Meditation is a buzzword that seems to be everywhere these days. There also seems to be an emphasis on mindfulness meditation. I’ve been encouraged by this push to increase one’s personal well-being, but there is a difference between meditating just to do it and meditating well.
You can’t just sit in a studio during a meditation session and expect to experience several physical and mental benefits because you’re there. It takes hard work, consistent practice, and a willingness to forgive yourself when you fail at it.
Trust me. I know. More than once I’ll catch myself going over the emails I need to get a reply sent on while meditating instead of focusing on my breath or some other single point of focus.
Yet if you can push through those initial struggles, I think you’ll find that these 3 scientifically proven benefits of meditation could be something that could change your life. Now here’s the best part: you really only need to meditate for 10 minutes per day to start seeing these benefits over time.
Do you have 10 minutes you could spare today? If so, these benefits could be yours.
#1. Meditation helps to stabilize your emotional mind.
There are some articles floating around the internet right now that advocate the practice of mindfulness meditation as a replacement for anti-depressants, anti-anxiety medication, other other mood stabilizers. Meditation is a good addition to a treatment plan, but it can’t solve every problem.
What you can expect from daily meditation is a reduction in anxiety attacks and a lessening of depression-related symptoms. Some people feel a complete withdrawal of these symptoms over time. Because mindfulness meditation forces you to be in this present moment at all times, there are fewer worries about the past or the future.
I’ve found this has really helped me to focus on what I can do today instead of worrying about what I didn’t do yesterday or what I might have to do tomorrow.
#2. Meditation helps to reduce “comfort” habits.
It’s easy to turn to food when you’re feeling down. It wasn’t that long ago that I’d turn to a bowl of cereal or a cookie or something to make myself feel better. Self-soothing is a very real necessity, especially in a world where we are all connected to one another almost constantly. Food gives us some quiet time, but it also can contribute to a larger waist line and other health issues if self-soothing eating becomes binge eating.
Meditation helps to reduce the need for self-soothing from other habits because it does the same thing. It’s tough in the first few days of mindfulness meditation because you must confront those negative feelings. When you do, there is a world of clarity awaiting you on the other side. It’s something so powerful that I really just can’t put the experience into words. You have to reach it yourself to understand.
#3. Meditation creates positivity.
I can say that I feel like I’m more consistently happy these days with my daily practice of . What’s nice about this benefit, however, is that it is always there. Even at the end of your first meditation session, you’ll experience a unique happiness that only mindfulness can provide.
As this joy expands, you’ll notice that it becomes easier to set negative thinking aside. There are fewer instances of negative self-talk that happen. Dare I say it – your frown gets turned upside down.
Putting meditation into practice can be difficult, especially in the first few days of starting. Give yourself plenty of space, budget 30 minutes if you can so you can put 10 minutes of meditation into practice, and then adapt or move as circumstances require. You cannot fail when it comes to meditation. You must simply practice.
Have you experienced the benefits of meditation in your life in some way? I’d love to hear about some of your experiences, both positive or negative, and what you learned from them.