One of the most important tools for shifting the focus inward and creating inner harmony is meditation. It brings the concentration inward supporting introspection. When the focus is better centered its easier to access pleasant thoughts and emotions.

In the common, very stressful life styles most of us lead, relaxation techniques are highly needed. Known for its relaxing affect, meditation is a resourceful and accessible answer for creating inner harmony and peace of mind.

Meditation facilitates relaxation of the neurological system and all other body organs. Muscle relaxation enables better blood flow to tissues which in some cases can considerably reduce pain levels. Breathing becomes deeper and slower allowing for a better supply of oxygen. Heart beats stabilize and relax. The whole body is affected in a very positive way.

Quieting the mind promotes increased mental ability such as better control of attention and with the ability to direct your thoughts in positive directions. This means that your responses are more in your control.

Meditation arouses pleasant emotions such as love and a sense of oneness which contribute to the establishment of general well-being.

Balancing the Brain
The brain is made up of two hemispheres that are connected between them. The right hemisphere sees things as connected and related to each other therefore is more holistic in nature Sequential, logical and analytic abilities are associated with the left side of the brain.

Most people have either right of left hemisphere dominance. This means that most people have a clear tendency to either analytical or holistic thinking patterns. This phenomena is called brain lateralization.

Brain Lateralization is connected to feelings of alienation, separation, fear and anxiety.

Dr Charles Stroebel, Director of the Institute for Advanced studies in behavioral medicine, carried out a series of experiments on meditators in the 1970's using EEG (Electroencephalography) testing. He discovered that deep meditation alters the brain waves, which then assume a more synchronized form. This indicates that the two hemispheres, which normally are lateralized, become synchronized and balanced.

This research tremendously contributed to the understanding of the benefits available to experienced meditators. They develop a consciousness of oneness and peace and experience more positive rather than negative emotions.

An additional benefit of meditation is the promotion of positive emotions, such as love and compassion. In his book, Destructive emotions—How can we overcome them?, Dr. Daniel Goleman describes an experiment conducted by Dr. Richard Davidson, head of the emotional neurology laboratory at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

In this experiment, the brain activity of a Tibetan lama, highly experienced in meditation, was documented using MRI, FMRI and EEG technologies. The findings demonstrated significant changes in brain activity during meditation.

EEG analysis showed that activity in part of the left frontal lobe increased during the meditation on compassion. This is the cerebral center responsible for positive emotions.

During the compassion meditation, this area lighted up to a level that isn’t seen in ordinary people. Lighting up is an indication of intense activity. These findings established that meditation directly affects the areas of the brain that are responsible for positive emotions, which explains why people who practice daily meditation do in fact experience more positive emotions than ordinary people.

People who meditate develop the ability to monitor their emotional responses which as a result promotes the ability to control emotions. This implies that you can choose your feelings and create more beneficial emotional states.

Meditating daily facilitates more productivity, better relationships, improved creativity and more contentment. Life is experienced as something that is pleasant and fulfilling. For this reason meditation is recognized as an excellent way to improve emotional coping.

Author's Bio: 

Joan Jacobs is a holistic healer with 25 years experience as clinical healer, educator, speaker and author.Joan teaches at the Faculty of Health Sciences, the Leo and Matilda Recanati school of community health professions at the Ben Gurion University of the Negev, Israel, and has held senior teaching and program directing positions at leading schools of complementary medicine in Israel. She teaches certification programs for Bach Flower practitioners and holistic healers and has personally trained numerous clinical practitioners. Joan developed and instructed a Holistic back-to-life program for breast cancer survivors at the breast health center of the Soroka University Medical Center, Beer Sheva, Israel. In 2010 she created an international healing and personal transformation workshop program called The Light Within and published her first book titled Messages from the Soul- A Holistic Approach To Healing."The Light Within- Awakening The Inner Healer" Radio Talk Show she hosts airs every Mon 10AM PST on Variety Channel.