Meditation is a practice in which people try to still and empty their mind by focusing on breathing; visualizing a particular image; or chanting a word, phrase or prayer. This practice provides many people with a sense of inner calm, peacefulness and relaxation. There are many different types of meditation, as well as different reasons for using it. Some people use meditation simply as a relaxation technique to calm the mind and body, relieve stress and pain, and improve their sense of well-being. Meditation is also an important part of some personal development programs and some religious practices, where it is used to help achieve greater self-awareness, self-realization and spiritual communion.