If you do not think meditation works than it will not work for you. This is how powerful your mind is. If you are a believer or at least have an open mind then read on….
There are many reasons why meditating everyday is beneficial for your mental and physical health. Here are 21 of them…
- Neuroplasticity – You are literally re-programming your brain by developing this practice.
- It’s affordable – This form of stress-reducing, self-care doesn’t cost a thing.
- Increases intelligence – With a consistent practice your cerebral cortex will strengthen overtime helping you to better process and retain information.
- Stress reduction – Meditation activates the parasympathetic nervous system which shuts off the “fight-or-flight” response in your body. It does this by releasing calming hormones to counterbalance stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline, which if always activated cause chronic stress.
- Strengthens you immune system – When your body is in a constant state of stress it can lead to high blood pressure, poor digestion, increased fat storage (Ever wonder why you eat a healthy diet and exercise but still don’t lose weight? Look at your daily stress level.) increased blood sugar and a compromised immune system. Since meditation deactivates stress it is capable of reversing all of those things. Always remember, your thoughts manifest in your body.
- It creates mindfulness – Your probability of acting more mindfully throughout your day will increase enabling you to make wiser decisions by responding versus reacting.
- It’s easy – Meditation doesn’t take any skill, you can do it anywhere and at anytime. Just close your eyes and sit.
- To gain clarity – Meditating shines a light on what is truly important to you so you can spend less brain energy on the thoughts that are less important or even worse, debilitating.
- To understand yourself – You will start to notice thought and emotional patterns which will reveal to you your true nature.
- It enables you to be present – Once you start noticing that your thoughts are only thoughts then you can start to detach from them and instead concentrate on enjoying the present moment. Let go of the past and stop worrying about the future.
- Increases patience – You will start to notice that the things that annoyed or upset you easily and quickly in the past will no longer trigger you.
- Increases focus – You will be less likely to want to skip around between tasks. Your mind will be more at ease and you will start to catch yourself when you become distracted, enabling you to gently bring your mind back to the task at hand.
- You will be more in touch with reality – Meditation allows you to see that the only thing that is really true is what is happening in that exact moment not the stories that you create in your head.
- It’s enjoyable – Ok, maybe not so much in the beginning. But once you get past the first several days of squirmy restlessness you will start to enjoy being in a state of peace and your brain will want more of it. I look forward to meditating every morning now.
- It helps you build and maintain other healthy habits – Stress and not understanding how to deal with your emotions can sabotage your efforts when trying to build a healthy lifestyle. Meditating helps you stay true to your values. A daily practice creates a domino effect enabling other healthy habits to become easier and more likely to form.
- You will be more in tune with your body – It increases your ability to listen to your body and learn what it is telling you so that you can respond accordingly. For example, you will start to understand things like, why you have a headache, if you really are hungry or if you’re just anxious or why your heart is racing.
- Increased lung performance – You will start to become more aware of the way you are breathing, not just while meditating but throughout your day. This not only allows you to control how deep you breath but also to make sure you are breathing and not holding your breath.
- It builds confidence – When you stop holding on to limiting thoughts and stop rushing from one thing to the next you start to trust yourself more. You start to believe that everything that needs to get accomplished will and that you will remember everything you need to remember.
- It heals suffering – By sitting with yourself everyday you are able to start seeing and accepting the root cause of any suffering you may be experiencing rather than resisting it, wishing things were different and therefore staying stuck in it.
- Increased success – “Success is where preparation and opportunity meet” – Bobby Unser. Meditation helps you become more mindful in your preparation and better able to see opportunities.
- Increased happiness – Chronic stress leads to depression. Meditation creates internal peace, which leads to contentment.
These reasons have both been scientifically proven and experienced in my own life, and only after just a short while of practicing daily. The longer you practice the more engrained the habit becomes, the stronger your mindfulness muscle becomes and the more you will reap these benefits. Happy meditating!
Have you noticed any benefits to having a regular meditation practice? Tell us all about it in the comments section. And if you liked this article I invite you to subscribe to The Healthy Locavore for more health tips, cooking ideas and resources. I am so grateful for this community, thank you so much for being a part of it!
Sarah Burchard is the author of The Healthy Locavore, a natural foods chef and experience host whose writing focuses on cooking, holistic health, supporting community and eating locally grown and made foods.