“Meditation is not a way of making your mind quiet. It’s a way of entering into the quiet that’s already there – buried under the 50,000 thoughts the average person thinks every day.” – Deepak Chopra
It is becoming more and more clear that meditation is a healthy and valuable habit to cultivate.
There is an immense amount of research supporting the positive impact meditation has on mental and physical health.
Just Google search “health benefits of meditation” and you’ll get over 87,000 scholarly articles that you can peruse to learn more.
Unfortunately many people still find meditation off-putting and don’t fully understand what it is. There are many myths about meditation that inhibit people from taking the steps to start practicing it.
Check out “this article” from my blog Shake off the Grind for a list of these myths.
Once you get over the myths about why you can’t or shouldn’t meditate however, you might be interested in how meditation can enhance your life.
So, here are a few reasons why you should start meditating.
Meditation reduces stress
The National Institute of Health has written, “It is thought that some types of meditation might work by reducing activity in the sympathetic nervous system and increasing activity in the parasympathetic nervous system.” Essentially meditation calms our body and reduces the stress response.
This has many benefits including: reduction of high blood pressure, reduction of high cholesterol levels, slowing down of the aging process, and improved immune functioning. Less stress equals better mental and physical health.
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.” – Buddha
Meditation can make you happier
Meditation not only decreases anxiety, stress, and depression but also enhances our emotional well-being. In researcher Richard Davidson’s lab at the University of Wisconsin Madison, students who contemplated on “compassion” significantly raised the energy level in the left frontal lobe, which is associated with positive emotions.
Through meditating they began rewiring their brain for greater well-being. When you meditate you can cultivate positive emotions like compassion and gratitude and ultimately strengthen the neural connections in your brain that are associated with these emotions.
Meditation can enhance your spirituality
“I deepen my experience of God through prayer, meditation, and forgiveness.” – Marianne Williamson
Meditation doesn’t have to be associated with any religion or spiritual framework, but if you want to deepen your spirituality meditation can be a wonderful practice.
Meditation enables us to investigate the nature of reality non-conceptually through direct experience. We experience what it’s like to be present and shift our focus from external to internal. It allows us to know ourselves outside of any external identification, and helps us learn to surrender instead of clinging to impermanent world around us.
Thus meditating you will no longer strive to build yourself up in your prejudices, but, forgetting self, you will remember only that you are seeking the Truth.” – James Allen
These are just three ways meditation can improve your life.
As you practice meditating you will begin to transfer the benefits from the “cushion” to your day to day life, and this is of course where the benefits really matter.