Might meditation suit you?
The goal of meditation is to travel beyond the reflexive (or thinking) mind, in order to achieve a deeper sense of relaxation whilst still in an alert and wakeful state. Over time and with persistent practice, it becomes possible to maintain feelings of inner peace and detached awareness throughout the everyday.
Although meditation is a component of many religions, it is also practiced outside these traditions for the physical and psychological benefits it brings. In addition, meditation improves the connection between the right and left brain. This enables intuitive wisdom to pass, expanding the spiritual space (or self).
The ultimate goal of meditation is to achieve a spiritual trance which enables the activity of the mind to become suspended. To this end, a wide range of mental exercises are commonly used during meditation to fine tune the mind’s focus – these include the breath, mindfulness, guided visualisation, sound / mantras, mandalas and spiritual ideas / visions. Given that meditation is a personal lifestyle practice, it is recommended that newcomers try a variety of approaches, in order to find the one(s) with which they are most comfortable.
During meditation, brain waves shift through various stages (alpha, gamma, theta, delta). Alpha waves promote changes which calm the autonomic nervous system, automatically lowering blood pressure, slowing the heart rate and reducing the amount of stress hormones in the body. Gamma waves increase greatly during meditation, emphasising positive emotions whilst decreasing anxiety, fear and depressive symptoms. Theta waves invoke a deep sense of relaxation, encourage creativity and facilitate both problem solving and memorisation. Delta waves, which are the slowest of all, aid the integration of newly learned tasks.