Before going into the benefits of meditation, let’s see why it is essential. It’s a good thing that our world is becoming faster day by day with all the advancements in technology. But have you ever thought of how this faster world could be a threat to our physical and mental health? Hypertension, anxiety, and overall deficiency of mental or physical immunity is something all of us experience. While everyone is aware of this, not every one of us can escape the dark effects of the modern era and become a yogi to go on and live in the Himalayas. So what can we do? The simplest and most effective way is meditation. And you might have vaguely heard about the benefits of meditations too.
Now, let’s see how meditation is done.
All you need to do is make a personal space for you, sit in the lotus position (Padmasana) facing east (it’s a tradition) and close your eyes. Concentrate on a single thought or mental image and just breathe in and out regularly. Be sure to expand the diaphragm of your stomach while breathing in and contract it while breathing out. Yogis from India often use the traditional hymn “Ohm” while breathing out. For starters, you can do simple breathe in and breathe out. Do this for 15-30 minutes a day and see the results for yourself!
Meditation is an essential part of Yoga, and one is supposed to free his/her mind before entering, and after doing the actual exercise. Besides that, meditation has several long-term advantages to our body and mind too. Doing meditation even without any hardcore asanas has proven to be very helpful to those who practice it.
Here’s the list of top 6 benefits of meditation that you probably didn’t know about.
1. Increased Grey Matter Concentration in the Brain and Improved Metabolism.
Before discussing all the superficial and evident benefits of meditation, let’s look at the significant first-hand effect of meditation. A 2011 experiment by a group of neuroscientists from Harvard University has proved that meditation increase the grey matter concentration in our brain. This is because the meditator tries to concentrate on a single mental image, which makes the brain to function more efficiently.
It won’t be an overemphasize to say that we literally forget to breathe because of our busy lives. The root of all diseases, be it physical or emotional, is poor blood circulation. Deep and regular breathing during meditation helps in better blood circulation in your body.
2. Better Memory and Concentration
Naturally, due to better brain activity, memory and concentration improve consequently. Meditation enhances the power of the brain to retain and recollect the data it receives. Since meditation involves developing a skill to focus all your thoughts to a single point, this skill will get reflected in your daily life too. You’ll find less carried away by distractions because of an increased attention span, thus making you concentrate more into your work, thus increasing your productivity. This is why ancient books on meditation and Yoga strictly recommend this mental exercise to students as they are the ones who need a good memory and better concentration.
3. Less Stress and Anxiety
Many people leading a busy lifestyle have elevated, and irregular heartbeat and this leads to stress, anxiety, and ultimately, depression. Both of them are slow poisons, and it could destroy your health faster than you think. Since better blood circulation leads to decreased blood pressure and consequently, a healthier heart, meditation also helps in reducing stress and is an excellent natural cure for anxiety disorders. Meditation helps to clear your mind, and this helps to reduce anxiety and stress. With a newly found self-awareness, you’ll have a clearer perspective, and a positive outlook of all the issues and problems you’re facing and meditation makes it easier to tackle them effectively.
An increased will power gained through meditation will give you control over your impulses and urges. If you’re short-tempered, just try meditating before you register for an expensive anger management program. Studies show hard meditation even helps in controlling pain.
5. Prevents Addiction
The next step of controlling your urges is dealing with addictions if you have any, be in alcoholic, narcotic, or sexual. With a positive outlook and a peaceful state of mind attained with meditation, you won’t find the need for any intoxication to keep you happy. Numerous experiments have been conducted in this context, and the results have been extremely positive in almost all cases.
6. Improvement in Health
Better mental health leads to a healthy body. Regular breathing exercise, coupled with meditation, reduces the chances for heart attacks and diseases. Any respiratory disorders are found to be reduced in intensity or even wholly prevented with meditation. Rheumatoid Arthritis and Inflammatory Bowel Diseases are very few among a large number of diseases that could be prevented by meditation.
Despite all the benefits of meditation, most of the people are skeptical about starting meditation. It is admitted that concentrating your thoughts to a single point even for a minute is very difficult at first, but no one told you to be an expert on the first day itself. It takes over a month to get the hang of it and master the technique, but the results are just amazing. Also, when you combine meditation with breathing exercises like Pranayama, you’ll achieve more concentration and ultimate control over the mind. If you can concentrate on reading this blog, then meditation is a piece of cake for you. Go find a quiet place and start meditating. Namaste!