You’ve heard it all before:
“You should meditate every day.”
“My life has changed via meditation.”
“I wouldn’t be the person I am today if I didn’t meditate.”
That’s all great, but what are the actual benefits of meditation? I was wondering that myself and wanted to do a little research to see if what people were saying was actually legit. I’ve put together my findings in a simple list of 3 benefits I’ve found meditation to have.
Before we jump in, let me first give you the rundown of what meditation is. According to the great Buddah, meditation trains the mind to “not dwell in the past or contemplate about the future.” It lets the mind settle in the ‘now’ and allows us to see the beauty of the present. [https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-meditation/] Sounds ideal, right? Let’s dive into the 3 benefits of meditation now.
Benefit #1. Meditation is a natural stress reliever. There are so many things that are unknown and stressful not only during this crazy year, but especially during the holiday season. I was very intrigued to learn that meditation can positively impact stress. In fact, an 8 week study in Healthline [https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation#1.-Reduces-stress] found that a daily practice of ‘mindfulness meditation’ lowered the stress hormone cortisol significantly. If that alone isn’t reason enough to practice meditation, I don’t know what is!
Benefit #2. Meditation improves emotional health. Numerous forms of meditation have been linked to decreased levels of depression and overall increased feelings of happiness. This is thought to be because meditation helps to focus the mind on being present and not dwelling on past or potential future events. Additionally, a large-scale study found that regular meditation decreases the likelihood of developing depression and mood-related disorders (Jain, Walsh, Cahn, 2015). Besides some forms of meditative practices which also promoted positive thinking, as researchers stated, and could improve the overall emotional health of an individual. [https://positivepsychology.com/benefits-of-meditation/]
Benefit #3. Meditation can increase kindness. There is a specific type of meditation that is designed to practice the art of kindness, Metta. It is a practice of developing positive feelings, first toward yourself and then toward others [https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/12-benefits-of-meditation#7.-Can-generate-kindness] The meditation is believed to be a sort of healing source for the soul by making ourselves and those around us feel kindness and love. The best part about this specific type of meditation is that studies have shown greater kindness and love being reported by people who have been previously and continually practicing Metta.
Now is the Time to Begin:
It seems as though if there was ever a time to get into meditation, it would be now. Having less stress, improved emotional health and overall kindness seems like something the end of 2020 definitely could use. I look forward to practicing meditation on a more regular basis and hope you will join me!
Have you found a good meditation practice? I would love to hear about it! Post it in the comments below.