Meditation is sometimes seen as something almost religious or spiritual, and whilst it could be either of those things to some people, its main purpose for the vast majority of people now, is to simply help us relax and to assist in managing our stress levels.
Over the last few years, meditation has become more and more popular, especially with the development of phone apps which can be used as a guide for daily meditation.
You’ll also see a wide variety of books in your local bookstore which discuss various forms of meditation and the mindfulness that is attached with it.
In today’s post, I plan on discussing some of the benefits of meditation, as well as my own personal experiences of making meditation a daily practice!
Benefits of Meditation
- Meditation helps to improve our focus on tasks and daily activities; therefore, also increases our productivity.
- As well as increasing the levels of positivity we experience, this meditative practice can also helps to lower levels of depression, anxiety and stress.
- Through regular meditation, you can become more aware and present, this stops you from feeling as lonely; leaving you more at peace with the world and your position in it.
- It has been shown to reduce the inflammation within our cells and also decrease any physical pain that we may be suffering from.
- Meditation can help to improve and strengthen the immune system, which could set you up to live a longer and healthier life.
- Meditation can also help us to regulate our own emotions, as the process of it makes us more self aware and understanding of how we think and how we feel.
My Personal Experience of Meditation
Until a short while ago, meditation was something that I did sporadically. Whenever I did it, I felt significantly better afterwards, however, because it hadn’t become a regular practice, I never felt it’s full effects and benefits.
However, once I made meditation a habit and did at least 5 minutes every day, that’s when I really began to see the benefits.
For me, meditation was and still is, a great way to step back, unwind and just appreciate being in the moment. As a highly motivated individual, always striving to progress, I’ve found meditation to be an absolute must. That’s because it stops me from getting carried away and overworking.
It allows me to appreciate where I am at right now and stops me from always looking forwards and into the future.
There is a quote that I love and I often remind myself of it after my daily meditation:
“Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift of God, which is why we call it the present.”
Becoming Aware & Being Present
One of the most beneficial things that I’ve taken away from regular meditation is the fact that it has helped me to become more aware. Through this practice, I have become more aware of the way I think, the way I react to certain situations and I’ve also become more aware of when I need to take a step back and reset.
As well as becoming more aware, I’m also learning to become more present and to live in the now. Just like the quote above, meditation helps me to appreciate the fact that I’m alive and breathing and that whatever the situation, I’m lucky to have the gift of the present.
Physically, I have found that this simple practice really helps with my focus and the “flow state” that I try and achieve throughout my training. Alongside this increase in focus and concentration, the meditation has also helped me in regards to my breathing – establishing a natural breathing pattern – and has helped me to fully relax.
This new found ability to relax, through meditation, has helped me to recover a lot quicker during exercise and has also just helped me to chill out in general, or when I’m face with some sort of conflict, challenge or adversity.
Simple Tips for Meditation
I am by no means an expert and I’ve only been practicing this regularly on and off until the last few months, however, here are a few little tips to get you started and moving in the right direction:
- Get comfortable – whether you’re laying down, sat on a chair or standing up, it really doesn’t matter. Just be in a comfortable position and try not to make the way you’re stood/sat/laying feel unnatural.
- Focus on your breathing – with meditation it’s normal to have things pop into your head, so to try and help centre your focus, just pay attention to your breathing. If your mind wanders then so be it, once you realise don’t get mad, just try and go back to focusing on your breath.
- Find a method you enjoy – there are various apps available now which can help you with meditation. They offer basic meditation timers, breathing timers or guided meditations. Try out a few and see what one feels best for you, or if you want to completely ditch technology, then just meditate without any timers and do as much as you see fit!
There you have it!
Some basic benefits of this simple practice, as well as a bit of a reference with my own experiences of it, as well as a few simple tips to help you get started.
Just remember that it should be fun, enjoyed and used as a means to help us relax, focus and de-stress. It’s a practice to have fun with and I’m sure you’ll see the benefits, whether you do it regularly or occasionally!
I will leave a list of links and references below if you’d like to find out more or look at some scientific studies on meditation.
Thanks a lot for reading and feel free to let me know in the comments how you feel about meditating, whether you’re going to give it a go and also, any benefits that you’ve found from practicing it!
Links & References:
- Increased Focus & Attention (1, 2, 3, 4)
- Positivity, Depression, Anxiety & Stress (Increased Positivity 1, Increased Positivity 2, Decreased Depression, Anxiety 1, Anxiety 2, Stress 1, Stress 2)
- Less Loneliness (Less Loneliness)
- Inflammation & Pain (Inflammation 1, Inflammation 2, Inflammation 3, Pain 1)
- Immune System (1, 2)
- Regulate Emotions (1)
- List of More Benefits