If you’re looking for a way to increase your well-being, reduce chronic stress, have more clarity, sharper focus and more peace in your life, you may want to consider meditation. Meditation is not as hard as it may sound, and it’s one thing you can do anywhere at any time. With consistency, it yields big results for your investment. Read on to learn about 7 reasons why you’ll want to give meditation a try.
Meditation Health Benefits
You’ll Sleep Better- Regular meditation promotes more peace and less stress. When your body isn’t under the onslaught of stress hormones during the day, you can relax easier and get a better night’s sleep. Healthy sleep is necessary for your body to do the very important work of restoration, cellular repair, detoxification, and recharge your energy so you can feel your best during the day. When you get the deep, restorative sleep your body needs, you activate your autophagy—allowing your cells to go into self-cleaning mode, removing old toxins, and repairing the damage to your cells can work at their fullest potential. When your cells are working on all cylinders, this means more energy and vitality, more fat burning, and glowing beautiful skin for you.
Reduce Stress Hormones- A 2016 Psychoneuroendocrinology study revealed that when tested for psychological stress and inflammatory response, experienced meditators showed less stress and inflammation as compared to a control group. This study highlights how long-term meditators may experience decreased stress reactivity and how it could benefit those with chronic inflammatory conditions. Stress is how you respond when your needs and wants are not met. Stress hormones get released, creating a whole body response including an increase in blood pressure, heart and respiratory rate. Over time, this chronic stress erodes your health and you become more susceptible to inflammation and chronic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, and cancer. Meditation is one powerful way to help reduce your stress hormones, and therefore reduce your risk for chronic disease.
Reduce Your Risk for Chronic Illness- The more meditation in your life, the less stress, and inflammation in your body. A study published in Biological Psychiatry reports that mindfulness meditation can reduce interleukin-6, an important inflammation biomarker. High levels of interleukin-6 have been linked to certain diseases like cancer, autoimmune conditions and Alzheimer’s.
Say No to Cheesecake– Meditation helps you become familiar with all sensations and feelings, including uncomfortable ones. Being able to be present for the discomfort you feel helps to break patterns of habitually seeking things outside of yourself that will temporarily ease your discomfort, often the root of emotional eating. When you give yourself the space to feel, you nourish yourself at a deep level and cravings don’t hold the same power they once did.
Better Emotional Regulation– Meditation trains your mind to be aware of what is happening inside of you. It’s not about stopping thoughts, feelings, or judgments…these things will happen. It’s the nature of the mind to act like an untrained puppy, getting into everything. With meditation you learn to observe the process of the mind without judgment. As your practice develops, your focus sharpens and you react less to what’s going on outside of you, as well as inside of you. We can’t control most of what is happening outside of us…the weather, traffic, your co-worker being late for a meeting. But you can learn to focus on what’s happening inside of you. Meditation helps you to observe the thoughts, emotions, sensations, and judgments as they arise, without reacting to them. You start to gain mastery over your emotional well-being. You become less reactive to what’s happening and you realize how much choice you have in how you want to respond to situations in your life.
A Calmer Brain Makes For a Happier Mood- Regular meditation calms the mind and creates more inner peace. In fact, studies show that meditation can shrink the amygdala, that part of the brain responsible for our anxiety and fear responses. When we are not trapped in anxiety and fear, we have more energy to experience a naturally happier and content peace of mind.
Get More Out of Your Life- Regular meditation practice helps to cultivate mindfulness in your everyday life, where you become more present to what is happening in the moment. It’s the ultimate experience of “smelling the roses.” Most of us have very complex lives, with lots of demands-from raising children, to caring for aging parents and a busy workload. When there are so many outside demands on your time and energy, taking a few minutes each day to be in the present moment will help you to tap into a deeper experience and get more out of those moments.