The practice of mediation has been around since ancient times. Although it was not originally used to promote general wellness, the practice has expanded globally and is now incorporated in the self-care of many people due to its amazing mental and physical benefits. Many describe meditation as life changing as its effects are often long term and substantial. There are countless benefits to meditation and unfortunately, I cannot list all of them but here I will describe the top 5 reasons to meditate:
1. So many physical benefits!
Meditation has been reported to provide several physical benefits. For example, it has been reported to reduce high blood pressure. As this technique is relaxing it has also been reported to help achieve better sleep. Sleep, specifically good quality sleep, is essential for our wellbeing. Furthermore, because many meditation practices train us to focus on the present and on our breath and physical sensations it can aid in helping you achieve a better understanding of your body.
2. Stress relief
This is one of the most common reasons people attempt meditation. The process of meditation itself is relaxing as it gives you time to detach from your busy life and focus on the present. Furthermore, some studies suggest that practicing meditation can decrease cortisol, the stress hormone in our blood stream. Cortisol is toxic to our bodies and as such long-term stress can cause a lot of harmful effects on our body. The best part is that the techniques learned in meditation can be used in real life scenarios to help one calm down. A commonly used psychotherapy, referred to as dialectal behavioural therapy, actually uses several mindfulness meditation techniques to help reduce stress.
3. Increased creativity
This point is completely science – a study conducted at the University of California Los Angeles suggests that practicing meditation regularly for 10 minutes or more daily thickens the connector of the brain’s hemispheres or the corpus callosum. According to the researchers this can enhance creativity.
4. Will help with concentration
Concentrating can be really hard sometimes especially when we feel overwhelmed or stress. As yoga gets you to concentrate on something, whether it your breath or a mantra, it strengthens your ability to focus for longer. Furthermore, it provides your mind with the peace it needs to concentrate.
5. It makes you more social
I don’t say this because meditation is done in a group setting, although it can be, but because it actually has been shown to increase your ability to form social connections and increases your emotional intelligence. Furthermore, it makes you more compassionate to others, and yourself, which is important when making meaningful friendships. Lastly, practicing meditation decreases feelings of loneliness. As humans are extremely social beings, feeling like we have a social connection to others is extremely important. Studies have demonstrated numerous times that feeling lonely is extremely detrimental to our health.
Meditation can be tried by anyone at anywhere at any time. It requires no equipment and does not require a lot of time and is therefore a great practice to implement into your routine to increase you overall wellbeing.