Anxiety can creep up at any moment and it seems the pandemic + current events have welcomed stress + anxiety with open arms. Being isolated, quarantined with just ourselves + our own thoughts has exposed the many struggles we all have with our mental health.
Meditation is the practice of calming the thoughts in your mind to achieve awareness or an alternate state of consciousness that can feel like a slice of paradise, even in the harshest of climates.
“Meditation is time carved out for yourself – sacred space – to feel that underlying yes from life, the affirmation of your being. In this spacious welcoming, you may feel the yes of your own response to life welling up from the depths – not from discipline but from pleasure, not from demand but from love.
Providing a rest deeper than sleep, meditation is refreshing and rejuvenating. It’s good for your health, enables you to better deal with stress, and helps you live in harmony with your world. *source: Meditation Secrets for Women
10 HEALTH BENEFITS OF MEDIATION:
- Reduces Stress & anxiety- Simply relaxing and focusing the mind on meditation triggers the release of endorphins and also helps increase dopamine, serotonin, and melatonin. This cocktail of chemicals flooding the bloodstream leaves the meditator feeling calm, happy, and content. Meditation helps to quiet an overactive brain, lowers the blood pressure, & lowers the heart rate.
- Increases your sense of connectedness & empathy – Feel disconnected from those around you? Studies have shown that mindfulness through meditation allows people to better regulate their emotions, allowing them to become more present for others – meditation leads to an increase in friendly and helpful behavior, and inspires people to be kinder and more empathetic.
- Improves focus – Some people use coffee for focus, other use meditation which improves cognition and increases the ability to perform tasks requiring focus.
- Improves relationships – Meditation increases emotional stability, and helps people hone in on their ability to pick up on cues indicating how others are feeling. With a regular mediation practice, the meditator is less likely to be influenced by any negative people in their life, has a greater acceptance of others, and offers people more space and understanding to let them be who they truly are.
- Inspires your creativity – Mindfulness switches on divergent thinking and opens the mind to new ideas. It works to enhance creativity & innovation and improves attention, making it easier to register the novelty and usefulness of ideas.
- Improves memory – Meditation is a powerful tool for improving concentration and bettering your cognition – when you’re able to focus better, you’re also better able to solidify concepts in your short-term memory. Therefore, practicing meditation can help you to develop your short-term memory.
- Improves your ability to make decisions – With meditation, the decision-making process becomes a thoughtful, cognitive exercise rather than an impulsive reaction to immediate needs. It helps you clarify objectives and avoid rational decisions.
- Enhances your immune system – Since your immune system responds to both negative and positive thoughts, meditation creates a positive mental environment for the immune system to flourish. It boosts antibodies, and stimulates immune system brain-function regions, which make the immune system function more effectively when stimulated.
- Reduces physical & emotional pain – By activating and reinforcing some areas of the brain used in pain processing, meditation has the overall effect of helping to reduce pain intensity.
- Increased happiness – Meditation shrinks the portion of your brain called the “amygdala,” which is the section of your mind that controls fearfulness and anxiety, so the smaller that bad boy is, the happier you’ll be.
As we experience necessary + complex shifts in our world, it is important that hold space for our self care. We are at the beginning of transformation. In moments of madness, we can find a bit of serenity with mediation. In the heightened state of being that meditation awakens, we can feel more logical, tactical, and auspicious.
It is important to check in with yourself and keep an open dialogue with your heart and your mind.If you are plagued with symptoms such as anxiety, negative thoughts, a weakened immune system, a lack of creativity, an overactive brain, or physical pain, I hope you will consider mediation as a way to literally change your life.
To get started with meditation, try this Self-Guided Rose Quartz Meditation.