If you’ve ever opened up to someone about a mental illness or any other problem, they might have told you to try meditating.
Yes, it sounds dismissive, but they come from a good place. Recent studies have confirmed the age-old benefits of meditation, particularly to those suffering from certain mental health conditions.
So, if you haven’t tried meditating, you might want to consider starting now.
When we talk about meditation, the first thing that comes to mind is a person zoning out or daydreaming. But it’s far from that.
Some types of meditation even require you to practice poses. Believe it or not, tai chi and yoga fall under meditation.
But what exactly are the benefits of meditation?
Helps You Be in the Present
Ever heard of the expression “stop and smell the roses”? It sounds cliché. But taking the time to appreciate the now can be beneficial mentally and physically. And you can do just that with meditation.
Meditation nurtures mindfulness. It helps you focus on the present, which not only makes you recognize the good things in every waking moment–but also improves alertness and attention span.
Liberates You From Destructive Thoughts
Yoga gurus tell us to find our “inner peace,” and that’s what meditation is all about.
Because it helps you be in the present, it prevents you from worrying about the future or thinking about what-ifs and regrets of the past. Plus, it provides you with better control over your thoughts.
If you’re an owner of a wandering mind, you can tame it with meditation.
Breathing exercises are key components of meditation techniques. As a result, they help release any tension from your body, helping you relax and relieve stress.
Stress relief is perhaps the most common reason why people get into meditation in the first place. Amidst the daily problems and emotional strains, it always helps to have a peaceful mind you can escape to.
Have you been told to take a breath before you decide? Or avoid making decisions when you’re extremely angry?
With meditation, you can find calmness in difficult situations. It provides you with a new perspective, and it helps create the ideal headspace for decision-making.
Provides Better Control Over Emotions
Speaking of emotions, another benefit of meditation is better emotional health. Practicing it regularly has been proven to help cope with symptoms of depression and anxiety.
Meditation not only reduces negative emotions–it also promotes a positive self-image. During a meditation session, you get to focus on yourself and understand yourself better, helping you develop better and stronger self-awareness.
Helps Deal With Physical Pain
Meditation allows you to have a full body scan. And as was mentioned, you gain a deeper understanding of yourself while meditating.
As you connect with your body, you get to learn from it, along with its aches and pains. The result? You get to manage pain better.
Because pain is caused by the release of stress hormones, escaping into a quiet mind can help prevent that release. Meditation also triggers the release of endorphins, also known as “feel-good” hormones or the body’s natural pain relievers.
Gives You a Good Night’s Sleep
Ever gone to bed, then runaway thoughts come flying out of nowhere, interfering with sleep? If you have insomnia, you probably agree that it isn’t something you can wish on your worst enemy.
But with a relaxation technique like meditation, you can find it easier to relax your body and quiet down a mind buzzing with distracting thoughts. Try it out and experience how it increases your melatonin levels (which play a huge role in your circadian rhythm).
Deeper Compassion for Others
We all need a little kindness in the world. But if you’re having a hard time being compassionate to others and yourself, then you might learn how to do it easily by meditating.
Through meditation, you gain a deeper understanding of yourself and other people’s emotions. You also get to have that ever-elusive positive outlook on life and focus on love, happiness, and all things good.
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