I practice meditation.
I started the practice six years ago when I first began my Morning Ritual. Sometimes I really dread the actual ‘meditating’ part – yes, I just admitted that. So why do I still devote 15 minutes a day to meditating?
The changes I have seen in myself are nothing less than miraculous.
Here are the top seven benefits of meditation. I experience them all and so can you!
Meditation reduces stress: stress creates agitation and meditation by definition is “mind without agitation”. The practice allows you to take charge of your own nervous system and emotions
Meditation improves concentration: when you practice meditation you feel more centered and focused in everything you do. Also, you are not as easily distracted as before starting to meditate
Meditation encourages a healthy lifestyle: often after starting to meditate, you naturally begin to make changes in other parts of your life, wanting things that are better for you. Often people find themselves wanting to eat better, cutting out alcohol and exercising more. I personally have experienced all of these and more
Meditation increases self-awareness: meditation allows you to ‘detach’ from your immediate experience and recognize areas of your life that may need attention. You also experience a clear, calm mind more frequently, allowing you to consciously choose how - and if - you want to react to external circumstances
Meditation increases happiness: it has been said that “Meditation puts you on the fast track to being happy,” and studies have shown that brain signaling increases in the left side of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for positive emotions, while activity decreases in the right side, responsible for negative emotions. The other benefits of meditation, including increased self-awareness and acceptance, also contribute to improved overall well-being
Meditation slows aging: studies show that meditation changes brain physiology to slow aging. “Cognition seems to be preserved in meditators,” says Sara Lazar, a researcher at Harvard. Lazar adds that meditators also have more gray matter – literally, more brain cells. and a subsequent study showed that meditators also have longer telomeres, the caps on chromosomes indicative of biological age (rather than chronological)
Meditation benefits cardiovascular and immune health: meditation induces relaxation, which increases the compound nitric oxide that causes blood vessels to open up and subsequently, blood pressure to drop. One study, published in 2008 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, showed that 40 of 60 high blood pressure patients who started meditating could stop taking their blood pressure medication. Meditation also improves immunity
I used the book Real Happiness as a meditation guide and it was an excellent way to get started and maintain a solid, regular practice. I highly recommend it.
Try it – your life will be positively transformed.