Meditation is the practice of training our brain to redirect our attention to a conscious thought. There are different kinds of meditations that can bring us different benefits but I consider meditation as a personal developmental practice.
The types that are more studied by science are mindfulness meditations. The goal of them is to focus in one specific and bring back your attention to that when the mind wanders.
Daily meditation can bring you a lot of benefits into your life. Here you have some of them:
1. Reduces stress
Meditation can help us feel less stress and go through our daily responsibilities with ease. While meditating the parasympathetic nervous system (also known as rest and digest system) is triggered, allowing the body to relax and restore, reducing cortisol levels (stress hormone).
2. Promotes emotional health and wellbeing
The practice of meditation makes us be more connected with our inner world. We understand better our thoughts and emotions, growing self-worth and compassion. We can then experience more gratitude and better moods, helping decrease the likelihood of getting depressed.
3. Increases focus and mental acuity
Our brain works like a muscle. If we want to keep it fit, we have to train it. While meditating, we are exercising our mind, we are driving it consciously. The fact of being more self-aware and able to redirect the thoughts, helps us be more focused, increase concentration and mental acuity.
4. Controls anxiety
Meditation practice allows us to react in a more relaxed way to difficult situations. Because we are training our brain to be calmer and quieter, it helps reducing the anxiety in difficult situations.
5. Increases self-awareness
The more you practice, the more knowledge of yourself you gain. While sitting in silence you have an opportunity to observe the thoughts that come to mind. This way you start becoming more aware of yourself. It might help you develop a stronger understanding of yourself, helping you grow and overcoming harmful patterns.
6. Increase kindness
Some meditations are meant to develop kindness and compassion towards others and yourself. Besides, the more you meditate and increase self-awareness, the easier it is to understand why others behave in a certain way without bringing judgement to the picture, feeling love, kindness and compassion.
7. Improves sleep
Meditation can help relaxing your body, releasing tension and placing you in a peaceful state in which you're more likely to fall asleep. Also, meditating just before going to bed is an amazing tool to fall asleep quicker.
8. Improves immune system
When our system is under any stress, whether physical or psychological, our body reacts by preparing for the "fight or flight" response. This is the nervous system that is activated in case of danger. It prepares the body to be ready for an external attack. If we are in being chased by a lion this response is absolutely vital but in today's world is not doing us any good. When these stress hormones are released in the "fight or flight" response they can cause inflammation. Meditation helps our body to go into rest and digest system, triggering a signal of peace and security, allowing the body to restore and helping the immune system to function properly.
9. Elevated energy levels
The most significant drain on our energy resources is the demanding nature of our modern lives. The effort required going into “fight or flight" mode is incredibly energy intensive and does not come cheap. When we practice meditation we make a conscious decision to switch to rest and digest, this way, we are saving all those energy that would be invested in our internal body functions when we feel stressed.
10. Can help with migraines and blood pressure
Meditation can be really helpful controlling blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signals that coordinate heart function, tension in blood vessels and the "fight or flight" response that increases alertness in stressful situations. While doing that it can help reducing the pain caused by migraines.
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