“Meditation brings wisdom; lack of meditation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.” ~Buddha
March Mindfulness. Meditation has been used for hundreds of years by individuals seeking inner peace, enlightenment and a break from the everyday stressors of life. The practice is thought to benefit the mind, body and spirit in a multitude of ways. Here are ten significant positive effects of meditation to encourage you to ‘Commit To Sit’ and ‘Take a Deep Breath and Reflect’.
- When we meditate, we become more aware of, and more capable of controlling, our thoughts. A key part of meditation revolves around noticing our thoughts without judging them or getting caught up in their stories or meanings. This helps us to develop a different perspective on our internal dialogue, develop a greater understanding of ourselves, and practice noticing our thoughts and feelings without attaching meaning or judgement to them.
- Practicing the mind-body exercise on a regular basis may help strengthen an individual’s immune system by stimulating blood flow, inducing relaxation and helping the body eliminate free radicals, which are known to cause cellular damage.
- Meditation has been shown in multiple studies to reduce a person’s response to pain. This may be especially beneficial for individuals with chronic conditions in which regular discomfort is experienced.
- Individuals who meditate on a regular basis find that they have improved self-esteem and a more positive outlook on life. This may be due to a number of physiological factors, such as increased serotonin levels, as well as a clearer sense of one’s self stemming from introspection.
- People with fears or phobias may be helped by meditation, since the mind-body practice is thought to help individuals resolve inner conflicts.
- Meditation can increase creativity, strengthen one’s ability to focus and improves memory. Grow your largest organ -the brain!
- People who meditate may also find themselves becoming more compassionate individuals, as introspection has strong potential to promote empathy.
- Meditation can help individuals deepen their spiritual connection with the transpersonal, or simply become more aware that they have a spiritual side. Today, many people unfortunately overlook this aspect of themselves.
- Meditation is essentially a practice in concentration. Once we learn to concentrate on our breath, notice when we get caught up in thoughts, and return our concentration to our breath, we can translate that skill into any number of settings we choose. A focus on the present is what meditation is all about. Living in the moment by pushing aside the worries of the past or future is known to help people achieve a more fulfilled existence.
Ten minutes a day is all it takes to achieve mindfulness. Watch this TED Talk by meditation expert Andy Puddicombe on how to meditate to achieve mindfulness. Andy wants everyone to learn the power of meditation, so he created a Headspace app with free guided meditations to help start a practice. Making meditation accessible to everybody, for a happier, healthier you.