The positive attributes that daily meditation can impart reach well beyond the timeframe that you are actually meditating. This ancient practice, especially when you practice the techniques frequently, can have lasting beneficial effects that resound throughout all aspects of your life.
The following are seven reasons to incorporate meditation into your everyday routine:
Start each day feeling refreshed and renewed
Meditating for even a few minutes each morning can help clear your mind and get you ready to start your day feeling your best. Getting into the present moment first thing in the morning can shake off the sleepies, make you feel re-energized, and help you put aside the worries of the previous day.
When you begin your day with a fresh outlook, unburdened by lingering worries and idle thoughts, you can truly embrace what the day has to offer. Meditation can put a smile on your face and a bounce in your step, even if you are walking into the office for a long shift.
Enjoy better productivity
A study published by the Academy of Management Journal found a correlation between Transcendental Meditation® and better performance at work, higher levels of job satisfaction and better relationships with supervisors and co-workers.
This may be because when the mind is clear and focused, it becomes much easier to get your work done, as well as to do a better quality of work. Without swarming thoughts weighing you down, even the largest workload can seem much less intimidating.
Regular meditation can train you to take things one step at a time, helping you to break down larger tasks into smaller ones, and focus fully on the task at hand. When things get overwhelming, meditation teaches you to re-center yourself as needed, and continue on without getting bogged down to the point of a standstill.
Make healthier choices
When you practice meditation on a daily basis, you gain the ability to slow your mind down and weigh your choices carefully and mindfully. Many of us make unconscious choices often, without even realizing it, especially when it comes to our food.
Instead of scarfing down fast food burgers when you are hungry, a mind trained in meditation will stop and consider what it is you are actually eating. This moment of consideration can help you resist cravings for unhealthy foods, and instead choose foods that will nourish your body instead of causing harm.
The same principle of mindfulness can be applied to other healthy choices, such as exercise, moderating alcohol use or which people we choose to spend our time with. When we mindfully consider each choice that we make, we are much more likely to make choices that benefit us.
Find your inner spontaneity
When we train ourselves to connect fully with ourselves in the present moment, we can let go of a lot of the hangups, fears and lethargy that many of us have surrounding trying new things. Perhaps you have always wanted to take an organic cooking class, or go rock climbing, but have pushed these thoughts aside because your mind was consumed with other things.
Meditation teaches us that the present moment is all we have, and life is to be lived in the now. When we become in touch with this principle, it becomes natural to seize the day and do the things that we want to do, which empower us.
Improve your relationships with loved ones
Living in the past, or finding yourself caught up in a whirlwind of negative emotions, can distance you from the people that you love. It is hard to give your full attention to your family members when your mind is wandering elsewhere.
Training yourself through daily meditation to let things go that are not pressing in the moment, and to focus fully on what you are doing at the time, can help you connect with the important people in your life on a deeper level. You may find yourself enjoying games with your children more, or communicating more clearly with your partner or close friends.
Experience possible relief from depression, anxiety and emotional turmoil
Meditation’s researched links to decreasing depression and anxiety may come from the fact that it helps individuals think of more creative solutions to problems, rather than feeling ‘stuck.’ One study found that volunteers who had experience in Buddhist meditation exhibited far more mental flexibility than non-meditators when asked to solve a problem.
Another study of individuals with “lifetime mood disorders” and histories of depression, published in the journal Cognitive Therapy and Research, found that Mindfullness Meditation techniques improved the depression symptoms in participants, by decreasing their instances of “ruminative thinking,” which leads to a downward spiral of increased depression.
Yet another study, performed at Texas Tech University, looked at the effects of Mindfulness Meditation on anxiety. Results of this study linked these techniques to eased anxiety, which researchers hypothesized could also lead to decreased instances of cardiovascular disease.
Boost your quality of relaxation and sleep
Meditating at the end of the day, before you go to sleep, can help you fall asleep faster, as well as sleep deeper and more restfully. A study published by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that Kriya Yoga, a form of relaxation meditation, provided relief from chronic insomnia to study participants.
While you may feel that you do not have any time in your busy day for meditation, with all of the benefits that it provides, it is absolutely worthwhile to find a few moments for this amazing activity; it truly can enrich your entire life.
-The Alternative Daily