Meditation is becoming increasingly popular in the western world as we begin to wake up to the many benefits that is has to offer.

I have meditated daily for years and I will share with you some of the biggest benefits to meditation as well as a short meditative exercise that you can perform by yourself at almost any time.

1. Meditation lowers stress.

There can be no doubt that meditation lowers stress. It reduces your heart rate and lowers production of cortisol which is the hormone responsible for the stressful feelings.

2. Meditation quiets your conscious thoughts.

If you have an over-active mind at night, or during the day, you know how frustrating it can be. One unimportant event can run through your head over and over, branching off into “what ifs” and “what ifs” of those “what ifs”. This can lead to mental fatigue.

When you meditate though you are focusing on just one thing. Your mind may slip at times but you can bring it back to that singular focus. With regular meditation you will begin to develop a quiet mind and inner peace.

3. Meditation helps you sleep.

I used to have great difficulty sleeping until I began to meditate shortly before bedtime. Not only does meditation help you to fall asleep quicker but it also improves the quality of your sleep. If you sometimes wake up feeling more tired than when you went to bed that meditation is something you need to try.

For more tips on getting a better sleep, click here.

4.Meditation regulates your emotions.

Meditation, focusing on mindfulness in particular, is a great help at regulating emotions. If you’re someone who often feels over or under emotional then meditation will help keep you on an even keel. You will being to express your emotions in a much more healthy way.

5. Meditation improves focus.

The entire point of meditation is to focus your mind on one thing. It stands to reason that this single-minded focus will carry over to your daily life. This can be a HUGE help in your work life or if you’re in education.

6. Meditation has anti-ageing effects.

Thanks to a combination of the previous benefits as well as “physically” affecting the brain, meditation can help you fight ageing and remain youthful beyond your years. So rather than inject yourself with toxins, why not spend 15 minutes a day meditation instead?

7. Meditation protects your mental health.

Evidence also shows the meditation can protect you against depression, addictions and other issues. While you should always seek professional advice in these matters, anything that makes the battle easier is undoubtedly a good thing.

8. The effects of meditation last beyond the time spent meditating.

As great as all these benefits of meditation are, they wouldn’t be all that useful if they just lasted the time you spent meditating. Thankfully though the effects last outside the meditative state as long as you meditate regularly. Just 10 to 15 minutes of meditating daily can bring you all these benefits and way more (including lower blood pressure and an actual positive physical effect on the brain).

An Easy Meditation Exercise

Now you know what meditation can do for you I’m sure you’re eager to start meditating yourself. Well here’s a quick meditative exercise that anyone can do. Please read it all first before you begin so you don’t miss anything.

  • Make sure you’re in a room where you won’t be disturbed.
  • Get yourself in a comfortable position. This could be seated or laying down flat. Make sure your legs aren’t crossed so you don’t end up with pins and needles or cramp.
  • Close your eyes and begin to breath deeply through your nose.
  • Breath using your diaphragm so that your belly rises as you inhale, and lowers as you exhale.
  • Allow all tension to leave your body.
  • Focus on the air entering and leaving your body.
  • Notice how the air feels cold inside your nostrils as you inhale, and warm as you exhale.
  • Feel how it energizes you each and every time you inhale.
  • If you’re having trouble with losing focus, trying mentally repeating commands to “breath in” and “breath out”.
  • Continue focusing on your breathing in this manner for as long as you wish.

Meditation works best when it is performed regularly so try to find a regular time when you can perform the above exercise daily. Eventually you will want to move on to different, more complicated meditations.

Enjoy the journey.

Featured photo credit: Meditation by Cornelia Kopp via flickr.com

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