“The goal of meditation isn’t to control your thoughts, it’s to stop letting them control you.” -Anonymous
How many times a week does your head hit the pillow at the end of an exhausting day, and the chatter in your brain keeps you awake all night? It can be so frustrating when you’re ready to turn in for the day, and instead your brain is buzzing with thoughts, ideas, emotions, tomorrow’s schedule, and more. In a culture that is constantly on the go and has a wealth of information at its fingertips, it is no surprise that we have a hard time finding our “off button” at the end of the day.
One of the oldest, most beneficial practices to find a sense of peace in the brain (and ultimately the body) is meditation. Meditation is the practice of mindful breath and stillness for a set amount of time. While it does take time and consistency, meditation doesn’t have to be complicated. It could be a dedicated minute of breath and stillness before you turn on your computer in the morning, or a timed three minutes before you go to bed each night.
While there are endless benefits to a consistent meditation practice, here are six reason to get you started:
Any article you read on meditation will tell you that your stress will go way down with a consistent meditation practice— that’s because it’s true! The practice of meditation reinforces the idea that the things happening in your brain are not your enemy, they are guaranteed to appear as you find stillness and breath. When these things come up, you acknowledge them, let them go, and come back to the focus on your breath. As your practice becomes consistent, the idea of acknowledgement and release translates into your daily life practices— allowing you to let go of stress, negativity, and distraction.
In the practice of meditation, the objective is to focus on your breath. As mentioned above, it is normal for distractions to disrupt your focus; instead of giving up or allowing those distractions to pull you further away from your breath, you simply bring it back to your mindful focus. The same rules apply as you go through your day— distractions are inevitable, but mindfully returning to your focus makes all the difference.
Meditation can significantly improve the quality of your sleep. Meditation not only helps you release the buzzing thoughts and mental “noise” that keeps you up at night; it also helps to reduce stress-related pain and discomfort in the body for a more restful night’s sleep.
Reduced Blood Pressure
As you go through your day and put stress on the body and mind, this puts strain on your heart— which increases blood pressure. With meditation, you decompress the stress reactors in the body, allowing you to find greater control of your blood pressure.
Meditation is known to improve memory and combat age-related memory loss. Practicing mindfulness and focus in a controlled setting also helps promote greater attention span and mental clarity when it matters most.
Greater Self Awareness
As you sit in a meditative state, you may come to realize new and deeper things about yourself. You may notice a new place of stress being held in your physical body, or perhaps a hidden aspect of your personality comes up as you breathe. As these realizations come up, we are one step closer to finding and becoming our truest and best versions of ourselves.
Meditation is a simple and beneficial practice available to people of all ages and levels of experience. There are different kinds of meditation to fit your lifestyle and achieve your wellness goals. The best part is, you can practice meditation at any time and be anywhere to take a few minutes of breath and mindfulness to create a happier and healthier version of yourself.