7 Ways Meditation Can Benefit Your Life
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Meditation is an excellent way to focus our minds, gain perspective on ourselves and the world around us, and to reduce any negative feelings we may have in our lives. It's becoming increasingly popular; little wonder, considering the busyness and stress of the world around us.
We probably don't need to convince you that meditation is good for you. As a visitor to this website, we are assuming that you already have an interest in the practice, be that through the yoga classes you attend, or during the moments you find alone at home. You, like many people before you, may have already experienced the benefits.
And there are many ways to meditate, including the techniques listed here. Each one has its advantages, some of which we will be talking about in this article. Chances are, you use at least one of these techniques already.
But this article is for anybody; the people who meditate daily, and for the people who are still unconvinced by the practice. There are benefits you may not be aware of, and we will detail them below. Read on then, and consider applying some of what we say to your life.
The Benefits Of Meditation
#1: Meditation can reduce stress
Let's start with the obvious benefit; the reason why many people take up meditation in the first place. We live in a world governed by stressors, from the workloads imposed upon us in our jobs, to the demands of our children at home. When we become stressed, our stress hormones rise, and consequently, we become anxious and tired, with that overreaching feeling that we just can't cope. Thank goodness, then, for mindfulness meditation. By learning the technique, research has shown that the stress hormone cortisol is reduced, and the neural pathways that cause us to panic and feel anxious are weakened.
For the times when you feel stressed then, try these mindful meditation techniques. Not only will you experience a greater sense of calm, but you might also gain a healthier perspective on the stressors that invade your life.
#2: Meditation can control negative emotions
Do you remember the words of Yoda in the Star Wars movies?
"Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering!"
While we wouldn't hold Yoda up as a spiritual guru - we don't advocate beating your enemies up with a lightsaber for a start - but there is truth in that famous movie quote. We can all suffer from negative emotions, and a lot of them do begin with fear, be that fear of ourselves and the situations we find ourselves in, or the fear of others. Those negative emotions anger and hate can then take hold, whether we direct them inwardly or outwardly. They twist us up, cause us sleepless nights, and damage our emotional health. Thankfully, meditation can help us. By taking the time to center ourselves, we can calm our frazzled nerves, take hold of our negative emotions, and push aside harmful thoughts.
To help you master the negative emotions that threaten to overwhelm you, try this guided meditation. By doing so, you should then have the capacity to think more clearly and show more compassion to yourself and to others.
#3: Meditation can help fight addiction
When people mention addiction, we generally think about smoking, drinking, and the use of hard drugs. But we can become addicted to anything. Some people struggle with food, for example. There are those who struggle with pornography. And there are those chronic pain sufferers who become addicted to prescription opioids. Therefore, never assume you are immune from addiction because it can take many forms. While we would advocate professional help for addiction problems, know too that meditation can help you during the withdrawal process. As this article suggests, the mental discipline that can be achieved through meditation can compliment the recommended programmes for those withdrawing from drug addiction, be that treatment for hard drugs or an opiate detox. Meditation can offer pain relief, a distraction from the anxiety caused by withdrawal, and can help the person to focus on and squash those triggers that could cause a relapse.
Should you have an addiction of any kind, we do recommend that you visit a doctor or a counselor for professional advice and support. Then use meditation to help you during the healing process, perhaps by using this meditation video designed for those struggling with an addiction.
#4: Meditation can enhance your self-awareness
Have you ever grappled with those big questions in life? Who am I? What is my purpose? What causes me to react as I do? Where am I going? It's difficult finding the answers to these questions as our lives are usually chaotic. We don't get the time to fully discover who we are. Other people impinge their views on our self-beliefs. And so we never get to understand ourselves properly, and that can bring about insecurity, and self-defeating habits and thoughts.
Again, this is where mindfulness meditation can prove useful. By taking the time to sit down with our thoughts, we can shut out the world and concentrate on ourselves. Focus on the practice of self-inquiry within your meditations and ask yourself those bigger questions. Self-realization may not be too far away.
#5: Meditation can help you become a kinder person
Studies have suggested that those who practice meditation regularly become kinder, more compassionate people. This is partly because of the self-awareness we develop in ourselves, as the theory is, if we can start to love ourselves more, we will naturally be able to extend that love to others. And because mindfulness meditation can help us to reflect not only on ourselves but also on what is going on around us, we can then gather our negative thoughts about others, redirect them away from our mental state, and build the capacity to be more forgiving to those who threaten to grind us down. It's even possible to show more kindness to our very worst enemies, and while they may not extend that kindness back to us, our deeper self-awareness should minimize the damage they can cause to our feelings.
Do you need help being kinder to others? Admit it; there will be some people in your life where kindness isn't always your first response when thinking about or talking to them. Practice this kindness-loving meditation, and bowl your enemies over with your grace and compassion when you see them.
#6: Meditation can give you a more restful sleep
Have you ever struggled to sleep at night? Quite often, we struggle to get the right amount of shut-eye because of the legion of thoughts circling around our minds. We worry about tomorrow. We stress about the events of the day. The situations and the words of others infiltrate our attempts at getting rest. And in the quiet, when our thoughts overwhelm us, we toss and turn, fret and stress, and become more and more anxious when we realize we have been lying in bed for hours with little or no sleep. There are ways to deal with this. Exercise before bed can tire us out. Writing in a journal can help us vent our thoughts. And, of course, meditation can help us to center our minds, let go of the thoughts that are troubling us, and relax our mind and body to help prepare us for sleep.
We are sure you can relate to this. Many of us suffer from sleepless nights, whether on a regular or irregular basis. To help you, these beginner meditations will relax you and help you get the sleep you need. You should then wake and feel refreshed, ready for the day ahead.
#7: Meditation can improve your overall health
In some ways, this is a no-brainer. As meditation helps you to overcome stress and negative thoughts, you are automatically reducing the physical and mental effects that those issues can have on you. As is stated here, meditation can improve your overall mood, reduce your blood pressure, and relieve the symptoms of anxiety. As also stated in the linked article, and perhaps more surprisingly, meditation can possibly benefit your health in other ways. Did you know it could help to reduce menopausal symptoms? Science suggests it can. Meditation might also help people with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and fatigue. Not all of the research in the article is confirmed, but generally speaking, your health will improve through meditation, so if you need an incentive to get into this positive habit, let your health be the impetus.
With the above in mind, check out this meditation for health and healing. You should still see your doctor if you have any real concerns, but for your overall wellbeing, meditation will certainly help you.
Meditation is something we can all do, whether at home alone or through the guidance of a course or yoga class. We hope our article has been helpful to you, and that it has given you the incentive to try meditation if you haven't already, but if you know of any other benefits meditation can bring, be sure to let us know.
Take care, and thanks for reading!