We all know someone who takes on the practice of meditation. For some people, it’s a daily practice, while for others it’s just for emergency situations. What are some of those emergency situations? It’s those moments where you feel like your life is spinning out of control. It’s for times when you can’t seem to get out of your own way.
What is meditation?
Today’s world, thankfully, is changing. People are incorporating more holistic practices and mindful practices into their daily lives. From children to elders, meditation is one of those practices.
Can you become one of the masses and take on the practice of meditation, as well? Does it sound like it’s too time-consuming and not worth the trouble? If you think this way, you’ll be in for an extremely pleasant surprise. Not only is meditation most certainly worth the time and effort, but the rewards will speak for themselves.
There are so many benefits to meditation that will surprise you. First of all, let’s get into the subject of what meditation really is. Some people think you have to be a highly spiritual person or an expert with a certification to your name. This is not the case. Meditation is available for everyone, and why not? It has a multitude of benefits.
What is Meditation?
The practice of meditation has been around for centuries. People have used it for religious purposes and cultural reasons. There are as many forms of meditation as there are practices.
The art and practice of basically have one goal in mind – to slow down the mind. Especially in today’s culture, we all have such busy lifestyles and even busier minds. Stress levels are up, blood pressure is up and relaxation is down. This is where meditation comes into play.
The art and practice of meditation is one where you allow yourself and, most importantly, your mind to relax, rest, and rejuvenate itself. You take time to practice the art of breathing, slowing down your mind and coming back to center.
What is Center?
Center is the place where your deepest desires live and breathe. It’s the place where you can move forward from and get back on track. The true history of meditation is really the practice of getting into a thought consciousness of total awareness and not letting the mind wander. However, this is something that takes time and practice. The history and background of meditation are to serve one higher purpose. That purpose is to be in and experience present-moment living.
What is the Power of Meditation?
While some people might view meditation as some sort of silly practice that doesn’t really work, the truth of the matter is that there is the power behind meditation. When a person meditates, your brain waves change. Meditation actually has the power to change your mind, or at least your mindset.
When someone meditates, their brain waves have the capacity to slow down. With proper breathing techniques, beta waves in the brain are more easily reduced. When the beta waves calm down and slow down, there’s a sense of overall calm and well-being as an after effect.
Meditation affects the brain and its brain waves. Each part of the brain, according to scientific studies and research, is affected by meditation. Incoming information can be slowed down when meditating:
- Emotions are not as strong
- Sensory input slows down
- Over-thinking ceases
- Information overload slows down
There are several parts of the brain which are positively impacted by meditation:
- Frontal lobe
- Parietal lobe
Imagine being able to control your brain to some degree and be able to relax, focus, and have more clarity. All of this can come from meditation.
Why So Many People Use and Promote Meditation
Why do so many people use and promote meditation? The answer is because it works. Meditation is Successful for Many Reasons.
Some people have what is known as too much fight or flight syndrome. Their gut instincts tell them they are in danger when they are really not.
Meditation can help ease anxiety.
There’s a neural pathway that leads to the part of our brains in which we need to determine whether or not we are in real, imminent danger. For some, those connections are so strong we feel we are in danger when we are not.
When taking on the practice of meditating, this connection can be diminished, however, this is not a danger. This is a plus. Our brains have many parts, and the part that assesses reasoning is strengthened by meditating, while the irrational fear pathway is weakened. This becomes a win/win situation.
Can Allow You to Become More Emphatic
During meditation, the part of your brain that is responsible for showing more compassion is activated. Scientific studies show that compassion and empathy are more active when someone meditates. Having more compassion is never a bad thing.
Can Increase Focus
It makes sense that meditation can increase focus because when you meditate, you are focused on the present moment. Present moment awareness trains the brain to stay focused. One of the biggest bonuses and benefits is that it helps you choose your focus and pull your thoughts back to present moment reality. How often do you catch yourself having a busy brain and feel as though you are not able to reel it back in? Meditation can help with that.
Not only does it help you to regain a sense of the present moment while you are meditating, but the effects far outweigh the present moment meditation. It helps you to keep focused long after you’re done practicing.
If you’ve ever walked into another room and wondered why the heck you went in there, maybe just meditation can give your memory a boost. Meditation activates a certain part of the brain which helps to decrease distractions and increase memory recall.
