Reasons to Start Meditating
Time To Slow Down
In this modern age, it seems as though life is going a little too fast, and many struggle to simply enjoy the present moment. Meditation can help you do this, as it forces you to slow down, find some peace and quiet, and just focus on the ‘now’! Mindfulness meditation is particularly good for this, as it encourages people to quietly take in their surroundings in the present moment.
Increased Job Satisfaction
Some quiet reflection each day can help you to realize that hey, maybe your job isn’t as bad as you thought! You might think, how can meditation help you to like your job more? But the answer is really quite simple! Meditating increases our ability to handle everyday stress, and it also helps us to focus on the little things in life that we often overlook.
Assists In Quitting Smoking
Yep – meditation can even help you to quit smoking! Often people who are addicted to smoking feel the need to pop a cigarette in their mouth as soon as they begin to feel stressed. Meditation not only allows you to handle this stress naturally, but it also helps you to focus and carry out your goals more easily. Meditation can certainly get you into the right frame of mind to be able to quit smoking for good!
Discover Your Purpose
Meditation allows for quiet contemplation and the ability to deepen your awareness of yourself and your most subtle thoughts. So through meditation, you are more than likely to ‘tap into’ that special something that you feel is your true purpose in life. Amazing!
It’s a question that we often ponder from time to time – what is my purpose in life, and how do I find it? Well the answer is simple.
Forgive And Let Go
There are multiple guided meditations for forgiveness available, and learning how to forgive and let go has become a desired quality for many people. It is often believed that peace cannot be achieved without forgiveness, both of ourselves and others, and therefore meditation’s benefits can extend to the entire world. That is, if we choose to let it, of course!
Better Than Morphine!
We found this research particularly surprising! Did you know that meditation is more effective at reducing pain than morphine is? Wake Forest Baptist University found that meditation could reduce pain intensity by 40 percent and pain unpleasantness by 57 percent. Morphine and other pain-relieving drugs typically show a pain reduction of only 25 percent.
You Can ‘Zen’ Out
“Zen” is often a word used in association with meditation, but it is also a major benefit of the practice. Regular meditation will allow you to become more focused, or “zen”, and as a result your brain will have better control over processing pain and emotions.
This isn’t just speculation, this is according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. Meditation is proven to be good for your emotional wellbeing; after all, who actually likes pain?
Start With Stress
The most well-known benefit of meditation is that it decreases stress levels, and recent research published in the journal of Health Psychology shows that meditating also decreases the stress hormone cortisol. So even science can prove what some people believed to be “mumbo jumbo”!
When you think about it, it makes sense that meditation relieves stress, as it’s basically an exercise in relaxation. Remember, stress can lead to a lot of serious health problems like strokes, coronary disease, and high blood pressure, with that in mind meditation is great for your overall health.
Meditate For Study Success
Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara found that college students who were trained in basic meditation performed better on the verbal reasoning section of the GRE, and also experienced improvements in their working memory.If you’re currently studying at high school or college, then you’ll definitely be interested in this fact!
Protects Against Mental Illnesses
Did you know that meditation can also protect our brains from mental illness? It’s true! A meditation technique known as integrative body-mind training has been linked with increased signaling connections in the brain, something called axonal density, as well as increased protective tissue (myelin) around the axons in the anterior cingulate brain region. Pretty impressive!
Makes Music Better?
Here’s a weird, but true, fact! Meditation can also make music sound better. This is because meditation improves our focus, and as a result, we are able to appreciate and experience music more. If the Psychology of Music journal published it, it must be true!
It makes total sense though; when you meditate you are filtering out all the noise that is normally running through your head. Filter out all that noise and the music will be hitting a blank canvas.
Helps Cancer Sufferers
Meditation can also provide benefits to those undergoing cancer treatment. Research from the Jefferson-Myrna Brind Center of Integrative Medicine shows that basic meditation, when teamed with art therapy, can decrease the stress symptoms of some cancer sufferers. We think this news is very promising! A natural treatment like meditation is loads better than having to take a drug which can cause side effects.
Another fantastic benefit of meditation is the fact that you can still reap the rewards – even when you’re not actively meditating! Meditation allows for more permanent benefits in the way your brain processes emotions. This is according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. So practice, practice, practice!
Even if you don’t feel results during or right after meditation, you may find yourself feeling the benefits of the meditation exercise throughout the day.
Helps Others Too
Meditation doesn’t just benefit you, it can also benefit those you come into contact with on a daily basis. For example, meditation makes us more compassionate and virtuous, and therefore, we are likely to treat others better! This is what a study in the journal Psychological Science found.
Why not take 15 minutes out of your day to not only help yourself, but improve the way you treat those around you? It makes sense that an exercise that helps you see yourself objectively will help you observe how you treat others.
Lessens Teen Depression
It has been proven that teenagers can also benefit from practicing meditation, and this is because it lowers depression among teens. Meditation will allow teenagers to experience less stress, depression, and anxiety, according to a study from the University of Leuven. Teenage years can be a difficult period of mixed emotions, confusion, and fear, however meditation could provide the answers to all of these problems!
Meditate For Better Sleep
Do you struggle to fall asleep at night? Or perhaps you wake constantly throughout the early hours of the morning? Well the good news is that meditation can fix all of those annoying sleep problems! Higher mindfulness from meditation is associated with lower activation at bedtime, which could have benefits for sleep quality and future ability to manage stress.
A 2005 study on American men and women who meditated for 40 minutes a day showed that they had thicker cortical walls than non-meditators. But what are cortical walls? This means their brains were aging at a slower rate. Cortical thickness is also associated with decision making, attention and memory.
Lowers Blood Pressure
In 2008 60 patients who were suffering from high blood pressure were asked to try a meditation program for three months. An amazing 40 of the 60 patients showed significant drops in their blood pressure levels simply from meditating – no medication was used whatsoever! This is because relaxation creates nitric oxide, which opens up your blood vessels.
Secret To Living Longer?
Meditation can also help to stop the aging process! Research done by the University of California, Davis’ Shamatha Project has shown that meditators have significantly higher telomerase activity than non-meditators. Telomerase is the enzyme that helps build telomeres, and greater telomerase activity can possibly translate into stronger and longer telomeres, which can give us the ability to live longer!
Migraines Be Gone!
More and more people are suffering from migraines and headaches each year, but the good news is that meditation can stop all of that! One small study of people with migraines found that spiritual meditation reduced headache frequency and improved pain tolerance more than muscle relaxation. Researchers at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine are testing whether an ancient Indian meditation technique can reduce both migraine frequency and severity.
- ‘Mindfulness’ Meditation Alters Gene Expression, Study Suggests (huffingtonpost.com)
- Study Suggests That Meditation Changes The Body’s Gene Expression (disinfo.com)
- Mindfulness Meditation May Help Protect You From Exacerbating Illnesses (oxygenconcentratorstore.com)
- The Scoop on Meditation (exploringsedona.wordpress.com)