Most of us probably associate meditation with monks who seclude themselves from society, or to people who live a particular lifestyle that isn’t really for everyone. It may be viewed as something that would be very tough to squeeze in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, and most people don’t bother themselves with trying to meditate.
However, contrary to popular belief, meditation can be done by practically everyone, and even at any time of the day and anywhere you are. Meditation sessions don’t have to be long as the way you do it depends on what is most convenient for you.
Why bother, though? Why take away precious minutes from the day sitting and doing virtually nothing when the time spent meditating might as well have been spent working or scrolling through social media?
Think of meditation as something like an exercise, but it’s not your body that does the work. In fact, it doesn’t even seem like people who meditate do any work, although sitting still for more than five minutes can get pretty tough. But much like how regular exercise pays off for your well-being, incorporating meditation into your everyday routine can also bring benefits that you didn’t think you’d derive from sitting still.
Here are seven health benefits that regular meditation can bring into your life:
1. Improves Focus and Memory
Meditating isn’t as simple as it seems to be. It takes tremendous willpower to keep your mind clear as it’s inevitable for our brains to continually churn out thoughts even when we’re not conscious about it. Through meditation, you can train yourself to focus more on the task at hand, which is practically just sitting still and being mindful, while shutting the entire world away for a moment.
Regular meditation helps you develop the skill of letting go of random thoughts and you can apply this skill wherever you may be. You’d be surprised at how your productivity improves when you can let go of the nagging thought of checking your phone every five minutes. Plus, the clarity of mind that meditation brings can help you improve your memory by clearing out the unnecessary thoughts in your head.
2. Decreases Stress
As you meditate, you practically let go of everything that is happening around you and you do nothing but exist. This can help you put everything into perspective and rationalize what’s going on with your life. A few minutes away from the world might be all that you need to realize that not everything is as bad as it seems to be.
3. May Help in Fighting Against Addictions
If regular exercise helps you improve physical strength, meditation on the other hand improves your mental strength. The most apparent manifestation of mental strength is in how disciplined someone is. By developing this discipline, you can have better control over your impulses. Meditation also allows you to reflect and see what actually causes the addictions that you may have.
4. Helps Improve Sleep
People who have difficulty sleeping are often battling racing thoughts that cause them to twist and turn on the bed. The mental discipline that meditation develops can help in the management of such thoughts and can thus help you have worry-free nights and peaceful sleep.
5. Slows Down the Aging Process
Stress is generally known to be one of the most common, and most powerful, causes of premature aging. It has already been shown that meditation helps in alleviating stress by helping you put things into perspective. This pays off through the prevention of premature aging caused by stress.
6. Keeps the Risk of Heart Diseases and Stroke Low
Excessive stress may also cause high blood pressure, heart diseases, and stroke. By dealing with this stress through meditation, you give yourself a better chance at reducing these risks as well.
7. Alleviates Mental Health Conditions
One study has shown the beneficial effects of meditation in improving anxiety management. Apart from helping deal with anxiety, meditation allows you to confront your thoughts head-on and dig deep within yourself to help you see what causes your struggles and how you can solve them.