Mention meditation in conversation to anyone that hasn’t tried it or understands what it is, and you can often get a blank look and a quick change of subject. This is because some still believe that the only people who practice mediation are free-living hippies.
We know, of course, that this couldn’t be further from the truth.
There isn’t anything new or unusual about practicing mediation. Many cultures have been practicing meditation and mindfulness for centuries, and these ancient calming and grounding practices could be precisely what is missing from modern life.
Many people believe that meditation is a spiritual practice associated with Buddhism. Still, in reality, it is a valuable tool for anyone looking to calm their mind, lower stress and anxiety levels, and generally improve their mental health, self-awareness and relationships with others.
People also think that meditation is difficult to learn and maintain, especially when they believe they are too time-poor for it to be possible to practice.
Again, this isn’t the case, and even the most tightly scheduled person can successfully learn to adopt meditation techniques that can help reduce their stress levels.
Here we look at six facts about meditation that will help you understand just how beneficial it is to have in your life.
6 Facts about Meditation
1. The Benefits of Meditation Work Fast
We all know how frustrating it can be when we start working out at the gym, knowing it may be many weeks, if not months before we begin to see the results we want. However, meditation’s many health benefits can be felt immediately after you start practicing.
The sense of calm and peace of mind you get from meditation can be felt quickly. The more you practice meditation, the longer the calming effects can last.
The mind is very elastic, so learning new meditation techniques builds resilience, and before you know it, you will benefit from a peaceful and calm mind every day.
2. Meditation Helps You Manage Stress, Anxiety and Depression
The mental health benefits of meditation cannot be denied. People of all ages and backgrounds successfully use meditation to address and manage stress-related health issues such as anxiety and depression.
This is because meditation has positive physiological effects on the brain. Practicing meditation helps to regulate the part of the brain that controls your anxiety and stress levels.
By tuning your mind away from worrying thoughts and towards your breathing and moment-by-moment experiences, you are changing your thinking patterns and reactions to stressful thoughts into moments of calm, reason and sound logic.
3. Better Quality Sleep
When you are stressed and anxious, it can be challenging to fall asleep. Many people have insomnia caused by their racing, worried mind and seemingly endless anxious thoughts crowding their heads.
Meditation removes long-held fatigue caused by chronic sleep deprivation. It can help clear and calm your mind, allowing you to fall asleep quicker and sleep more deeply, so you wake up refreshed and full of energy. Just before you go to sleep at night is the perfect time to practice meditation.
4. Meditation Improves Your Mood
Those who meditate regularly tend to live happier lives than those who don’t.
Meditation enhances positive energy flow through your body and mind, which helps to quiet anxious thoughts and promote feel-good emotions, making you a much happier person and more of a pleasure to be around.
Research conducted with Buddhist monks shows that their pre-frontal cortex, the part of the brain that is associated with happiness, was extra active while meditating.
5. Improved Memory and Information Retention
It has long been proven that practicing meditation is a fantastic way to improve your memory and sharpen your mind.
We now know that learning new things is the key to keeping our minds active as we get older.
Learning new meditation techniques and practicing mindfulness helps to boost your cognitive function and your ability to retain and recall important information.
This is why meditation has so many benefits for people of all ages, from students studying for exams and executives giving presentations, to retirees learning a new hobby or craft and more.
6. Meditation Isn’t Religious
Meditation is open to people of all beliefs and isn’t restricted to the practice of Buddhism alone.
In fact, meditation goes beyond doctrine and focuses on your inner self, developing a calm, peaceful mind with no religious association or connotations.
After reading these six facts about meditation, it may be hard for you to find a reason not to try it out for yourself.
Even if you start with a few short minutes at night before you go to sleep, you will soon begin to reap the many benefits that meditation offers – and what’s more, meditation is free! What more could you ask for?