So, the next time you walk into a room, you might just remember why you went in there in the first place.
If you’ve ever gotten stuck on creating a new idea or had the experience of writer’s block, you may wish to take up meditation. It has a way of unlocking and unleashing creative potential.
In just about any job scenario, creativity is a useful asset. Whether you are a sales and marketing manager or a writer, a little creativity goes a long way.
Helps You Alleviate Stress Better
When stress arises, you are faced with a fight or flight sensation. You either need to take flight and run away to protect yourself or you need to stay and fight. Neither of these responses promotes peace and healing.
When you start practicing meditation, you have the ability to alleviate stress more. More importantly, you get to alleviate stress with more ease and grace. Doing so daily doesn’t only just serve you at the moment. It serves you throughout your day, your week and your life.
Can Make You Smile More
People who meditate are shown to be more positive and upbeat. Meditation has a way to calm and soothe the mind. When your mind is calm, your spirit is bound to follow. The mind-body connection is a powerful bond.
When you have a calm mind, you are more focused and can, therefore, be more successful. If you have a mind full of clutter, it’s difficult to focus at work. When you have clarity, you have momentum and therefore you have success. If you are less stressed, you are more focused.
Helps You to Increase Brain Function
Meditation is like exercise for your brain. While it may not be a muscle, but rather an organ, it does act as a muscle. The more you use it, the better it can get. The practice has many ways of increasing your brain’s ability to function better.
There are a host of neurological benefits to the brain from meditating. Whereas before it was once thought that only a region or two of the brain was positively impacted, new studies are beginning to show many areas of the brain are positively affected.
The improvements are not just temporary either – they are long-lasting effects.
Can it Slow Down the Aging Process?
The length of telomeres in your brain can determine the length of your life. When it comes down to it, the less stress and anxiety, the less disease and the longer your life.
Now scientific studies and research are showing that the more a person meditates, the more it benefits in keeping aging at bay. It stands to reason that if meditation keeps illnesses at a decreased level, longevity will increase.
A reduced response to stress can have someone lead a happier, healthier, and longer life.
Hundreds of thousands of people take sleep aids in order to assist them in getting a decent night’s sleep. These people suffer greatly from insomnia. No matter what they do it seems they keep tossing and turning and sleep just won’t come to them.
They wake up in the morning feeling groggy and irritated, not to mention that without proper sleep it’s easy to get rundown or even sick. Meditation can help improve the quality of your sleep and make it easier to fall asleep and stay asleep.
Here are three ways to incorporate the practice into your nightly routine so that you may experience a more blissful sleep.
- Breathing – practice the art of meditative breathing. Meditative breathing slows the body and minds down. This is conducive to a good night’s rest. More importantly, it slows the activity in your brain so you can prepare yourself for a good night’s sleep.
- Breathing in through your nostrils and exhaling through your mouth is a good way to alleviate stress, let it all go, and slow down your body’s rhythm. Slowing your body and mind down before bed is integral to getting a good night’s rest. More importantly, it is a great way to wake up feeling refreshed rather than groggy and craving more sleep.
- Affirmations – it helps to use a releasing affirmation when you prepare to go to sleep at night. When you prepare to go to sleep at night, it works wonders to mix your deep breathing along with your affirmations. Make certain your affirmations are releasing affirmations. Choose whatever works for you; for example, “I release all that did not serve me today.”
- Visualization – visualizing along with deep breathing and affirmations is a powerful trio. Visualizing your life as you wish it to be doesn’t make you ungrateful, it just leads you to a place where you accelerate the momentum to where you want to be.
What are the benefits of a good night’s rest?
- When you are well-rested, you are more productive
- You get a good night’s sleep, you are more focused
- When you are more focused, you are more successful
Meditation can assist you with many aspects of your daily life. There are no limits to the benefits. They are endless! I suggest you get started right away and see for yourself. If you are still a little anxious and need some more information there are several posts in the Meditation category of this site.
If self-doubt is stopping you from moving forward I have a 10-day email course that could help you get out of your own way! Self-Doubt: Be Gone will guide you out of that vicious cycle and show you a new way to look at life. Sign up below.
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- 1 Tempting Power of Meditation: Solving Unbearable Stress Issues
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