Meditation can be a scary thing for some people who are new at it. How do I meditate? Where do I meditate? What if I can’t stop the chatter in my mind to be able to meditate? Relax! That’s the whole point of meditation! Although it does come naturally to some people, meditation is a practice that needs just that…practice. You only get better at things by doing them over and over again and there is nothing different here. Meditation can be taken on slowly, and sessions can be as short as just a minute or two. Taking a guided meditation class can help tremendously since you have someone directing your focus and helping you through the process. But why would you want to meditate? I know, I know…if I had a penny for every time I heard this question… The truth is, there are so many health benefits from a consistent practice with meditation…for you and for the people around you…haha! Below are just 5 of the reasons I know that meditation can add years to your life and keep you out of trouble.
1. Reduces Stress
Stress is a dominant factor that creates chronic pain, anxiety, depression, fatigue, high blood pressure, digestion issues, PTSD, autoimmune disorders and so many other very harmful symptoms. Basically, stress can kill you. Most of the people that I have guided through meditation, came to me for just this…to reduce stress. Meditation is known to reduce the inflammation response caused by stress. Learning to control your breathing and slow your heartbeat creates calmness in your body. And learning the practice of clearing your mind and creating imagery can put you in a better mood. The music is pretty damn relaxing, too!
2. Enhances Self-Awareness
When we learn to quiet the mind, it allows us to really get in there and pay attention to ourselves. I can’t even begin to explain how much I have learned about myself during my self-meditation sessions. When we venture into meditation there is most likely something already there that we know we need to work on inside of ourselves. But when we can finally quiet the chatter and listen to ourselves, there is so much healing and peace that can occur.
3. Enhances Sleep
When I first started meditating, I was doing it every night before bed. I was amazed at how much better I slept after each session. Typically I would lay in bed at night and stress out…thinking about all the things I need to do the next day, things I forgot to do today, and things that are pretty much out of my control at that time of night! When we meditate and clear our minds, it releases a natural melatonin which promotes healthy sleep. When we have nothing in our minds to worry about and have plenty of natural melatonin…throw in some soft meditation music….and that is the recipe for an amazing night’s sleep!
4. Pain management
One of the most important things we learn when we’re going to give birth, is to use our breathing to control the pain. It doesn’t take away all of the pain, but it sure does help and make it more tolerable! It gets us through each of the contractions. And this works for so many other things. When we control our own breathing, we move our focus and our minds to our breathing. This generally takes the focus off our physical bodies. This is a great practice to do regularly, and it can even be done in public places like the grocery store or work! I used to suffer from really debilitating migraines. Since I have been meditating, my migraines have gone from 3-4 times a year to maybe once every 12-15 months. Meditation was a god-send to me when I would get them. It truly gave me a feeling of peace and serenity and lessened my pain to be tolerable!
5. Anger management
If you have read through the other 4 reasons…this one should be a no brainer! If we have reduced stress, reduced pain, self-awareness and are sleeping better…we tend to be nicer, more patient people. Meditation creates balance in our minds and bodies. Balanced minds don’t tend to get angry as quick. And when we do get upset about something, we tend to quiet our minds and meditate before reaction…hence, keeping us from doing crazy things that could land us in jail like some episode of SNAPPED! As I said before, there are so many more reasons to meditate. But I think these 5 should be enough to convince anyone. Honestly, try it…what do you have to lose other than stress and pain??