Meditation isn’t as complex as it sounds. Whether you’re hesitant to try it or have been practicing mindfulness for years, the health benefits are the same. If you’re not sure whether meditation is right for you, you should try it out and see how you feel afterward. You might find yourself wanting to learn more about the practice.
What Is Meditation?
Meditation has been practiced and studied for years. At its core, meditation allows you to reconnect with your mind, body and soul by slowing down and focusing on yourself, your breathing and your surroundings.
Around 33% of people want to learn more about meditation or start meditating through online programs. People have likely heard of the benefits but aren’t sure where to start. If sitting in silence makes you uncomfortable, you could try guided meditation first.
Guided meditation is typically done through a video or in person, where someone else, usually a teacher, walks you through relaxing your body and visualizing certain scenes or events. With enough practice, you’ll be able to guide yourself through meditation and sit with your current surroundings.
The Top 5 Benefits of Meditation
Regular meditation leads to more health benefits than just the five listed here, but these might be the most popular reasons people meditate and practice mindfulness. By slowing down and focusing on yourself first, then on your grounded surroundings, you’re teaching yourself to remain in the here-and-now.
When depression leaves you lacking motivation, meditation might be the furthest thing from your mind. However, some people have found that meditation works as well as any antidepressant. By visualizing scenes, especially of you reaching attainable goals, it’s obvious to see how the symptoms of depression could lessen over time with regular meditation.
Meditation can help you set goals and work much like affirmations. By getting more in-tune with your inner self, you’ll start to realize what you need and desire. From there, you can begin working toward a life that will cultivate happiness, all while practicing gratitude for the one you currently live.
Some research indicates that meditation could increase your brain size. You would then be able to develop your intelligence more efficiently and foster greater creativity within yourself. Whether this benefit is true for everyone might be up for debate, but having the chance to grow your knowledge and expand your thinking through meditation seems like a good opportunity.
Meditation and mindfulness, if practiced regularly, can help fight against degenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s. Older folks show greater brain activity and stimulation when meditating than without any other form of treatment. Keeping your brain sharp by allowing it to focus on the things that matter is key to staying young, in a sense.
Because the brain tends to dull a bit as you get older, it’s important to remain sharp as the years go by. Meditation is a great way to take account of your current mind and bodily functions. By consistently monitoring how you’re feeling and taking time to evaluate your current state, you’ll begin to notice earlier if anything starts to slip.
Concentrating on meditation and living in the present improves your focus, as you can live more in the world around you rather than inside your own head. Meditation seeks to connect you with your body so you can sense what you need and how to better take care of yourself. By setting aside time to meditate and regulating your intentions for the day, you’ll be more prepared to achieve the day’s goals and fully experience everything around you.
Most people practice meditation to decrease their stress and lessen their anxiety, which might be why it’s often attributed to younger generations, like college students. Regular meditation and staying mindful can transform your mindset from negative to positive and remind you to be grateful for every opportunity that comes your way.
Feeling negative emotions is vital to the human experience, but so are looking for the bright side and learning how to regulate stress properly. If there were never a silver lining on any cloud, life would be gray instead of colorful.
Meditating can help you discover the silver linings on some of your clouds, and the designated time to let your mind wander can help you brainstorm solutions to current problems without even trying.
Meditate and Manifest a Better Life
Meditation doesn’t take a lot of effort — you just have to be willing to set aside time in your busy day to reconnect with yourself. Sitting in silence might not be your go-to, but after a few instances of guided meditation, you may be ready to move on and lead your own mindfulness session.
Along with reducing stress and the risk of cognitive decline, you’ll find that meditation is also simply relaxing. While you might be fidgety at first, eventually, you’ll ease into the silence and feel more comfortable sitting alone with yourself and getting in-tune with your body and priorities. You could even manifest your best life and provide yourself with the motivation to make it happen.
Kara Reynolds is the Editor-in-Chief and founder of Momish Magazine. Mom and step mom living her best life while managing anxiety and normalizing blended families. She enjoys pilates, podcasts, and a nice pinot grigio.
Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.