If you think that you have no time to learn how to meditate, you should actually consider that to be a sign that you should start. Studies show that people who live incredibly busy lives with little to no time to spend on self-care are likely the ones who can benefit the most from mindfulness meditation. Doing so can help people reduce stress, improve their focus, and allow people to feel more relaxed throughout the day.
When you give your brain a chance to take a break from your everyday worries, you can actually encourage it to run more efficiently when it is time to get back to work. This is beneficial when you are trying to problem solve, focus, or be creative. Here are a few ways that meditation benefits your mind and body.
Meditation helps you to decenter your thoughts. This means that when you get a thought into your head, you are able to enter a state of mind where you can stop and observe each thought as a temporary event rather than relating it to other contexts of your life. Decentering is useful in many ways and is in line with one of the aims of mindful meditation, which is to have the ability to put everything into perspective.
Studies have shown that people who can decenter their thoughts have a reduced rate of anxiety and depression and an increased level of life satisfaction and feelings of well-being.
Lowers Risk of Heart Disease
Studies have shown that having a persistent negative state of mind can increase one's risk for heart disease. Alternatively, living in positive psychological states is associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease. While some people are born naturally happier than others, meditation can improve mood regulation and increase optimism. Doing meditation has also been shown to lower one's heart rate, LDL cholesterol, blood pressure, and cortisol. These findings line up with having a lower level of stress, which is a risk factor for heart disease.
Using Meditation as an Intervention for Heart Disease
Along with other interventions for heart disease prevention, meditation can be a valuable adjunctive intervention. This should be used in combination with other lifestyle and medical treatments for the best effect.
In fact, some people can even try meditation along with their diet and lifestyle changes prior to taking prescription drugs. Some common forms of meditation for this benefit include mindful meditation, Zen meditation, transcendental meditation, relaxation response practice, Loving-kindness meditation, Raja yoga, and Vipassana.
Other Health Health Benefits of Meditation
Relaxation techniques such as meditation can help reduce stress-related problems, such as back pain, acid reflux, inflammation, and insomnia. On study, performed on over 4,000 people over eight weeks, focused on relaxation by having participants use techniques such as meditation and yoga. They also worked on their resiliency skills using social support, positive psychology, and cognitive skills training. Following this program, the participants used medical services an average of 43% less than they had before participating in the study.
In addition to stress relief, meditation can help promote emotional well-being, reduce depression, aid in weight loss, improve concentration, slow down brain deterioration, improve sleep, reduce inflammation, reduce pain, and increase immune function.
Meditation can also be more beneficial in increasing energy than caffeine. Meditation energizes you and increases productivity without triggering a rush of adrenaline. This is because meditation calms your nervous system instead of further exciting it. This makes the process more orderly, which then makes it easier for your body to release pent-up tension.
Experts are now beginning to recognize that meditation is a powerful productivity tool. While it may sound counterintuitive, taking time to meditate during the day can actually help increase your productivity, which leads to added time in the long run. Meditating for just 20 minutes is the equivalent of taking a 1.5-hour nap, and allows your body to rest up to five times deeper than sleep. Even doing a short period of meditation every day can help you feel both refreshed and awake.
While some people spend a lifetime perfecting the art of meditation, you can easily gain benefits from meditating in your home each day for just a few minutes. There are classes and group sessions offered to help teach meditation, as well as guided meditation apps that you can use on your own.
The more you practice, the easier it will be to enter into a calm and relaxed state of focused awareness. It will also begin to get easier to stay in a meditation mode for longer periods of time. The effects of meditation will also last longer the more you practice, allowing you to live a calmer and more focused life.