Why Everyone Should Meditate…
People have been using meditation for thousands of years to help move beyond the mind’s stress-inducing thought and emotional patterns. Meditation helps create present moment awareness, clarity, and peacefulness. It can improve the ability to concentrate as well as clear and quiet the mind of all its chatter. There are a variety of meditation techniques and traditions; however, the essence of meditation is the same and can produce mindful awareness and expanded consciousness.
While the purpose of meditation depends on the meditator, it seems that anyone who begins and continues to meditate regularly receives profound benefits on all these levels – physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual.
Here are just a few of the benefits
- Relief from stress and anxiety (meditation mitigates the effects of the “fight-or-flight” response, decreasing the production of stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline)
- Decreased blood pressure and hypertension
- Lower cholesterol levels
- More efficient oxygen use by the body
- Increased production of the anti-aging hormone DHEA
- Restful sleep
New research is also showing that meditation restores the brain. A recent study concluded that as little as eight weeks of meditation not only helped people feel calmer but also produced changes in various areas of the brain, including growth in the areas associated with memory, empathy, sense of self, and stress regulation.
How to begin
There is no right or wrong way to meditate. However, if this is new to you, start with guided meditation. Find a place (gym, yoga studio, etc.) that offers guided meditation classes. This will keep you accountable and help you to learn various techniques. Another option would be to download one of many guided meditation apps on your phone such as Waking up, The Mindfulness App, or Headspace.
Be well and get your zen on!