We all have that one friend who can’t stop talking about how meditation has changed her life. And we’re here to tell you: she’s absolutely right! Read on to discover why meditating is a good idea for anybody looking to make a deeper connection within themselves and the world around them, and enhances emotional and even physical health.
1. It’s medicine for the modern soul
In the must-have, go-get-it modern world, there’s never been a time where we needed to slow down more than now. All forms of meditation require you to quiet the mind, and this results in making better, more conscious decisions on a daily basis. We can more easily see harmful patterns and then subtly shift our feelings towards the positive. More than enough reason to start meditating on a regular basis.
2. It makes you smarter
Studies conducted at the University of Massachusetts Medical School have revealed that people who meditate for 30 minutes every day actually undergo visible changes in their brains. By using an MRI brain scan, scientists discovered that the subjects developed an increase in the grey matter in the hippocampus, which is the area that is responsible for learning, spatial orientation and memory.
3. It’s a healthy habit for fighting stress
In the same study, it was determined that while the grey matter in the hippocampus grew in the test subjects, the grey matter in the amygdala—otherwise known as the brain’s anxiety and stress centre—was reduced.
4. It good for your body
When humans are under stress, their organs produce a series of physiological responses that can take their toll over time. A good example of this is the fight-or-flight response, where a person’s heart rate and cortisol levels spike to cope with an external threat. Making meditation a daily ritual helps your organs slow down this response so that you’re not as negatively affected by hormonal rushes or running an extra risk for cardiac issues. It is also known to help regulate sleep patterns, which is extremely important for physical health.
5. It makes you more creative
Many artists report meditating as part of their working life, and this makes perfect sense. When your mind is more relaxed and less distracted, your senses become heightened and you’re able to take in the world around you, without bringing your own judgments to it. Your mind is open, and in this state of restful alertness, you’re better able to conceive of abstract concepts that have nothing to do with the ego. This is where much of art is born, so it’s no wonder that artistic people use meditation as a way of working—and why it stimulates the creative juices in anybody who practices it.
6. It increases happiness
Meditation makes you more mindful. One of the great benefits of mindfulness is that it sharpens your focus in the moment, allowing you to see happiness in the small things. A regular meditation practice therefore inspires more positive emotions.
7. It slows down the aging process
As revealed in The Huffington Post, a 2014 study conducted by the neurology department at the University of California discovered that people who meditate on a regular basis had a brain structure usually reserved for much younger people. “The research team reported that age-related neural degeneration was ‘unequivocally’ less prominent in meditators as compared to those who did not meditate in 17 out of the 20 analyzed tracts in the brain,” reports the media source. This could mean that conditions like early onset dementia can be slowed down by regular meditation.
We could go on for a long time about the surprising benefits of a daily meditation routine, but instead, we suggest you get started today. Not sure where to begin? Get inspired by clicking here to find out which meditation type best suits your personality and needs, and let your new ritual enhance your life in all sorts of ways.