5 Things That Meditation Can Help You With
Meditation is the practice of bringing your awareness to a particular point of focus. Taking just a few minutes to meditate each day can have a hugely positive influence on all aspects of our lives. Here are 5 things meditation can help you with!
Stress causes the release of the hormone cortisol as part of the fight or flight response. Cortisol has various negative impacts on the body and mind, such as fatigue, impaired brain function and weakened immune system.
Stress arises as a result of how we relate to a situation or circumstance. Meditation increases our awareness, which allows us to relate to our lives with more clarity and so we are less likely to interpret events as stressful. By reducing our stress levels, we reduce the amount of cortisol in the system and so the negative impacts of the hormone are lessened.
Increase Your Attention Span
Many meditation practices involve bringing awareness to a particular point of focus such as the breath or an object. This act is almost like going to the gym and giving your brain a workout. Meditation has been demonstrated to reduce the patterns associated with mind wandering and worrying, which are what distract us from what we’re presently doing. If you develop this habit during your practice, it will inevitably permeate into everyday tasks, such as washing the dishes, solving problems at work or walking the dog. As you truly focus on the present moment, life becomes more effortless and enjoyable!
Devices such as television, laptops and phones offer infinite opportunity for distraction. Try replacing your pre-bedtime Netflix binge with a meditation practice, and you’ll find the mind is quieter and wanders less as your head hits the pillow. This study shows that meditation is demonstrated to decrease the time taken to fall asleep as well as improving the overall quality of sleep - and we all know that a better sleep means a better you!
Increase Self Awareness
Meditations that are based on contemplation and self inquiry allow you to get to know yourself, without the distractions that life offers. By identifying your values, passions and intentions you are more likely to act and make decisions in accordance with the former, leading to a life that is ultimately more satisfying and fulfilling. Meditations of this nature also bring awareness to unhelpful thoughts and tendencies that we have, and so we are able to better navigate our lives without their constant hindrance.
Metta meditation involves repeating positive affirmations or phrases toward yourself and beyond. Some examples would be “May I be kind. May I be joyful. May we be at peace”. Kindness based meditations have been proven to cultivate compassion, both inward and outward. This means a better relationship with yourself and others!
Meditation is a hugely beneficial and accessible tool that ANYBODY can use. It can be challenging to cultivate a practice initially, but persist and the dividends will undoubtedly make it worth your while. I’ve put together a Meditation 101 , which has all you need to know to develop your own practice.