The Benefits of Meditation and How to Get Started Now
The benefits of Meditation are vast, and growing everyday as more and more scientific research conclude the practices’ many physical, emotional, and psychological advantages.
Imagine you’re sitting in your office.
RING – RING – RING are buzzing throughout the floor.
Loud “thucks” and shuffling of feet speed walking by your door.
Big inhales, gasps and sighs are on repeat throughout the busy corridor.
Your eyelids are heavy, falling faster and faster over your dry eyes.
You wish you could catch up the sleep lost. You wish you could actually sleep at night.
This project with an important deadline has you in all types of knots.
You don’t even like the job.
You reach for your coffee, your fourth cup of the day. It’s not even noon.
Your lower back is screaming for attention.
You give it a nice rub as you click a button on your computer screen.
Suddenly you give your own personal giant sigh.
Wait…”What was I looking up?”
You press the top of the bridge of your nose with your thumb and forefinger, concentrating, looking for the thought that just escaped you.
Then…a different memory arises.
“Oh! Crap! Did I forget to give Timmy his lunch money?
Oh, no!” You rebuke “I’m sure it’s fine, he would have said something when I dropped him off at school.”
“Oh, gosh, I don’t know! No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no…I had to!” And it begins.
Now you’re feeling anxious about being anxious.
Does this sound familiar?
Even one part of it? Do you feel like it’s taking control of your life? Holds you back? Freezes you in the moment, in the past, in the future?
Ten Minutes a Day
What if I told you there’s an ancient secret to helping you and all it takes is at least 10 minutes a day? Completely organic, no pills or anything.
Would you do it?
If 10 minutes sounds like too much, what if I told you recent research came out showing the daily time a person spends on social media is 2 hours and 24 minutes. All that time everyday on Instagram, for who? Yourself?
I’m asking you to take care yourself for 10 minutes minimum every day. I’m not promising you benefits from this ancient secret, I mean, I am, but really, it’s science making all the promises.
Ten years ago you would have rolled your eyes at me with this concept. Five years ago you may have given me a smirk and kept walking. Now, western civilization is finally catching on to a very old practice, meditation.
Returning to Ancient Traditions
Isn’t it strange that meditation has survived all these thousands of years? Isn’t it strange that ancient civilizations across the globe meditated? Yet, how did these civilizations know how to meditate?
There was no phones, facetime, internet, radio, planes, boats to carry them across the oceans, or even books. There’s a growing trend for meditation. Maybe because western civilization is so worked up in day-to-day activities, all the distractions, the social media, the comparisons, the one-uppers, your kid’s new challenges, on and on. They’re finally turning to ancient traditions to find answers and these practices including meditation is giving enormous comfort and responses.
If you’re still stuck on how all the civilizations found meditating without technology. The answer is they found their own method. Hence, why there’s many different forms of meditation today. As there’s many different forms of karate all gathered under the umbrella of martial arts. As too, all the different forms of meditation.
Not one method is wrong, find one that works for you.
How to Get Started
A common method is simply concentrating on your breath. That’s it! Take one minute right now.
Ground yourself, put your feet on the ground, you can do this sitting in your chair. Close your eyes. Feel your feet to the ground. Feel your breath enter through your body. Your stomach expand. Then your stomach contract as you let the breath out of you. Again, feel your lungs take on the energy of the breath. If your mind wanders, it’s okay. Bring yourself back to your breath. Breathe in through your nose. Breathe out. Relax your jaw. Unclench your tongue to the top of your mouth.
Simply, let go. In and out. In and out. Come back to yourself. Slowly open your eyes.
How do you feel? One minute? Different? Better? The same?
Well, guess what? You just meditated.
I’m willing to bet, you feel better with only one minute of meditation. If even it’s the tiniest degree better, give it to yourself. You see, ten minutes of meditating for one day is not going to do anything in comparison. Meditating is not an aspirin you pop once and the headache is gone. It’s a vitamin, a daily vitamin. The more you do it daily, the more you’ll reap the benefits. Start by learning beginner meditation techniques, and grow your practice from there.
Myths About Meditation
Some ideas about meditation to be cleared up. Meditation you don’t have to sit cross-legged. You don’t have to dress like a monk or meditate in the four cardinal directions. Certain meditation practices do have some rules but, for the most part, it’s a ‘come as you are’ practice. Find a comfortable spot with little distractions, a cozy chair, dressed as you are, turn your phone on airplane mode, set a timer and throw on your headphones with some meditation music if you like. That’s it.
