Have you ever considered meditation? In your pursuit of wellness and overall healthy wellbeing, meditation is often recommended by professionals. Clearly, the activity’s popularity speaks to its merits: there are numerous benefits to meditation. Not only can meditation help your mental health, but the effects can also spill over into physical health. In this article, we’ll explore the health benefits of meditation as well as provide some super quick and easy mindfulness tips.
1. Reduce stress.
The most notable benefit of meditation is the reduction of stress. Stress has many negative consequences: everything from back pain to heart attacks. For many of us, we derive stress from things that surround us constantly: work, relationships, scheduling, etc. Meditation provides an escape from the things that induce stress in our lives. By reducing stress, you not only physically relax your body, but you increase happiness and gratitude.
MINDFULNESS TIP: Meditation can provide both physical and mental relaxation. While meditating, try this tip: mentally picture a source of stress in your life, and clench your fingers or fists together. Then, as you relax your body, imagine the source of stress disappearing. By linking physical stress to mental stress, you can provide more effective stress relief.
2. Lengthen attention span.
Technology brings convenience, and convenience yields impatience. With technology in every corner of our lives, our attention spans continue to shrink. Taking a moment in each day to unplug and enjoy the quiet can be monumental in expanding your attention span. Very rarely do we take time to do nothing: even when we relax or “take a break,” it’s with television, or social media, or texting. Meditation provides a genuine, fulfilling break from the business of our lives. As a result, our capacity to focus on tasks expands.
3. Promote self-reflection.
When your brain is not occupied by another task, an opportunity arises for self-reflection. Achieving goals and making consistent progress in life requires self-reflection. Self-reflection includes identifying our good and bad habits, reflecting on our attitude, and practicing mindfulness. A benefit of meditation is the capacity to identify patterns in our life. Thus, by meditating, we can make changes to provide more happiness and positivity for a better you.
MINDFULNESS TIP: While meditating, there’s no need to pressure yourself to keep you mind completely blank. To initiate positive self-reflection, try listing things you are grateful for. List three tangible items, and then three intangible things which you are grateful for. Gratitude is the best way to improve overall happiness!
4. Improve sleep quality.
A study from PubMed Central–in the National Library of Medicine–finds that those who meditate tend to fall asleep faster and remain asleep longer. Thus, meditation can help fight insomnia and promote good sleep patterns.