Written and Reviewed by Ralph Miller, meditator and teacher for 20 years. Editor: Sahar Miller. Last updated: October 29, 2020.

Meditation is the practice of turning your focus inward.

According to researchers Qiang Gu, et al, meditation is a form of mental training that aims to improve your core psychological capacities, such as attentional and emotional self-regulation.

There are three core components of meditation practice: 

  1. Attention control
  2. Emotion regulation
  3. Self-awareness

Types of Meditation

There are many types of meditation to choose from, including:

What Conditions Can Meditation Be Used For?

The NCCAM recognizes meditation to be used for the following conditions:

Side Effects

While meditation is generally considered safe for most people, physical limitations may affect your ability to sit in certain meditation postures taught in various meditation traditions.

Additionally, meditation may worsen psychiatric symptoms such as anxiety or depression. If you have an existing mental health conditions, speak with their doctor or health care provider before starting a meditative practice.