2 Big Reasons Why You Need To Start Meditating
There has been a huge increase lately of people discovering the benefits of meditation. People we never dreamed would get into the practice, are happily telling anyone that will listen how meditation has improved their lives.
It seems that previously there was almost some kind of stigma regarding meditation. People were scared to talk about it or show an interest. They were afraid of being laughed at or ridiculed from listening to people scoff at those who practiced. They didn’t take the time to look into it themselves and gain a deeper understanding of what it means to meditate.
There are many ways to meditate, the image of someone sitting crossed legged, barely clothed atop a mountain, and humming loudly might have been the image some people had in their heads. However, with a greater collective understanding, we know that’s not (always!) the case. People meditate effectively in many different ways. Whether it’s by completely taking time out from whatever activity they may have been doing, or by incorporating it into their everyday duties.
It is known that meditation effectively calms the mind and develops our level of intuition. However, meditation is not only being performed as a means of inner reflection, but also to ease illnesses of the mind, emotions, and physical troubles.
1. Physical Benefits of Meditation
One of the most notable benefits of meditation is that it greatly helps our physical state. One of the main benefits is that the practice allows the heart to go into, and remain, in a deep restive state. This is because during meditation a person’s metabolic rate is slowed, which leads to a reduction in the amount of work a heart needs to carry out.
Meditation also lowers cortisol levels, which is also known as the stress hormone, as well as dissolving other related stress hormones. These stress hormones have many knock on-effects, which we will examine below.
On top of this, meditation lowers free radicals in the body by eliminating unstable oxygen molecules. Research also shows that daily meditation aids in decreasing high blood pressure after just three months.
Effective meditation drops cholesterol levels. When we are stressed, our bodies release stress hormones that act as free radicals; elements that destroy cells. When these cells are damaged they need cholesterol to repair themselves. By reducing stress through meditation we can greatly lower our bodies need to use such high levels of cholesterol.
2. Psychological Benefits of Meditation
There are an uncountable amount of benefits in terms of our psyche. Meditation increases a person’s brain wave coherence, which helps us in a huge amount of different areas.
It also decreases anxiety levels. A major focus of mediation is breathing properly, which is severely limited with the onset of anxiety. Using the breathing techniques learnt through meditation, a person can learn to effectively control anxiety, and eventually overcome it completely.
Meditation allows people to discover the joy in life and to shift focus from the things that many of us think are important. Things such as work, cars, houses money etc. Instead we learn to focus on the things that are truly important such as love, laughter, family, compassion etc. By learning to focus our minds, we don’t get caught up in the stress and anxiety of the rat race. Our minds no longer race from projects, to deadlines, to meetings. This is a major reason of unhappiness in people and is easily rectified by frequent meditation.
It is estimated that 6.7% of the American population (Aged over 18) suffer from Persistent Depressive Disorder, a depression that has lasted for more than two years. This is a huge amount of people and the awareness of how meditation can help those suffering with DPP is growing.
A review study in The ‘Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) Internal Medicine’ has found that mindfulness meditation is just as effective as anti-depressants in easing the symptoms of depression.
Here are some quick Benefits of Meditation:
– It relaxes a person’s body, mind, and soul and allows them to focus on living in the moment.
– It can completely rejuvenate a person. It aids them in becoming full of energy and ready to face the heavy challenges and stresses we are faced with every day.
– It has been proven to aid in the healing of various illnesses that are closely associated with the mind and the body.
– It helps a person become more in control of their emotions and how they react to challenges
– Research has shown that mediation in children is aiding them in having a more positive outlook on life. Meditation helps remove negative thoughts and focus the mind.
– Meditation enhances the over all functionality of the mind. It aids a person in decision-making, rationalising, judgment and much more.
– Meditation allows a person to discover exactly who they are. It shows them their passions, what is dear to them and lets people release the creativity in them.
– It can help people in freeing themselves of various addictions such as alcohol, cigarettes and medication dependence on tranquillisers and narcotics. Addiction is a battle fought in the mind as well as the body and meditation can help us focus on breaking the dependence.
– Meditation allows people to gain a higher level of self-confidence. It allows you to identify your inner self and who you truly are. It allows us to become comfortable in our own skin, recognise the beauty in ourselves, and those around us, and to be happy living in the moment.
“Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit.” – Jeremy Taylor
The research is ongoing. So far, neuroscientists have been studying the benefits of two types of meditation; mindfulness meditation, in which a person focuses on enduring attention and guiding thoughts; and loving-kindness meditation, in which a person focuses on compassionate thoughts towards themselves and others.
Both types of meditation have been proven to change brain structure and have dramatic physical and psychological benefits.
The list detailing the benefits of mediation is endless. Ask each person why he or she meditates and they will give you a reason unique to themselves.
If this article has you excited about starting meditation, check out our article ‘How To Meditate Effectively.’