The practice of sitting by yourself in total silence, legs crossed, eyes shut, palms facing upward, reflecting and being fully aware and in sync with yourself and your surroundings may not sound so appealing to some people. In fact, it might seem pretty painful, boring and useless. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Meditation, like everything else worth doing, can be uncomfortable at first. But, it gets easier with practice. By cultivating this one small habit of doing meditation daily, you’ll be experiencing tremendous benefits.
1. You’ll gain inner peace and knowledge of self
In our ever busy and fast-paced modern lifestyles, nothing beats getting some quiet moments – slowing down and just being in the present moment. Meditation is about turning off the frenzy and chatter that creates stress and anxiety in our lives. It’s about breathing, reflecting and letting go. By meditating on a daily basis you’ll clear your mind, expel the negative vibe, improve your mood, relax and ultimately experience deeper inner peace. You’ll be less bothered by little things because through meditation you gain a better understanding of your inner self and life’s purpose.
2. You’ll be happier and more productive.
Let nobody fool you that accumulating all the external goodies in the world like cars, mansions and yachts will make you truly happy. Happiness comes from the inside out. Meditation enables you to reach inside and center yourself on what truly matters—what truly makes you happy. And when you know yourself and what makes you tick, everything is clear. You can pursue the things that truly matter and be truly happy. The mansions and yacht, if they come, only enhance your deep inner peace and joy.
3. You’ll be more loving and caring
Meditation interventions like Loving Kindness (Metta) Meditation generate and project loving and positive feelings and energy into the universe. That means you’ll be sending more love, understanding and compassion to everyone around you, including family, friends, yourself and even strangers. Even a brief meditation session is good for you because it makes people 50% more compassionate, according to a study by Northeastern University College of Science. The best thing about it all is that our energy and actions are like boomerangs. If you show a little more love and care, you’ll get a little more love and care also. A win-win situation for everyone.
4. You’ll be more confident and self-assured
There’s something about meditation that just makes you more confident. While I may not have empirical evidence to support this, you can bet that you’ll be more confident and assured as a result of doing meditation daily. After all, you’ll know yourself better and what makes you tick. You’ll see the world in a positive light and consequently see yourself in a positive way too. You’ll discover that there is a place in this world where you fit, just as you are. That’ll make you love yourself just for being you. Ultimately, you’ll not feel the need to pretend to be what you think others want you to be. You’ll just be yourself. Oh, it’s such a wonderful feeling to be your true self.
5. You’ll be smarter and more focused
Practicing as little as one 15-minute focused breathing meditation can get you out of your head, de-bias your brain and help you think more clearly. That was found to be true by an eye-opening UCLA study published in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. The 2012 study showed that long-term meditators have larger amounts of gyrification, or folding of the brain’s cortex, than people who don’t meditate. The extra folds may allow the meditators to process information faster, be more focused and avoid dwelling too much on past events. That’s great news for meditators.
6. You’ll be more resilient to stress, pain and setbacks
When things don’t go your way (and they will not go your way sometimes because that’s the nature of life), you’ll be more adept to handling the pain and hurt of the situation. That’s because meditation improves people’s moods, perspectives and attitudes. You feel you can actually get through any challenge that comes your way when you do meditation. Even when it comes to physical pain, studies show just 80 minutes of mindful meditation can cut pain perception nearly in half compared with non-meditators.
7. You’ll be more creative and attractive
The two main factors that determine levels of creativity are: divergent thinking (coming up with lots of ideas) and convergent thinking (solidifying those ideas into one brilliant concept.) Researchers at Leiden University led by Cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato studied the effects of two different types of meditation practices on divergent and convergent thinking. They concluded that meditation significantly improves both divergent and convergent thinking. And we all know smart, creative people are the most attractive people you can meet. You’ll be both smart and incredibly attractive by doing meditation.
8. You’ll have enhanced sexual experiences
Researchers have found that one of the biggest impediments to women enjoying the full sexual experience is self-judgmental chatter that often fills a woman’s mind during sex. Meditation training – where a person learns how to bring thoughts into the present moment – can enhance a woman’s sexual experience by quieting the chatter. Men’s sexual experience obviously also benefits as a result. Interestingly, college women who do meditation are quicker to become aroused when viewing erotic photos compared with non-meditating women.
9. You’ll slow the progression of age-related cognitive disorders
A pilot study led by researchers at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center suggests that the positive brain changes associated with meditation like stress reduction and anxiety alleviation may be the answer for slowing the progression of age-related cognitive disorders like Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. What’s even more revealing is that patients who took part in mindfulness-based meditation reported higher levels of well-being, which incidentally also helps with improved cognitive function.
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