The Reasons Why Meditation Will Change Your Life
At this point, our society is no stranger to meditation. Everywhere you go, you’ll probably see something about how beneficial it is or how much it can help your mental state. What does that mean to me, though, you might ask? Is meditation really all that helpful? Or is it just another “out there”, “woo-woo” concept? Well, this might surprise you, but, truthfully, meditation will change your life.
A simple Google search will provide hundreds of results discussing the many benefits of meditation and mindfulness. At the core of its practice, meditation is a great way to relieve stress by allowing yourself to be more mindful and aware of the present moment. However, its benefits can reach a much deeper level. Although it may seem that many advantages of meditation remain on a mental or spiritual level, there are many scientific benefits that prove it has physical benefit as well… (a TRUE mind | body | spirit approach to wellness)
Meditation is a subject that continues to prove the ever-growing combination and bond between spirituality and science. While there are absolutely spiritual links to meditation, watch this short video that breaks down the science behind why meditation is so effective mentally & physically:
Stress is an experience we can all relate to, especially living in such a fast-paced world like we do today. If you are currently facing a stressful situation or are simply curious about the many benefits of meditation, keep reading to learn how this practice can change your life.
How to Meditate
Before you can talk about why or how meditation will make your life better, it’s important to clear away some myths regarding the method of meditation. To put it simply: you don’t need to be a master, monk, or guru to meditate. You don’t need to sit on a mountaintop with your legs crossed, and you don’t need to say a special word or listen to a certain sound or chant. These things may help you enter the mindset, but none of them are absolutely necessary to the process.
The purpose of meditation is to separate from the mind chatter, become the observer of the voice within the head, and enter a state of mindfulness and connection with your authentic self. It is perfectly okay to experience meditative moments in an environment that resonates with you and gets you to that state of clarity; it may be the beach, your bed, the park, or it may even be your car. It’s not important where you meditate, but, rather, you doing it at all is that which counts.
Benefits of Meditation
Of all the benefits granted by meditation, one remains the most important and accepted: stress relief. In a study published by the Biological Psychiatry journal in 2016, 35 unemployed and stressed men and women searching for jobs were told to start meditating. After only three days of mindfulness and meditation, there were already significant changes found in the portions of the brain dedicated to processing stress and calmness. This proven impact and benefit makes meditation a great relief for those with depression, anxiety, or PTSD.
There has also been research which shows that people who meditate have “unique brains” in that they are prone to having better memory, self-awareness, and perspective. Although it may be true that those who meditate are likely to have already been self-aware before the practice, it has also been shown that these areas of the brain were bettered after participating in sessions of meditation.
Another great thing about meditation is that you won’t have to wait months or years to see a difference or positive impact in yourself. Some research has shown that participants in an eight-week meditation program already saw improvements with denser brain tissue in areas associated with learning, emotions, and memory. These participants also showed lower amounts of grey matter in the parts of the brain (the amygdala) associated with fear and stress. With that said, benefits have also been seen in those who meditated for only three days.
Other studies have shown that those who meditate also experienced a decrease in blood pressure and, therefore, better heart conditions. This may be due to lower levels of stress hormones that could cause inflammation and other issues affecting your heart health.
Another study even showed that those who meditate may have better immune systems, as well. After an eight-week program where one group meditated and the other did not, the meditation group showed an increase in left-side brain activity. When both groups were injected with the flu virus, the meditation group actually responded better; due to their increased left-side brain activity, their immune response was stronger and their body produced more antibodies to fight the virus.
Take a listen to Jon Kabat-Zinn, a pioneer in building a bridge between the scientifically-proven benefits of meditation and the average person like you and me. He clearly explains the physical, emotional, transformational, and healing benefits of meditation:
Meditation and You
Meditation may still seem like an uncomfortable subject to you if you’ve never tried it or if you have felt like you don’t know how to “do it right”. After all, what good could sitting silently for a couple of minutes really do for you? Well, evidence has proven it can clearly do a lot; think of it as building/shaping your brain muscle. The benefits are hard to ignore and they sure do put up a good argument for why you should start the practice even if it only 5 minutes a day. What do you have to lose?
The most important thing is that you shouldn’t be afraid or feel uncomfortable with the idea of meditation. In fact, that would be going directly against the purpose of the practice in the first place. Remove yourself from these worries and take time out of your day to calm your mind by separating from your thoughts. You’ll probably start experiencing the benefits before you even realize it.
Meditation at s.a.n.c.t.u.a.r.y™
If you’re looking for a quiet place—a sanctuary, if you will—to practice meditation and calm your soul, s.a.n.c.t.u.a.r.y™ is the perfect place. Our Zen Den allows you to do as much or as little as you want while you meditate and center yourself in a beautiful location right on the water. As the founder and a s.a.n.c.t.u.a.r.y™ practitioner, I can help guide you through the meditation process while training you to be able to bring the practice into your everyday life.
If you’re interested in learning how to meditate and spending some time in this home away home, book an appointment in the Zen Den today.