MEDITATION

MEDITATION

Meditation is the art of quieting the mind.

Meditation has slowly become an accepted part of mainstream culture and is changing lives around the world.

Virtually everyone has either heard of it, knows someone who is regularly practicing it, or is doing it themselves.

Meditation isn’t reserved for the creative careers either, something only writers or artists might benefit from.

Busy moms, senior executives, teachers, service industry professionals, and more can all find benefit from a regular meditation practice.

The US Marine Corps has even considered incorporating meditation into their curriculum as a way for military service members to reduce stress.

Countless individuals are currently considering incorporating meditation into their lives. One simple question many ask themselves is: Should I start meditating?

While some would say that the answer is an obvious “yes”.

Before starting anything new (including meditation), there are certain pros involved in a regular meditation practice that should first be considered.

If you’ve been thinking about beginning to meditate, you can evaluate the pros of meditation and decide for yourself if meditation is the right choice for you.

What Are the Pros of Meditation?

The primary advantage to incorporating a regular meditation practice into your life is increased overall resilience to the stress that life will inevitably throw your way.

Meditation allows you to quickly initiate coping skills when necessary because the mind is able to recognize problematic experiences early on.

Think of meditation like a reset button for the mind. You get to reboot.

Following are other advantages of a regular meditation practice you might consider when deciding whether or not meditation is right for you.

#1. Meditation is not something that is difficult to begin

We have developed this idea that meditation is partially spiritual, partially internal, and not very fun to do.

Who wants to sit down for minutes on end doing nothing, right? Meditation, however, is much more than any label we can associate with it.

Sometimes it is difficult to begin simply because it is forcing us to look at the world differently. We even have multiple tabs on our internet browsers now – we’re encouraged not to focus on a single point.

Meditation changes that perspective.

#2. You can meditate virtually anywhere

There is no perfect place to meditate that works for everyone.

One person’s tranquil pond is another person’s outdoor environment with tons of squirrels to watch.

Thankfully all you need to begin meditating is yourself.

You can meditate almost anywhere.

Even sitting in rush hour traffic offers an opportunity to meditate.

Focusing on the breath for just a few minutes can dramatically reduce any tension you might be feeling when stuck in traffic for what seems like hours on end.

Just make sure not to close your eyes!

#3. The benefits of meditation can be experienced very quickly

It may take as little as 4 days to begin experiencing the benefits of meditation.

A common myth about meditating is that it takes years to begin to see progress and this simply isn’t true.

Decreased levels of anxiety, stress, and increased memory capabilities can be experienced almost immediately.

Many people also experienced better immune functioning and decreased blood pressure levels as well.

#4. There are many different types of meditation to experience

Meditation has hundreds of different forms and outcomes.

We often think of meditation as something that occurs in the lotus position with a candle flame to provide a focus point, but this isn’t the only type of meditation that exists.

puts the focus on being grateful for family and friends and wishing them well.

Mindfulness seeks out the perfection that is found in everything, and is something that can be practiced doing the things you do every day.

Mindfulness is simply the practice of paying attention, on purpose, without judgement to the present moment.

Walking the dog, doing the dishes, and taking a shower can all be done taking a mindful approach.

#5. Anyone in any religion or spiritual lifestyle can meditate

Meditation can have a spiritual component too, but only if  this is something desired by the individual practicing it.

Anyone, regardless of their religion or spiritual beliefs can meditate.

Meditation isn’t “praying” to a specific deity.

It simply involves developing the presence of the mind, body, and heart working together.

While some individuals may want to avoid the incorporation of new philosophies that go against their personal beliefs in some guided meditation sessions, anyone from any religious or spiritual background can meditate without straying from their chosen path.

#6. It can be done on your own or with others you trust

The positive effects of meditation can be experienced on your own.

They can also be experienced in a group. Meditating at home with your family is one example of practicing meditation as a group.

If you have a group of trusted co-workers at work, you might consider meditating together during your lunch break.

Meditation is excellent for increasing focus and concentration, something we could all use a bit more of at work.

According to group meditation can help reinforce your desire to make meditation a daily practice.

Being part of a group can make you feel more dedicated to your practice and can help beginners practice the various concepts together in a supportive environment.

If you want to know how to start meditating daily and are struggling on your own, consider group meditation for 14-21 days to see if it can jump start your habit.

#7. Regular meditation can increase your creativity

One of the first things that begins to fade after fatigue sets in right around midday is your creativity.

Many of us can recognize this feeling as it begins to creep in and we give it creative names: the 3pm Wall, the Mid-Afternoon Blues, the Afternoon Slump.

How do we typically combat this problem? With snacks, sugar, and stimulants.

While these might seem to help in the short term, they really only make you feel worse.

Consider a mid-afternoon mini meditation, which can help restore the creative centers in the brain in just minutes because it allows the mind to rewire itself for the remainder of the day.

#8. Regular meditation encourages healthier eating choices

When you’re tired, what’s the first thing you crave as an eating option?

If you’re like most people it’s usually something with high levels of sugar, caffeine, and fat.

Chocolate cake, doughnuts, coffee, and ice cream – they all fit into this picture.

Who doesn’t crave a frozen, sugary, caffeine-filled Frappuccino when their energy starts to fade?

When fatigue sets in, we also tend to eat more in a serving than we would if we were not fatigued.

Make that a LARGE frozen, sugary, caffeine-filled Frappuccino, please.

Here’s the thing. Meditation can help limit these cravings because it prevents fatigue from putting its claws into your mind in the first place.

When you put good things into your body, good things are in turn experienced.

Let’s just say that meditation is definitely a good thing.

#9. Meditation improves your emotional wellbeing

Meditation is proven to reduce feelings of worry or anxiousness. This results in fewer impulsive decisions.

It can also help to lessen the feelings of fear, loneliness, and depression in many individuals.

This in turn can enhance personal self-esteem, confidence, and self-acceptance.

Meditation has also shown to help control chronic pain.

With less pain, pessimism can turn to optimism, and more relaxation may occur.

There is a greater awareness of the external world because the internal world is no longer focused on the pain.

With regular meditation, some even report an improvement in the positive social connections they are able to make.

There is a “sense” that their emotional intelligence received a boost.

Sometimes the way to feel better is to believe that you are going to be better.

Meditation can help make this happen.

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