summary

Thus, it all comes down to the intention and purpose of the technique you use: With relaxation techniques your main aim is to calm the body. With meditation techniques your main aim is to calm the mind. Relaxation is a secondary benefit of meditation and many meditation techniques can be considered as a specific form of relaxation technique.

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