6 Reasons You Should Begin Practicing Meditation
Meditation has been practiced for centuries and involves training your mind to clear ruminating thoughts, redirect your thoughts, and increase overall concentration for your daily activities. In the process, you become more aware of the present moment and more relaxed. The benefits of meditation don’t end there, however. When practiced regularly, meditation can have far-reaching beneficial effects on your overall health and well-being. Here are five ways that starting a daily meditation practice can help you to live a more peaceful and fulfilling life.
- Improved Sleep Quality
Practicing mindfulness and meditation helps you focus on the rhythm of your breathing and enables you to bring your thoughts back to the present moment. This clears your mind of distracting thoughts about the past and uncertainty of the future. It also invokes a relaxation response that carries you through the day and even into your nighttime routine, allowing you to better fall asleep and stay asleep at night. In turn, getting more quality sleep can improve your mental health. Check out sleephelp.org
- Improved Heart Health
Studies show that meditation may be effective in lowering blood pressure and reducing mortality linked to heart disease. Meditation also increases blood flow to the heart and improves the health of blood vessels. An indirect benefit of meditation on heart health is that it lowers stress levels, also lowering blood pressure.
- Increased Focus and Concentration
Because meditation is focused on awareness of breath and ridding your mind of distracting thoughts, you’re training your brain to become more focused in general. This increases your attention span, making you more efficient and effective in carrying out daily activities. Even just a week of consistent daily meditation practice can yield less worry, mind-wandering, and poor attention.
- Increased Self-Awareness
There are some types of meditation practice that can aid you in developing a deeper understanding of yourself. In the process of becoming aware of distracting thoughts during meditation, you are performing a type of self-inquirythat helps you determine which thoughts are hindering you from being your best self. As your practice evolves, you begin to recognize these thoughts naturally as you go about your daily activities, giving you the chance to focus on the most important tasks of the moment.
- Improved Social Connection
Although this is a more indirect benefit of meditation, it is nonetheless a valuable one. Because daily meditation lowers stress levels, improves sleep, improves focus, and reduces irritability, your relationships and interactions with peopleare subsequently improved. It becomes more natural to act with kindness and forgiveness, and less natural to react to situations impulsively.
- Helps Fight Addiction
Due to the mental discipline that meditation develops, you begin to break dependencies by decreasing impulsivity. You’re also increasing self-control and awareness of triggers for overindulgence in addictive substances and risky behavior at the same time. When you become aware of the causes of your cravings, it’s easier to foresee them and take action to alleviate or eliminate them.
Incorporating diligent meditation into your life will serve to relax you and calm your mind, not only during your meditation sessions, but also in your daily activities and reaching into the rest of your life. Meditation will make you healthier overall, help prevent disease, make you more present and grateful, and improve your performance in almost any physical or mental task.