There are an infinite number of reasons why you should meditate, each with an underlying theme of inner peace; particularly peace of the soul.
Attaining peace for many is becoming more and more elusive. In the search for more money and possessions, many people live a life of materialism. They are always looking into the future and seldom concentrate on the present. They rarely, if ever, look within them to monitor the state of their inner self.
Once someone decides to examine within, they come to find the various pieces of themselves in disarray. This is when meditation is often explored. Others meditate to contemplate life and their surrounding environments.
They examine the realities of their lives and discover the meaning of the world to which they belong.
Meditation is associated with enlightenment. Buddhists, for example, recognize the high instances of suffering in the world and the ultimate purpose of their meditation is to free humanity from pain and suffering.
“If you want to conquer the anxiety of life, live in the moment, live in the breath.” ― Amit Ray
To do this effectively, one must know what causes pain and suffering. Normally, this is down to desires and expectations from the world, from people in one’s life, and from life itself. Expectation can breed despair, and this is what man must conquer. He must stop expecting from the world.
To meditate is to be enlightened, to see things in the light of reality. Life is an ever-changing reality. To live life fully and enjoy the freedom of living, one must control their cravings and desires. Only when this is achieved will a person be able to know that life is not as complicated as commonly believed.
However, you don’t have to be a Buddhist to know how to meditate and your reason to start can be anything. Just know that meditation is a great tool to help you find inner peace, and to preserve it, no matter how frustrating the outside world can be.
Given the right motivation and the right purpose, this activity is one that will keep you focused on the truth, living in the now, and living a healthy and satisfied life.
If you’re interested in learning more, we’ve looked at 2 big reasons why you should meditate. Here you’ll learn about the many benefits of meditation, how it’s done, and useful resources that will help you on your meditation journey.
Why You Should Meditate
Meditation Boosts the Brain
Meditation has a countless number of mental, physical, and spiritual benefits. For one thing, it is known to boost brainpower!
Scientists have revealed that meditation can cause beneficial changes in the brain. The research reports that those who meditated for 30 minutes a day for eight weeks, had measurable changes in gray-matter density in parts of the brain.
These parts of the brain were associated with memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress. Brain Waves were monitored, and the results are impressive…
M.R.I. brain scans taken before and after meditation found increased gray matter in the hippocampus, an area that’s used primarily for learning and memory. The images also highlighted a reduction of gray matter in the amygdala, a region linked to anxiety and stress.
A control group that did not practice meditation showed no such changes.
In a separate study by The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), research suggests that meditation yields more marked changes in the electrical brain wave activity associated with wakeful and relaxed attention, than just resting without any specific mental technique.
The brain always has some level of electrical activity, whether we are mentally active, resting, or asleep. During this study, researchers monitored the frequency and location of electrical brain waves through the use of EEG (electroencephalography). EEG electrodes were placed on participants using a custom-made hat.
The Participants of the study were experienced practitioners of Acem Meditation, a nondirective method that was developed in Norway. They were asked to rest with their eyes closed for 20 minutes, before meditating for a further 20.
The abundance and location of slow to fast electrical brain waves (delta, theta, alpha, beta) provide a good indication of brain activity during meditation.
During the study, the theta brain waves were most abundant in the frontal and middle parts of the brain.
1) Alpha brain waves:
Were much higher in the posterior parts of the brain during the meditation part of the exercise than during the 20 minutes of relaxation. Alpha Waves are characteristic of wakeful rest.
2) Delta brain waves:
Are characteristic of sleep. There was little delta activity during the relaxing and meditative tasks. This concludes that nondirective meditation is different from sleep.
3) Beta brain waves
Are characteristic of the brain working on goal-oriented tasks, such as planning a work project, or reflecting actively on a particular issue. The EEG showed much fewer beta waves during meditation and resting.
There are several studies that indicate better relaxation and stress management can be achieved by meditation techniques when you refrain from controlling the content of the mind.
These methods are often described as non-directive as they do not relate to a specific experience or state of mind. They allow a person much greater control over the mind without getting too involved. Instead of concentrating on getting away from stressful thoughts and emotions, you simply let them pass in an effortless way.
This is mindfulness meditation and the benefits are many.
Meditation for Pain Relief
Another reason why many people take up regular meditation is to relieve long-term pain. Studies have show that Meditation for Pain Relief significantly decreased secondary pain felt by patients.
Ask anyone living with a chronic pain and/or illness and the majority will describe the experience as intolerable. Dependent upon pain medication, what are you supposed to do when you’ve taken the maximum dose of painkillers and the pain is still present?
Of course it’s natural to fight back against these feelings of suffering. Our bodies are not designed to exist in a constant sense of pain. However, what if the constant cycle of struggle, medication, and waves of pain can be aided with another form of treatment?
Recent studies have focused on analyzing the human brain when undergoing chronic illnesses. The mind does not only feel pain, it processes the information that being in pain contains.
It constantly analyzes the different sensations in order to find an underlying cause, remove it and avoid further pain and damage to the body. However, this focus by the mind on the sensation of pain itself also succeeds to amplify the pain for the sufferer.
The study shows that it is as important to treat the mind, as it is to treat the area of the body that is in pain. As part of the research, clinical trials were conducted to see the effect that mindfulness meditation for pain relief had in relieving pain symptoms.
The results were extraordinary and showed that meditation for pain relief reduced chronic pain by 57 percent amongst participants. This number rose to a staggering 90% amongst more experienced meditators.
Meditation soothes the brain patterns that are associated with pain.
By meditating a person is altering the structure of the brain itself so that a patient no longer feels the pain with the same intensity. Some patients also remarked that they hardly felt the pain at all.
While meditating, the patients concentrated on steadying their breathing and focused on different areas of their bodies, observing the pain in an objective manner.
Simply, this allowed them to observe the pain as it arose and strengthened and let go of struggling with them. The patients remarked that when they did this the pain significantly lessened.
Brain scans confirmed that meditation soothed the circuits that were amplifying secondary pain. In essence, mindfulness meditation allowed the brain to turn down the volume of pain a patient was experiencing.
With the pain lessened and also feelings of stress, anxiety and depression, the body entered into a more relaxed state and was allowed to heal itself unimpeded.
Patients also reported that the practice of meditation really helped with the symptoms of exhaustion, irritability and overall anxiety associated with waiting for the pain to appear.
As said, the benefits of meditation are many, but these 2 reasons why you should meditate could have a massive impact in your life and others too. All you need to do is to get started and try to set aside a few minutes every day for the practice.