The #1 excuse I hear people telling me why they can't go within every single day...is they don't have 'time'
Here is a short 4 minute guided listen to help you remember who you really are and where you are really headed.
Meditation is more than simply calming the mind for a little rest and recuperation (though who doesn’t frequently need and deserve that?). Meditation can teach you profound resilience to negative thoughts and feelings. It can teach you to find more joy within yourself and your life. It can also give us the gift of improved sleep and physical wellbeing. Not to mention that feeling of connection and vibrancy, which is nice.
This is not all hot air. I’ve learned from personal experience, despite past skepticism, how valuable meditation could be to anyone. If you don’t want to take my word for it, there are also countless studies evidencing this. Whether you’re a skeptic or a fan looking to reaffirm, here are 5 reminders of how valuable/important meditation is:
1. Meditation can improve your physiology
Many stress-reducing practices have been shown to also improve physical problems. Particularly with stress, for example, reducing it often reduces blood pressure and chances of things like heart disease.
It’s no new knowledge that the mind and body are inextricably linked. When agitated by imagined concerns – what will happen in the future, what has happened in the past – you may find your heart racing, your brows sweating, or stomach-churning.
It’s not hard to conceive, then, that prolonged mental distress may affect us long term.
Meditation is a great way to calm nerves and reduce blood pressure. This study showed that it reduced the level of grey matter atrophy in long-term meditators. This atrophy is the deterioration of brain matter which causes functional impairments and neurodegenerative diseases.
2. Meditation is a growing treatment for mental health issues
Anything that helps you to relax could be good for your mental health at times. The practice of meditation though has profound and lasting effects.
When you learn to control your focus and awareness of thoughts and separate yourself from them, it’s easy to feel like you could conquer any mental health issues that come your way.
Meditation and mindfulness are fast becoming among the top treatments for various mental health disorders. It’s effective, safe, and free. Something that can’t be said for talking therapies and medication.
Meditation has been found to be an effective treatment for sufferers of major depressive disorder (MDD) with an inadequate response to antidepressants. Antidepressants and psychotherapy are frontline treatments for MDD, but supposedly only 50-60% of patients respond well to the initial course.
Though study into meditation as a treatment for suicide prevention is in its early days, the potential is promising. Meditation is becoming ever more explored and regarded by the scientific community as a means for treating various mental health issues, and indeed in the army as a preventative measure for suicide. It has exhibited positive results in the reduction of suicidal symptoms.
3. Meditation can help you understand yourself and build confidence
Due to meditation’s introspective awareness, the practice also teaches us how to monitor ourselves. Many thought processes and emotions often sail us by without acknowledgment.
When we stop to experience and observe them, we can learn our truths and build our understanding of them.
4. Meditation can help you find joy
Through the process of becoming more in tune with yourself, you can also discover the constantly changing and layered emotions and feelings within. Even when feeling a total absence of joy, you can find it through meditation by exploring a deeper level where joy still resides.
5. Meditation can help you relax but also bring you more energy.
Many people meditate before bed.
In sleep, your conscious mind switches off and you rest physically as a result. Meditation is almost like a halfway house between conscious thought and unconscious sleep. While practicing simple awareness but moving away from active, conscious thought, you can allow the mind to wander more freely as it does in sleep.
For some (like me) lying in bed in darkness can allow maximum energy to go into thinking. If you move away from this and observe thoughts instead, they drift in and out and you can almost count them like sheep.
In the morning, many people find that meditation is most beneficial, for similar reasons. In the morning, your mind has not had time to collect a day’s worth of thoughts that you would otherwise have to ease out of. Instead of jolting out of bed and into your phone and future worries, it can be a good wake-up routine to instead ease into your waking awareness.
This can ease us into the day in a healthier, less abrupt way. I often find that after a meditation session I feel lighter and with a stronger mental fortitude. Like a good breakfast, it can set you up for what’s to come.
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