The benefits of meditation

Meditation is the practice of present moment awareness, noticing your thoughts and emotions and continuously redirecting your focus to the breath. Meditation has made a massive impact in my life. It is one practice that I will never give up and is something that I utilize every single day. From a clearer mind, greater focus and improved mood, the benefits of meditation are endless. I encourage everyone in my life to have a meditation practice because of the many ways that it can impact their lives for the better. Here are 10 of the top benefits of practicing meditation. 

Reduced stress 

Meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and lower cortisol levels in regular practitioners. By nature this practice is very relaxing and promotes stillness in the mind and body, directing the awareness to the present and lowering feelings of stress and anxiety. 

Boosts mood 

Meditation promotes a positive mood and mindset. This study proved that long term meditators were able to reduce future worrying through the practice thus improving mood and creating a more positive thought process. 

Manage anxiety

Meditation reduces stress by lowering cortisol, thus also reducing anxiety in turn. A lot of the time anxiety is caused by future worrying and since meditation is a practice of returning to the present, it helps to reduce rumination on future events and return your energy back to the here and now. 

May control pain 

Meditation promotes a relaxed mental state and ability to better deal with life’s challenges. Practicing meditation regularly may help someone manage chronic pain by promoting sitting with and breathing through discomfort, as well as diverting the focus from the pain back to the breath. The mind and body are also integrally related, and the more relaxed and calm the mind is, the body tends to follow. 

Enhances concentration

The entire practice of meditation is a practice in concentration. Meditating consists of being mindful of when the mind wanders and redirecting your focus back to the present moment. If you stick with the practice and meditate regularly, this will translate to other areas of your life outside of your practice and you can help improve your focus and concentration over time.  

Can improve memory 

Meditation bolsters the cerebral cortex of those who practice brains. The cortex deals with mental functions such as learning, concentration and memory. Regular meditation increases blood flow to the brain, which leads to a stronger network of blood vessels in the cerebral cortex and can reinforce memory capacity.

Regulates emotions

Through meditating, you can learn to successfully regulate your emotions and lessen your reactivity. Meditation invites awareness of our emotional experiences, which allows us to take the seat of the witness and watch our emotions pass instead of indulging them and reacting. Through this calm sense of awareness, we are able to lessen the emotional waves and become less reactive when we experience difficult emotions, trusting they will pass if we let them. 

Improves sleep 

Meditating regularly before bed may help those who experience insomnia sleep better through the night. This study suggests that Formalized mindfulness-based interventions can help to remediate sleep problems among older adults in the short term, and this effect appears to also help in reducing sleep-related daytime impairment that can greatly affect someone's quality of life.

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