I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!
7 Benefits Of Meditation
October 31, 2016
A little meditation each day is the perfect antidote to the high paced, high stress lives we all live.
Most people think that to meditate you need to book yourself a flight to India, find a secluded cave or join the monks in a monastery, but meditation can really be simple and something I’ve managed (with a bit of practice) to work into my daily life no matter where I am, even if its only ten minutes a day.
It’s easier said than done (trust me I know) to start up a regular practice, and what has helped me is choosing the RIGHT time to meditate that suits me. I know I cant be trusted not to hit the snooze button in the mornings so I choose to meditate at night just before bed, although its recommended as a great way to start your day (if you’re a morning person go for it), but for me it’s a great way to wind down after a big day and let go of any worries to ensure a better nights sleep (plus you’re heading to bed so of coarse you have 10 minutes, it leaves me absolutely no excuses).
After making a permanent space for meditation in my life, I personally feel so much more whole, grounded, healthy and just a greater sense of well-being, like that feeling of ‘come at me life, I got this!!!” (fist pump!!!)
If you’re not convinced yet that meditation could improve your life, here’s a few reasons why mindfulness and meditation can help you…
1- REDUCES STRESS
Stress is of course unavoidable, life is always going to be full of challenges, and a life without some turmoil is not only impossible but is also undesirable.
Regular meditation can be of significant help in reducing stress to manageable and healthy levels, and not a class goes by where I don’t work in some sort of meditation/relaxation technique or exercise.
Many therapists and psychiatrists are taking up meditation as well, not only so that they can teach it more effectively to others but in order to deal with the very stressful demands of their own jobs, which can result in burnout.
A considerable amount of research has shown that meditation has benefits on mental health, including a reduction in proneness to depression, an increase in emotional positivity, and an increased ability to deal with life’s inevitable stresses.
2- IMPROVES CONCENTRATION
A recent paper in the journal Psychological Science tries to identify brain functions that are actually enhanced by meditating. The study shows that intensive meditation can help people focus their attention and sustain it — even during the most boring of tasks
3- ENCOURAGES A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE
Who craves all the chocolaty, sugary goodness in times of stress to make you feel better? I DO!!! Meditation may not directly result in weight loss in the way that exercise and nutrition does, however it provides a positive coping strategy, thus resulting in decreased stress levels. When you are relaxed you have a reduced desire to comfort eat to make yourself feel better. Meditation provides a positive coping strategy to help with the stresses of everyday life. My favourite mindful eating exercise that I love treating my guests to is a meditation whilst eating an apple, slowing the process right down and changing the way you view your relationship with food and the process of eating.
4- INCREASES SELF AWARENESS
Its hard to be self aware when we are so use to being go, go, go…In order to cultivate self awareness you really need to stop doing and start ‘being’. Meditation is the perfect solution for this and it doesn’t even need to be the traditional cross legged seated meditation to start bringing a little more awareness into your daily life. It could be something as simple as walking in nature and focusing on your breath, I love guiding my students on our Bali retreats through a walking meditation in the lush gardens of our accommodation, it’s a great way for those people who struggle with seated meditation to find that sense of turning inward.
Self awareness is so important to your overall happiness, its what allows us to know what our mind, body and spirit is telling us it needs, and for most of us it takes booking into a health and wellness retreat to force ourselves to slow right down for a minute.
5- INCREASES HAPPINESS
Meditation allows you to increase your happiness by detaching from your emotions, instead of becoming consumed by them. For example, say you’re going through a rough break up or some sort of hardship in your life, and you find your mind is constantly ‘running’ with negative chatter – blame, guilt, frustration and all of those emotions that come with feeling we are being wronged.
By slowing things down and creating more mindfulness you tend to enhance your ability to detach from your issues and give yourself a bit more perspective on life’s worries.
6- HELPS YOU ACCEPT YOU
So much of the time we are either taking our bodies for granted or putting them down in some way. A lot of us have the tendency to care way too much about our external appearances (I know I’ve been guilty of that in my own life) and forget that we are so much more than just our dress size or our fitness level. Meditation is all about getting to know you, and more importantly getting to LOVE yourself again. When you’re comfortable with being still, with your own company, just ‘being’ with yourself and your body there’s a new appreciation for yourself as a whole person not just body, but mind and soul too. Meditation is all about acceptance of the present moment, which means that wherever you’re at physically, is absolutely perfect right NOW!
7- ITS ANTI AGEING
We all know stress plays a major factor in the ageing process, and the way that we deal with stress in our lives is the key factor. I’m not saying give up the Clarins or skin peels ladies BUT meditation has been proven to reduce stress, or at least the way we react to that stress. Better control over stressful situations, our emotions, and our reactions means living a happier, healthier life…its amazing what focusing on our insides can do to our outward appearance and overall wellbeing.
Now guys don’t get me wrong, meditation isn’t going to solve all of lifes problems and have you skipping around with your head in the clouds, but what I’ve found the difference is for me, in making a regular space for meditation in my life, is I’m way more well equipped with the tools to deal with anything life throws my way, the good, the bad, the ugly…give it a try!