Buddha was once asked, ‘What have you gained from meditation?’
He replied, ‘Nothing! However, let me tell you what I have lost: anger, anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.’
Do you meditate? Or do you view it as a bit of ‘mumbo-jumbo’? These days, more people are turning to meditation and we think that’s a great thing. We’re all for connecting the mind and body and being able to live a more intentional and mindful life. So with that in mind we’ve compiled a list of five reasons why you should take up meditation. Let us know what you think!
Meditation has the ability to ‘rewire’ the brain
According to studies, meditation can help the brain to learn how to re-program itself, to literally replace feelings of anxiety and fear with feelings of compassion and calm. Scientists now know that the brain is able to grow new cells, which is great news for those wanting to train themselves to change the way they think.
So when we meditate, we are actually able to create new neural pathways which means that we can find compassion, gratitude and joy and ditch the anxiety, fear and anger. Cool, huh?
Meditation helps you to handle stress
Stress can be such a huge part of our everyday lives. When we’re busy with work, and family, and we have lots of errands to run or we have money worries, or whatever it is that stresses us out on a daily basis, the results can be catastrophic. Stress can lead to weight gain, insomnia and depression, and while some elements of stress are necessary, many of us suffer with the affects of too much. But did you know that meditation can help you to handle those stresses a lot more efficiently?
When you meditate, you open yourself up to more happiness, contentment and gratitude. That means that while the things that make you feel stressed don’t disappear, your ability to deal with them increases and you’re able to cope a lot better overall.
Meditation can help you to lose weight
So meditation isn’t a weight loss tool as such, but it can help when it comes to making better food choices in general. And if you’re making better choices then you’re going to be on the right track for weight loss. So how does this work? Well meditation helps to soothe the mind and relax the body by eliminating the ‘busy thoughts’ in your head and helping you to embrace your day with calmness and joy. And because you’re calmer, studies have found that you’ll sleep better too. When we’re sleep deprived we’re more likely to crave (and eat) more starchy, fatty foods, so it stands to reason that if you’re more rested you’re going to be able to stick to your cleaner eating programs as a result. Your body will also be able to digest your food a lot more easily too, so it just makes sense don’t you think?
When you meditate, you are forced to focus inwards and look clearly at yourself. You’re forced to challenge yourself to think differently and to view yourself differently too. Many people who meditate find that the practise helps them to pinpoint habits that they know are destructive for peace of mind, and in time they are able to find new ways to deal with issues instead.
Meditation helps you to stay in the moment
It’s so easy to be distracted, don’t you think? We constantly bombarded with phone calls, text messages, emails, social media notifications-often to the extent that we don’t always see what’s happening in the here and now. How often have you been in conversation with someone who has one eye on you and another on their phone? Annoying isn’t it? And if you’re guilty of just that yourself, you’ll know what I mean when I say it can feel as though life is somehow passing you by.
When you meditate you focus on the moment, and in doing so you train the mind to stay focused. So when you next feel the urge to tune out, you can use your meditation skills to bring yourself back to the present. And that, mindful and intentional living, can only be a good thing.