5 Reasons Why You Need to Begin Practicing Meditation
Meditation has been practiced around the world for centuries and for good reason. The practice dates back to ancient taoist China where it was used to focus the mind and alleviate suffering.
Pretty cool, right? Since then, meditation has spread across the world, gaining popularity wherever there are people who need to relax and focus. It can really do a lot for you, particularly for your mental state and productivity. Meditation can sometimes be stigmatized as weird and archaic, but it’s something that everyone could benefit from.
5 reasons you should start meditating right now
1. It is great for anxiety.
Meditation and mindfulness practices are one of the best ways to deal with anxiety. You should still seek out professional help and follow your doctor’s instructions, but if you’re looking for something to do on your own, this is as good as they come.
Many of you may picture Mr. Miyagi telling you to “clear your mind” when thinking about meditation, but that’s not quite how it works. While it’s true that some forms of meditation do focus on clearing the mind of thoughts, mindfulness meditation, which has become the most popular for anxiety, has you picture and identify your thoughts and then let them pass.
Instead of working against your brain to force it to calm down, you merely let it do whatever it wants while identifying and examining what it’s doing.
2. It can help you get your attention span back.
Even since the invention of the smartphone ten years ago, the average attention span has been decreasing significantly. In our digital world that’s bursting with information and rapid communication, we are getting accustomed to faster and less detailed information. This has created a firehose effect where we are bombarded with stimuli and information to the point where our brains have learned to not focus on any one thing for too long.
Meditation is great for building your attention span back up. The act of focusing your thoughts and spending time being mindful of what’s going on in your head without any external stimuli helps retrain the mind on how to focus and relax.
3. It can improve sleep quality.
One of the benefits that comes with reduced stress and increased focus is an increased ability to sleep. Without anxiety and stress messing with your neurotransmitters and melatonin levels, you will find it easier to fall asleep and will be more well-rested when you wake up.
Obviously, meditation doesn’t completely remove all stress and anxiety, but it’s an effective way to substantially reduce it. Getting enough sleep is extremely important for staying calm and focused and not getting enough sleep can lead to an increase in stress and mental illness. Meditation can help you sleep more soundly.
4. It promotes better heart health.
Stress on the body typically causes things like high blood pressure and an elevated heart rate. Meditation can help you learn to control and limit these physical responses to stress, which will alleviate some of the strain they are placing on your heart.
Deep breathing and relaxation techniques can also lower your resting heart rate which is extremely important for individuals who are in higher risk populations for things like heart attack and stroke.
5. You can do it anywhere.
This sets meditation apart more than anything else. Unlike some other solutions, meditation can be practiced absolutely anywhere. You don’t need any special equipment or medicine; you just need your own mind and body. It’s completely free and incredibly beneficial.
Meditation is one of the most beneficial and most accessible tools for training your mind and body. It can help you control stress, improve sleep, and even improve your attention span. So grab a matt, check out a meditation podcast, and start sharpening your mind.