Prayer and meditation for mental health
Prayer is our communication with the God, the Invisible but the Reality. It is pouring out our heart before Him. The things which we are reluctant to disclose to others are laid bare before Him.
Faith and prayer are age old techniques for healing in all most all religions. In yoga the concept of prayer is widely used. In our tradition we start our day with prayer, for starting anything new, we pray, in good times we pray and bad times too we pray. Even science particularly doctors admit that prayer has wonderful healing tool and it is believed that when nothing works, prayer works.
But prayer works only when we have unshakable faith in God, we are sincere when we pray and one has to offer his/ her mind and heart and all ( complete unconditional surrender) to the Divine for His force to work on it.
Prayer and Health
1. Induces a feeling of relief and relaxation-
We all must have noticed how relieved and relaxed we feel after a sincere prayer. Prayer helps us in calming down and with renewed energy we get back to work.
2. Belief in Higher Reality-
Most of us believe that there exists a Higher Force and none exists above Him. Having prayed to Him the Almighty we have a feeling- “ Now only Good will happen to us”. We surrender ourselves completely to His care. This feeling itself aids healing and relieves all stress.
Prayer brings out the feeling of hope, universal brotherhood ( we are from the same source), empathy, compassion and gratitude. All these attributes brings peace in the system and thus one feels positive towards life.
4. Strengthens Para sympathetic nervous system
When prayer calms or uplifts , it has the same calming effect on our nervous system and other body systems particularly endocrine system. With overall calming effect it secrets hormones commensurate with the requirement of the body- neither less nor more. Particularly it secrets happy hormones like Dopamine, serotonin. So in a way it integrates entire personality and each of its constituent - body mind and spirit in a harmonious way.
Prayer and meditation are beneficial to mental health too.
1) Stress reduction. Both meditation and prayer are wonderful for reducing stress. You’ll find that it helps you to learn how to get away from the worries of life to a more peaceful state of mind. Just 15 minutes a day can make a huge difference by bringing peace and relaxation to your body and mind. A few minutes each day isn’t much, considering that the positive effects will last hours.
2. Improved health. Many studies have proven that prayer and meditation foster vibrant health. Usually these health benefits, such as lower blood pressure and decreased risk of heart disease, occur because of the lowered stress levels. Physical problems are often a symptom of turmoil on the inside and prayer and meditation can help to overcome that turmoil.
3. Better control over your thoughts. Having negative thoughts from time to time is part of being human. Many people who are stressed don’t believe that they’re able to control what they think. The stress mounts, tempers flair, and before long arguments ensue. However, by bringing prayer and meditation into your life, it’s possible to control your thoughts and stop negative thinking as soon as it happens. This helps keep your mind at peace.
4. Happiness. Both peace of mind and happiness are true benefits of meditation and prayer. Everyone is seeking happiness in their lives, and when you’re able to find peace of mind through prayer and meditation, you’re also welcoming happiness into your life. By spending some time in personal reflection, you’ll gain a greater wisdom of your mission in this life, and you’ll be better able to appreciate all that you’ve been given, both good and bad. Meditation and prayer help banish those negative thoughts that threaten your peace of mind.
5. Better concentration. As you pray and meditate, you welcome peace and tranquility into your mind, which then affects how you live your life. When you alleviate the stresses in your life, you’re better able to concentrate on the things that are important, such as family or work• Continued prayer and meditation will help you expand your focus to multiple areas of your life.
Prayer and Mantras in text
You can choose any prayer you feel like. It makes no difference whether you say this prayer or that, the importance is of your faith, your trust, your surrender, your sincerity.
We give below some prayers that are being said for time immemorial.
त्वमेव माता च पिता त्वमेव
त्वमेव बन्धुश्च सखा त्वमेव
त्वमेव विद्या द्रविणम् त्वमेव
त्वमेव सर्वम् मम देव देव
ॐ भूर् भुवः स्वः।
भर्गो देवस्य धीमहि।
धियो यो नः प्रचोदयात् ॥
श्री राम जय राम जय जय राम
हरे राम हरे राम राम राम हरे हरे। हरे कृष्ण हरे कृष्ण कृष्ण कृष्ण हरे हरे।।
श्री मन नारायण नारायण नारायण, भज मन नारायण नारायण नारायण ।।
Although prayer and meditation can provide peace in your life, it can be hard to spare time at first, but it’s easier than you think. Simply find a quiet place in your home and allow yourself to relax and feel at peace for 5-7 minutes. You deserve this little time for you to pray and observe peace each day. While there are plenty of positive benefits of prayer and meditation, it may take practice and perseverance to achieve them. Over time you’ll begin to experience this wonderful gift in your own life and you’ll be thankful that you did.