Starting a meditation practice is, quite literally, a potentially life-altering move. While deceptively simple in execution, meditation has an uncanny power to change your brain for the better, and it can help you deal more effectively with stress. But the benefits of meditation don’t stop there, from weight loss to better relationships, science now shows what practitioners have known for centuries: the benefits of meditation are nothing short of profound. Even better, the more you meditate, the deeper the benefits go.
Meditation is, essentially, a workout for your mind. Mind training through meditation can yield increased focus, help you better manage your emotions, and boosts compassion for yourself and other people. If you’re worried that meditation seems boring or difficult, know that there are various methods to choose from, including movement-based techniques, such as yoga or tai chi. The key is to find a method that you genuinely love, and try to practice at the same time each day. Scheduling your self-care can help you maintain your routine. If a longer practice feels intimidating at first, know that even five minutes a day is a great place to start. If you need more motivation, consider these five amazing benefits of a regular meditation practice.
Boost Your Mood & Heal Your Mind
Meditation can ease symptoms of depression, stress, anxiety, and can help heal posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Studies further show that mindfulness meditation and yoga help improve cognitive function, and may decrease negative thinking patterns in people who manage depressive disorders.
Power Up Your Immune System
Research shows that people who practice regular meditation develop stronger mitochondrial energy production. Healthier mitochondria mean amped up immunity, protection against stress, and a slower overall aging process. The mind-body connection is real, and meditation can help you manage both your mental and physical health.
Increase Self-Esteem Over Time
Meditation practice is a powerful way to dial up your self-esteem. By learning to observe your thoughts as they arise, you create mental space for evaluating your thinking patterns. Over time, you can learn to let go of thoughts that harm your sense of self-worth.
Deepen Your Focus & Awareness
If multitasking all day leaves your thoughts feeling scattered, try meditation. People who regularly meditate tend to show a significant improvement in their ability to focus, and can recover from distractions more quickly.
Amp Up Your Emotional Intelligence
A high level of emotional intelligence means that you can identify your emotions and manage them with greater skill. People with high levels of emotional intelligence also tend to have an increased capacity for empathy. Since meditation literally changes the brain for the better, it can dramatically strengthen those brain regions associated with greater emotional intelligence.
No matter which type of meditation style you choose, remember that consistent practice is key. And don’t be afraid to mix it up. Whether you prefer movement-based styles or classic seated sessions, a regular meditation practice is one of the most powerful things you can do to improve your quality of life.