What’s on your list of resolutions for 2022? Hopefully, self-care and taking care of your mental health are on there somewhere. One way to do that is with meditation. Meditation is the practice of training your mind or inducing a mode of consciousness in which you are fully aware of your surroundings but unencumbered by the noise and distractions in your head. It has been used for centuries to reduce stress, improve overall health, and increase awareness and empathy.
With meditation, you’re not limited by space. All you need to get started with meditation is a quiet place, a little time, and a method that resonates with you.
Now let’s look at why you should start meditating and the benefits you can expect for your health and well-being.
Meditation helps you stay grounded
Meditation can help you stay more grounded and make better decisions. When you meditate, you’re training your mind to focus your thoughts. Not only can that help you stay more grounded and make better decisions. It’s a chance to hit the pause button on life. Giving yourself time to breathe and engage with the present moment is an important part of staying grounded.
Many people rush from task to task without taking the time to appreciate what’s happening in the moment. Meditation provides you with the opportunity to clear your mind and engage in the present moment for greater mental clarity and the ability to make better decisions. Plus, meditation helps clear your head of distracting thoughts and see things with a fresh perspective. It’s like a reboot for your mind.
Meditation helps you be more mindful of the present moment
Meditation teaches mindfulness, focusing on the present moment without being pulled by your thoughts about the past or worries about the future. Being more mindful can help you avoid getting caught up in the stresses and anxieties of daily life, and it can help you be more grounded and centered. Plus, the mindfulness skills you gain through meditation apply to other parts of your life. For example, mindfulness when eating helps avoid overeating and weight gain.
Meditation can boost productivity
When you meditate regularly, you’re training your brain to concentrate for longer periods than when you don’t meditate. A greater ability to concentrate can boost your productivity. Bigger businesses, including Google, are encouraging their employees to take meditation breaks to boost their productivity. They know the value of keeping their employees mentally and physically healthy.
Meditation helps prevent burnout
Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by overwork. It can also be triggered by stress and trauma, both of which can be helped by meditation. Meditation helps prevent burnout, depression, and anxiety, by training your brain to manage stress in more productive ways. Other signs and symptoms of burnout include feelings of detachment from one’s job, cynicism, low self-esteem, ineffectiveness, feelings of powerlessness, and depression. Meditation can help you deal with these symptoms by helping you detach from negative emotions. Plus, meditation builds self-awareness, which can help you recognize when you’re feeling burned out and amend your lifestyle accordingly. The self-awareness you gain from meditation will help you adopt other positive lifestyle changes.
Meditation is beneficial for your mental and physical health
Research shows meditation can help manage emotions. Studies show mindfulness-based stress reduction programs can lead to greater reductions in stress, anxiety, and psychological distress and is even more powerful than relaxation training. Plus, meditation has physical health benefits. It reduces heart rate, blood pressure, and some studies show it lowers the stress hormone cortisol. All of these are beneficial for your health.
How to get started
It takes just a few minutes every day to reap the benefits of this technique. You set aside time each day — even if it’s just five minutes — to sit in silence and focus on your breathing. When thoughts come up during this time, instead of letting them distract you from the task at hand, you acknowledge them, then dismiss them. Keep doing this until your timer goes off, signaling it’s time to move on. You will feel calmer and more focused after just a few days of mindfulness meditation. Keep at it and the benefits will increase over time and your mental health will improve too.
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