Meditation is quickly rising as the go-to for anxiety relief and stress management. It has many promising benefits that can change your body both physically and mentally, so it definitely should have a place in your daily schedule. And it’s no secret that we are a stressed bunch. With long work hours, pandemics, kids, partners, bills, and other life responsibilities- we could all use a little zen.
Why is Meditation Important?
Meditation has incredible benefits that scientists are pretty excited about. What they have discovered is meditation is not just designed to relax your mind. It can actually change it. A consistent meditation practice can increase your prefrontal cortex’s thickness, which controls your awareness and even your concentration. What this means is you can actually change and train your brain just from meditating.
Another significant benefit of meditation is stress reduction. Stress is terrible for our bodies and can cause a host of problems like hair loss, insomnia, stroke, heart attack, and it messes with your hormones. Meditation helps regulate stress by reducing your fight or flight response. And science backs this up. An eight-week study placed participants in a mindfulness course while taking MRI scans of their brains. The scans showed a significant reduction in the part of the brain that is responsible for your flight or fight response.
And while we know meditation is great for your brain, it has a host of other benefits, too, like;
- Increased creativity
- Enhanced focus
- Reduced blood pressure
- Reduces chronic pain
- Lowered risk of heart disease
- Improved sleep
- Healthy hair
- Relapse prevention
The list goes on, but as you can see, meditation is a catalyst for change in your body and has a place right next to your exercise and nutrition routines.
How Much Time do you Need to Meditate Per Day?
So, you know mediation is great for you, but how do you find the time? You have a busy life, and taking time to relax might not sound workable right now. Well, the good news is, meditation is very flexible. You can listen to meditation while going to bed, while going for a walk, or even for just a few minutes when you first wake up. You don’t need to spend hours a day meditating. Just ten minutes per day is a great place to start.
How Can you Make Meditation a Daily Habit?
New habits can be hard to keep, but it’s all about how you plan your day. Just like you would schedule a meeting or an appointment, schedule out your meditation too. Maybe you have a busy day, so you plan to turn off Netflix ten minutes early to meditate. Or maybe, you sneak a quick session in before everyone else wakes up. It is truly all about what works best for you.
Where can you Find Guided Meditations?
Meditation is more accessible than ever these days. There are tons of apps, courses, classes, videos, and even retreats you can explore. Some favorites are the Calm app, Headspace, Chopra app, and even meditation options on Spotify and Apple Music. With so many choices out there, it can be hard to know which one to choose. Luckily they offer free trials so you can explore their meditations to find one you connect with.
The most important part of meditation is practice. Don’t hold on to expectations or be hard on yourself if your mind wanders or you miss a day. Just do what you can, when you can, and enjoy the many benefits meditation has to offer.
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