From the yoga community to the medical community, the verdict is out: meditating is necessary! Recent studies conducted at Harvard University have shown that long-term meditators have extra gray matter inside their sensory and insula regions, as well as the sensory and auditory cortex. What does that mean? Harvard has basically confirmed what has been taught for thousands of years by the yogis: that meditation increases our capacity for compassion and empathy, fosters clear thinking and reduces stress.
The easy part is talking about meditation; actually getting the space created in your day demands some planning. Whenever you need a push to help you get started (or keep going) with your meditation, understanding what all of the various emotional, mental and physical benefits are can be a very convincing reminder to you of why meditation is so important. After you have learned how to meditate and turned it into a daily habit, I promise you will experience all of these benefits personally; and you will wonder how you were able to exist without practicing your daily relaxation ritual! So whether you are a seasoned practitioner or beginner, check out all of the many benefits that is offered by practicing meditation on a regular basis:
Meditation’s Physical Benefits
Your body experiences a structural change when you meditate, which demonstrates what a significant impact siting down with your eyes closed has. MRI images, in fact, display a complete change within the different departments of the brain, which result in the rest of your body having a relaxation response.
Whenever you are meditating, beta waves, which are an indication of the state where information is processed, decrease, and alpha waves replace them, which are associated with complete brain coherence. The parietal and frontal lobes, which deal with processing sensory information, planning and reasoning, slow down. The nervous system can rest, without having a glut of incoming stimuli, which results in improved functioning and relaxation within the whole body. Here is a full list of the benefits.
Meditation on the physical level:
Increases energy levels, as an inner energy source is gained
Improves your immune system
Increases serotonin production for improving behavior and mood
Decreases tension-related pain, like joint and muscle problems, insomnia, ulcers and tension headaches
Reduces anxiety attacks and lowers blood lactate levels
Lowers high blood pressure
Meditation’s Medical Benefits
As previously mentioned, meditation takes brainwave patterns to a relaxed alpha state. This also relaxes the mind and body. Without the sensory pathways having constant streams of stimuli entering them, the mind can relax and enter into a deep rest state. Meditation also is a self-care practice. It enables you to connect with your inner self. When you do this, your self-esteem increases and your ability for making decisions that align with our authentic desires and feelings, and allow for improved self-regulation. Practicing meditation on a regular basis results in:
Problems become smaller
Gain peace of mind and clarity
Emotional stability improves
The mind is sharpened by meditation through increasing focus and through relaxation is expanded. A sharp mind that doesn’t expand causes frustration, anger and tension. An expanded consciousness that doesn’t have sharpness may lead to lack of progress and action. Perfection is the result of an expanded consciousness and sharp mind.
Other Meditation Benefits
The entire brain is relaxed by meditation, including your brain’s emotional center called the amygdala.
- Harmony and emotional steadiness
Meditation results in harmony in creation
Whenever you meditation, you enter into a space of joy, calm and internal expansiveness. This results in feelings of joy, calm and expansiveness in waking life, which effects your interactions with the surrounding world and with others.
A true personal transformation that comes from the inside out can be brought about by meditation. As you are experiencing your inner storehouse of security and peace, you naturally start to discover certain aspects of yourself that had been hidden previous due to stress.
How To Receive The Benefits
Although it is clear that after only one session you will feel the benefits offered by meditation, in order to fully experience the integration of these meditation benefits into your daily life, it is necessary to practice meditation on a regular basis. It just takes a couple of minutes each day, and it will be part of your daily routine once more, with meditation becoming the best time of your day!
View meditation as a type of hygiene – like being the mental equivalent of making sure you brush your teeth every day. Think of what would happen if you didn’t brush your teeth! You needed to be trained when you were a youngster to create the habit of brushing your teeth. Now that brushing has become routine for you, it is disgusting to think of not doing it. The same is true for meditation – after you make it habit and being to experience all of the physical relation, emotional stability and mental clarity that is offered by the practice, it will seem unimaginable to not practice meditation!
It’s easy to set up a space in the home too, all you really need to do is find a quiet area. This should be uncluttered and comfortable. It may have sounds and is one of the reasons many now look for indoor water fountain ideas for the home – as the sound of trickling water is a very relaxing one and ideal for meditation. Either way, just create a space that’s relaxed and quiet.
Meditation becomes more important the busier that we get. Get started today to experience all of the benefits that meditation has to offer you.