Meditation has been around for thousands of years but has become much more prevalent in modern times due to the fact that science has finally caught up! There have been countless studies based around the effects of meditation on our overall health and happiness as well as the way that our body expresses our DNA. Amazing, right?
The following video breaks down some of the scientifically proven benefits of meditation beautifully:
Although there are hundreds of ways that meditation will change your life. We will try to convince you to start learning using just five.
1) Reduce stress, anxiety and depression
More and more people are being diagnosed with anxiety and/or feel the devastating effects of stress. We have developed a society that are so obsessed with doing and achieving that we forget how to just ‘be’. We are often over worked, under rested, taking on too much responsibility without delegating and wanting to achieve a perfect result. Which means that we are walking around in a constant stress response. Common symptoms of stress are trouble sleeping, anxiety and/or depression, agitation, negative thinking, fatigue, excess eating/drinking/smoking and feeling overwhelmed and irritable. Sound familiar? Then the knock on effect of that stress is anxiety and panic disorders. Not a fun state of mind to be in, at all.
The brilliant news is that meditation can help! It doesn’t have to be an hour every day sitting on the floor like a Buddha. It can be five minutes of mindful breathing every day to ground yourself in this present moment. To teach your nervous system that you are not being chased by a tiger on the savanna, you just had a long day at work; which signals that the stress response can stop being activated all day long.
2) Increase self awareness and purpose
When was the last time you simply sat and watched your thoughts arising rather than acting in response to your thoughts? Or when did you last feel emotion in your body and explore that feeling rather than reacting to the emotion or, possibly even more dangerous, pushing the feeling away because it is uncomfortable. Self awareness is such an underrated concept. Self awareness allows us to understand who we really are; what triggers us, what excites us, what we are passionate about and what we avoid.
Meditation gives us insight into our mind and emotions. Highlighting the recurring limiting thoughts and belief patterns that hold us back. It isn’t until we are aware of these negative thought patterns that we can have the opportunity to develop healthier, more positive thought patterns. Meditation also leads to a greater sense of purpose; a sense of why you are here in this world and how you can use your gifts to help the people around you.
3) Boost the immune system and lower blood pressure
The mental and emotional benefits of meditation are met with just as many physical benefits. Meditation has been proven to help boost your immune system to prevent disease, lower blood pressure and heart rate and assist with inflammatory disorders as well as helping to alleviate pain.
4) Increase attention span, efficiency and memory
Meditation is basically like a huge bicep curl for your brain. Over time you develop a stronger level of concentration which flows over to a longer attention span and increased memory. This of course means that you can be much more efficient at whatever task is at hand; whether that be work, spending quality time with your family or playing sports.
There is a reason why corporations are sending their staff to mindfulness training!
3) Boost compassion and strengthen relationships
Metta (loving kindness) meditation has been scientifically proven to provide long lasting positive feelings as well as a greater sense of empathy towards others. This has been seen to lead to stronger social connections, more compassion and tolerance as well as decreasing loneliness (which has been found to cause depression and disease).
What more can we say? Meditation can transform your life.
Ready to learn more? Join our Meditation Essentials Retreat.
About the author:
Kirsty is a yoga and meditation teacher who currently hosts our Monday to Wednesday retreats. She is known for her soothing voice and knack for sharing the teachings of yoga and meditation in a way that is accessible to all.
A long battle with anxiety led Kirsty to the practice and it completely transformed her way of life. She realised that her actions affected not just her, but all of the world: its people, its animals, its mountain, rivers and seas. That is when she committed to the life-long journey towards wholeness that, with the help of yoga, she continues today. To Kirsty, yoga is a path to self-exploration, conscious awareness, and compassion.