What are the real life benefits – and where are my sources?
While my personal relationship with meditation will look different than another’s experience with meditation … there are tangible benefits to practising meditation for anyone – including you!
Here’s Why I Meditate
- to hold space for my own emotion and thought
- to perform a “temperature check” on the body that carries me through each day
- to tune in to my inner voice – and perhaps re-assess my self-talk (can I be kinder?)
- seeking a calmness after focused relaxation and or breathing deeply
- to practise being present in the moment
- to fill my own cup, recharge, relish the stillness
- to rewire the thought patterns that no longer serve me – what stories can I let go of in order to evolve?
Meditation isn’t the goal to simply “empty the mind”. The mind will forever twirl and wander and react and remember and puzzle solve… that’s normal. That’s what it does. With practise, you can pull more of the mind into calmness. Or have more of the mind follow a guided meditation, or mantra.
Don’t judge your meditation skills, which may only increase your stress. Meditation takes practice.Mayo Clinic: Meditation: A simple, fast way to reduce stress
You don’t have to take just my word on the benefits of a meditation practise, let’s see what other reliable resources have to say on the matter.
Total Wellness Health Says:
- Boosts immunity – the article references a study done that indicates meditation can boost the immune system. “Then, in the ‘80s it was discovered that the immune system is highly intelligent; it became known as “a floating brain” because of the ability of immune cells to participate in the chemical messages sent by the brain throughout the body. This means that your thoughts, moods, sensations, and expectations are transmitted to your immune cells. When you meditate, these messages change in important ways.” – Chopra.com
- Decreases pain – scientists have linked mindfulness meditation and pain relief – and even if they can’t pinpoint why eactly – health experts reccomend regular meditation in addition to medical treatments for chronic pain
- Boosts creativity – mindfulness meditation is said to “encourage creative thinking and problem solving”.
- Lowers blood pressure – “most experts agree that meditation can be a good way to help lower blood pressure in addition to medical treatment, a healthy diet, and exercise.”
- boosts emotional intelligence – “Mindfulness meditation helps teach us how to be aware of our feelings and emotions and how to process them better.”
- boosts productivity – “Meditation helps clear our minds and focus on the present moment – which gives you a huge productivity boost.”
- Stress reduction – “Meditation, which focuses on calming the mind and regulating emotion, can help to reduce chronic stress in the body and lower the risk of its side effects”.
- Anxiety Management – “People with anxiety who regularly practiced meditation over the course of three years saw positive, long-term impacts on their mental health, according to a study in General Hospital Psychiatry.”
- Lowers blood pressure – “Meditation has been noted to potentially provide promising results in decreasing high blood pressure, especially when paired with healthy lifestyle habits like a balanced diet and exercise.”
- Strengthens immune system health – “Consistent meditation has been shown to reduce the body’s stress response, resulting in less inflammation and decreased risk of conditions such as chronic pain, fatigue and heart disease”.
- improves memory – “When you practice meditation, your brain is able to produce more gray matter, researchers found in one study. Gray matter is crucial for healthy brain cognition, as it protects the hippocampus, the part of our brain connected to memory.”
- improves sleep – “Research suggests meditation can improve a person’s ability to sleep and quality of sleep.”
- reduce stress – “Furthermore, research has shown that meditation may also improve symptoms of stress-related conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and fibromyalgia”
- reduce anxiety – “one study found that 8 weeks of mindfulness meditation helped reduce anxiety symptoms in people with generalized anxiety disorder, along with increasing positive self-statements and improving stress reactivity and coping”.
- lengthens attention span – “Focused-attention meditation is like weight lifting for your attention span. It helps increase the strength and endurance of your attention.”
- may reduce age related memory loss – “Furthermore, a review found preliminary evidence that multiple meditation styles can increase attention, memory, and mental quickness in older volunteers”.
- improves sleep – “A variety of meditation techniques can help you relax and control runaway thoughts that can interfere with sleep. This can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and increase sleep quality”.
- can decrease blood pressure – “Blood pressure decreases not only during meditation but also over time in individuals who meditate regularly. This can reduce strain on the heart and arteries, helping prevent heart disease.”
Leave me a comment below on what is stopping you from trying meditation. Time? Unsure where to start? Something else? I’d love to hear from you!