Meditation is a tradition that is thousands of years old. The more modern form of meditation we know today is believed to have been developed in India more than 2500 years ago. Clearly, it has stood the test of the time for good reason. It is the very act of improving yourself and your quality of life.
In its simplest form, the fundamentals of meditating are:
- Setting a timer for your 20 minute guided meditation session
- Sitting upright on a chair or cushion (keeping your back straight)
- Close your eyes and mouth and breathe deeply through your nose
- Focus your mind only on the feeling of breathing (“centering” yourself on your breath)
If you have a few minutes to spare, I would like to share with you some remarkable ways making meditation a part of your day will make you healthier, help you be happier and feel more fulfilled with yourself.
We know that the lateral and medial prefrontal cortexes in our brain is responsible for our positive emotions, rational logic, balance perspective, self-reflection, and more. Without meditation, your brain thinks there is a serious problem whenever you feel anxious, scared, or have a physical sensation (slight pain, itching, etc.) and you worry yourself thinking. With meditation, you train yourself to ignore anxiety, bodily sensations, and any fear/scare triggers. Resulting in a happier you. Additionally, combining aerobic exercise with daily meditation builds new, healthy brain cells. These two practices are comparable to antidepressants.
- Back Support
Chronic back pain is not fun, and I would never wish this pain on my worst enemies. No one should have to suffer this; sadly, people do. If you are one of them, meditation may benefit you most of all. The National Library of Medicine (NLM) published a study that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) reduced severe pain in patients who underwent 8 meditation sessions. (It is as if you were sleeping on a plush mattress mattress you desperately need.)
- Reduces Stress
Shrimati Bhanu Narasimhan (teaching more than 100 people how to meditate at the Art of Living Center in the District of Colombia) says that meditation means the mind is without agitation. Therefore, meditation is the very act of controlling your own thoughts and emotions. You are effectively teaching yourself how to reduce your stress levels and relieve anxiety.
- Increase Intelligence
In 2010, Elsevier Inc. published a study that revealed cognitive performance was improved by people who extensively meditated. This is because meditation teaches mindfulness, which lessens the mind’s need to wander, as well as improving memory function and reading comprehension.
- Do You Have Problem Sleeping?
You are not alone. All the way back in 2006, NLM estimated that more than 50 million Americans chronically suffer from sleep disorders. In 2018, Statistic Brain’s revealed that the number’s reduced to 40 million Americans. It is crystal-clear that sleep disorders are a serious epidemic.
In 2015, The Journal of The American Medical Association (JAMA) discovered that mindful awareness practices (MAPs) helped older adults’ quality of sleep. They go to state that “mindfulness-based interventions have clinical importance by serving to remediate sleeping problems in the short term.”
To find out more about how meditation can help you, Reddit has an amazing meditation subreddit — a community full of open-minded people offering advice, wisdom, techniques, and who are more than happy to help you. This is a great place to join if you want help to start (or develop) your journey to restoring your optimum health.