Want to decrease stress and increase energy? Curious about the link between meditation and health? Smaggle Blogger Carly Jacobs highlights some meditation benefits and ways it could help improve your wellbeing.
Meditation is a funny thing. Some people take to it like a duck to water and others really resist it. Either way, whether you’re a regular meditator or a newbie, there may be many health benefits of meditation. It’s like pressing a pause button on your life for a few precious moments. And although meditation seems like a modern trend, it’s an activity that’s been used for centuries to help de-stress and energise its participants. Here are some benefits of meditation for the body and mind.
It can help improve your sleep
Improved sleep is one of the more sought-after benefits of meditation, since one of the biggest causes of insomnia is stress. Luckily, one of the main purposes of meditation is to help relieve stress, so by taking some time out of your day to wind down, it can help clear your brain and help prepare your body for sleep. Do you know the feeling when you rest your head on your pillow at night and your mind is racing around and thinking of all the things you need to do the next day? Try a sleep time meditation to see if that helps rid your brain of busy thoughts.
It can help increase your self-awarenessIncreased self-awareness is a meditation benefit. We spend so much time focusing our energy outwards but there can be a spiritual and emotional benefit in taking some time to turn our attention inwards. It can be very daunting at first, particularly if you’ve never spent much time practicing slow arts like yoga or tai chi, but with practice it can become much easier and, dare I say, quite enjoyable to sit and be still with your thoughts.
It can encourage breathing
Improved breathing is one of the connections between meditation and health. How many times have you found yourself working on an intense project at work and found that, once you were finished, you felt a bit light headed and you had to do several large yawns and sighs? This may come from unintentionally holding your breath, or maybe not breathing in deeply enough. Meditation is first and foremost an activity for the mind but it can also help with regulating your breathing. This benefit of meditation has long-term effects - the more you meditate, the better your breathing may be during the day, not just when you’re practicing meditation.
One of the health benefits of meditation is increased energy. If you’ve never tried meditating before, one of the best times to start is when you’re really tired and possibly craving coffee and chocolate biscuits during an afternoon work slump. Sitting alone quietly and practising being calm, even just for five minutes, can help energise you and uplift your mood to get you through the afternoon. Plus, it’s much better for you than a double whammy of caffeine and sugar.
It helps you to slow downFinally, a key benefit of meditation is that it slows you down and allows you to relax. Most of us are rarely slow and still these days. Many people are constantly rushing around, trying to get things done, trying to impress our boss, just doing a little bit more and pushing ourselves a little bit further. What if you didn’t do that for just a little while each day? It’s important to remember that you do deserve to take time out for yourself and do things that are important and helpful to your wellbeing. There’s no point in running yourself into the ground - you may not think you have time to take a breathing or meditation class but it might just be the thing to help you get through the week.
For more great ideas on "How to win at life" check out Carly Jacobs' Blog, Smaggle.