No incense, or chimes, or whatever other delusions some people have in their minds. You can do it in your parked car, a corner on your office floor or if you have your own office…your own office, your bedroom, the subway, traveling on a plane, the park, where ever. I’ve even meditated in my doctor’s office while waiting to be seen.
The Benefits of Meditation
What are these scientifically proven benefits of meditation?
Everyone Needs a Reset Button
Why do we sleep? Have you actually ever asked yourself that? We sleep to give the brain a rest. It’s the one organ that needs a rest. When we sleep the heart, kidney, lungs, stomach all keep working. The brain is finally at ease. It’s like your brain needing clean out its hard drive nightly so that it may keep functioning at high levels. Your brain is in overdrive with the fast pace lifestyle modern civilization has created.
We need meditation more than ever. Your brain has to decipher an enormous amount of thoughts and emotions, old and new, in nanoseconds. This allotted time of meditation allows your sub-conscious and conscious to sort out your thoughts, figure out yourself and trust your own process. Meditation can help calm the body and brain, reducing the anxiety and depression by allowing yourself to take a step back and view life in a different perspective.
Shifting Your Perception, Shifts Everything
Here’s a mind-blowing concept of perception and how we twist and turn the simplest ideas. Take a moment and believe you’re about to sip on a pipping hot cup of coffee, before you take a sip you wish to cool it down.
What do you do?
Now, let’s say you’re outside on a brisk chilly night and you wish to warm up your hands.
Again, what action do you make?
Did both actions have you blowing?
I thought one action was too cool down an object and the other to warm up. Both actions were identical but our perception of what is happening is different.
Think of the mind as a computer. The more data and information your computer has stored up, the more weighed down it becomes. Your computer becomes slower.
All these years of memory being built up. Except in this case, you can’t replace your computer, and you can’t add external hard drives (Well, technically books, post-it notes, calendars, etc are external hard drives in this analogy).
How do you get your computer working like it’s brand-new and as fast as lightning? You have to dump information. Your brain is constantly fighting with itself to figure out what is valuable information that needs to be stored and what is not. “I need to pick up Timmy from soccer practice at 4” “Samantha has such a cute dress on today.” To even the old memories that may have scared you or brought you joy when you were little, in high school or even ten seconds ago.
Meditation Restores Neuroplasticity
Your brain is storing information as fast as you’re feeling, smelling, and seeing. That’s a lot! Isn’t it fair you give it a break? Meditation has been proven to restore neuroplasticity to the brain. In other words it allows the brain to change how neurons in your brain talk to each other. Meaning, you can change how you think and process information.
Goodbye negative thought! A good day to you bad habit! Hasta luego anxiety! And much more.
When you get rid of all the junk lying in your brain you will find clarity, get rid of anxiety and depression. Your mind will be working smoother allowing for better focus and calmer nights for sleep. This in turn allows for a better quality of life which equates to a happier quality of life. The greatest athletes say when they are truly in their game, everything slows down. The same goes with meditation.
After a daily routine implemented, life will slow down for you too. Allowing you to regulate your moods and emotions. Taking on life challenges with confidence and seeing them in different perspectives than before.
Celebrities Meditate Too
If this is not enough to get you to start meditating, how about this list of celebrities who admit the help of meditation in reaching their quality of life and positive mentality. Ellen Degeneres Jennifer Lopez Michael Jordan Katy Perry Paul McCartney Arnold Schwarzenegger Lilly Singh Christen Press Tim Ferris And the late and great Kobe Bryant.
This is a tiny list of successful and arguably the greatest at their craft individuals who give credit to meditation helping them get to where they are now.
Benefit: Preservation of Memory Loss
Another big benefit is the scientifically proven preservation of age related memory loss. Think about clearing the mind of all the unneeded negative thoughts, depression and anxiety. This helps make room for the thoughts and emotions that you want to keep.
Meditation boosts the grey matter in your brain. This is the neuronal cell bodies which is what you want more of as they help in sensory perception like controlling your emotions, decision-making, seeing, hearing, speaking and memory.
How Long Should I Meditate For?
The belief is 20 minutes a day of meditating will get great results. The greatest daily benefit is around 40 minutes broken up into two rounds of 20 minutes. Start small and go with five minutes. Work up to ten minutes. Then twenty. If you can’t get to 20 or 40 minutes a day, it’s fine. Stick with ten minutes.
Are you willing to give yourself ten minutes a day for something that will reap benefits in your everyday life? Keep in mind, to see great results this will take time. You should see some results and mood changes after four weeks. Within eight weeks you will find tremendous results. Imagine what a year of meditating could do?
All the answers you seek are within you and meditation is a great tool to help you reach the best you. Right now, spare ten minutes and meditate.