The benefits of meditation: why you should start meditating

Practicing meditation on a regular basis brings much more than only relaxation. Better sleep, more focus, less anxiety and less stress are just a few benefits. All for free and just a little bit of effort! The benefits of meditation are listed below. Discover the power of meditation.

The benefits of meditation

What are the benefits of meditation? Thousands of thoughts cross our minds every day. During meditation you will become aware of all the thoughts and emotions you have. The beautiful part is: you don’t have to do anything about it.

You’re not trying not to think, but thoughts just pop into your mind. Notice them but don’t think about them too much. When you notice another thought, consciously focus your attention on your breathing. You will notice that the thought disappears by itself.

When you do this on a regular basis, you will be able to achieve a complete state of calmness, which has a positive effect on your body and mind.

1. Experience less stress 

When you’re stressed your body produces the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone ensures that you can fight or flee, just like our ancestors did when they came face to face with a bear or a wild hyena.

Nowadays we don’t have to fight or flee anymore. For instance, if your boss stresses you out, you just stay behind your desk instead of literally attacking him (though you might want to). The cortisol produced in your body is not being used and accumulates.

Elevated cortisol levels are harmful to your health. When meditating regularly the cortisol levels in your body will decrease and remain low, allowing you to relax. So meditation reduces stress.

2. Improve your focus

Regular meditation improves focus and reduces distractions. This has to do with the brain’s default network. The network is only active during a state of rest and allows you to switch off your mind and focus better.

People who meditate regularly use this part of the brain more often and in a different way. They are less likely to be distracted and able to focus better. If you want to improve your concentration, make time for rest on a regular basis!

3. Less fearful

Meditation can actually change our brain. World-renowned writer and researcher Jon Kabat-Zinn has conducted a study on meditating and non-meditating students. The students who meditated daily for 45 minutes over the course of a few weeks, were less fearful (optie: anxious) than the students who didn’t meditate.

4. Sleep better

Meditation improves sleep quality. If you experience restless sleep or you suffer from sleep disorders, go meditate! A nice sleep meditation can leave you feeling wonderfully calm and allow you to forget about your thoughts for a moment. If you train your mind to keep calm, you will find that your troubled thoughts and feelings become less.

In the long term, meditation also leads to a good night’s sleep. The sleep hormone melatonin increases with regular meditation, so you can fall asleep faster and sleep better. A good night’s sleep makes you feel energized and rested the next day!

5. More emotionally balanced

When you meditate you allow yourself to rest. Thoughts are going through your head but they don’t affect you and eventually you can achieve a complete state of inner calmness. A study on emotional balance and meditation has shown that meditation helps to create a lasting emotional balance.

There is reduced brain activity in the region of the brain that regulates emotions. This doesn’t mean that people who meditate regularly no longer experience emotions, but they are better able to manage them.

6. Experience more positivity and happiness

If you meditate regularly you will experience more happiness. Meditation reduces the level of stress hormones and increases the level of happiness hormones.

When you meditate you tune into the ‘here and now’ and try to find inner peace. You may experience emotions and have thoughts while meditating but they won’t make you feel restless. The inner ‘peace of mind’ we attain with meditation creates a feeling of inner happiness.

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7. Less likely to feel depressed

Regular meditation can help you calm down and think clearly. A study done at the John Hopkins University shows (optie: suggests) that meditation may also improve symptoms of anxiety and even depression. Participants experienced improvement in symptoms of depression and anxiety after they underwent an eight-week meditation program, and this improvement continued after the program was over. These effects were especially noticeable in mindfulness meditation. So meditation isn’t only sitting down and doing nothing. It is an active training of the mind to keep your soul healthy!

Learn how to meditate and experience the benefits of meditation

You can read about the benefits of meditation, but it’s better to experience it yourself. Only then will you know what meditation really does for you. However, you won’t notice it from one day to the next. The more you meditate, the more the benefits. That’s why regular meditation is so important. It’s better to meditate 5 minutes a day than to start really big and stop after a couple of days.

Meditation is like a gym for your mind. Try to think of it that way. You know you have to eat healthy and exercise to stay physically fit. To stay mentally fit you need to meditate

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