Meditation is like exercise for the mind. Each time you practice, you strengthen and rewire the mind to produce long-lasting effects.
While meditation may feel impossible for many of us at first, the practice offers dozens of benefits for your body and mind. Here are a few of them to encourage you to give this practice a try:
Meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress after only a few weeks of practice. Ultimately, it reprograms the brain so that those who regularly meditate end up with a larger capacity to manage stress levels.
When we're under stress, the body releases a variety of stress hormones-one of them being cortisol. This hormone can ultimately interrupt sleep, trigger symptoms of depression and anxiety, raise blood pressure, and contribute to your ability to think clearly. According to research, meditation has been highly influential in decreasing these effects.
Each time you practice meditation, you train your awareness. in developing a stronger sense of self; you're not so easily caught up in or thrown off by thoughts and emotions. The idea is that as you become more aware of them, you can change how you respond to and, ultimately, decrease any anxiety they create.
Lengthens attention span.
Numerous studies have revealed how routinely practiced meditation enables people to perform better on visual tasks. What's more, some experts say that meditation can even reverse brain patterns that lead to mind-wandering, worrying, and ruminating thoughts.
Meditation can have a positive influence on your relationships in a variety of ways. Not only does it allow you to regulate your mood, but your ability to empathise with others improves. You become less reactive while giving others space and understanding to be themselves.
Plus, meditation brings a sense of contentment and confidence within yourself, which inevitably affects those around you.
As a relaxation strategy, meditation helps the mind and body wind down at the end of your day. Anyone with sleep issues like insomnia or sleep apnea could benefit from doing a mindful practice before bedtime. Research has shown that those with moderate sleep issues experienced fewer insomnia and daytime fatigue symptoms after 5-6 weeks of meditation.
Changes your relationship with physical pain.
Living with pain-regardless of whether it’s acute or chronic, can be a challenge. Although meditation can’t necessarily eliminate it, it can change your relationship with pain. The goal is to adopt a curious perspective about pain and investigate it, rather than pushing it away, avoiding it, and waiting for it to end. The resistance is usually what exacerbates our discomfort.
The bottom line
Like any skill, meditation takes time and practice to develop. However, your efforts now mean you're reducing stress, building resilience, and improving your health for the future.