By Janet Miller
As a practice of mind and body, meditation focuses on the interaction among the body, brain, soul, and behavior. Meditation’s amazing benefits are numerous and here are just seven to show you where this practice can take you.
1. Increase Creativity
Researchers from Leiden University have been studying how open-monitoring meditation with focused attention can help to improve a person’s creativity. What they found was interesting. They discovered that those who practiced open-monitoring meditation performed much better on a specific task when they were assigned to come up with any new ideas.
Meditation has been known to increase and encourage the type of thinking known as divergent thinking, which allows you to come up with the biggest number of solutions to any given problem, another component of creativity.
2. Decrease Anxiety Levels
Meditation has also been shown to decrease the anxiety levels in those who practice it regularly. When we are meditating we begin to loosen the connections of certain neural pathways.
A section of our brain called the medial prefrontal cortex processes the information that we relate to our experience and ourselves. Typically, the neural pathways from fear and bodily sensations to this section of the brain are strong. Therefore, when you are in a scary situation, this will trigger a very strong reaction in that portion of your brain, which in turn makes you feel anxious and unsettled.
When you do meditate, you can weaken this connection, which will allow you to react differently to the same situations. Another added benefit to weakening this connection is you will now give strength to the assessment center of your brain, which is known for its reasoning. You will be better able to respond calmly to potentially nerve-wrecking situations.
3. Improve Memory
Those who practice meditation are better able to filter out distractions and increase productivity. This ability to ignore background distractions helps one quickly remember and use new facts.
4. Improve Relationships
Meditation also boosts your mood and leaves you with a better sense of connection to other people. This helps to make you more compassionate and empathetic to others. Whether you are looking to improve your relationship with your significant other or connect more to your employees and clients, meditation may be the answer.
5. Aid in Health Conditions
If you suffer from hypertension, many studies have shown that just by meditating you may be able to decrease your blood pressure. Additionally, those with respiratory illnesses such as the flu have been able to recover more quickly than those who did not meditate. Women who suffer from menopause may find relief from meditation as well.
6. Promote Better Sleep
Meditation has proven beneficial in its ability to help promote better sleep quantity and quality. While establishing a good bedtime routine and getting the best air purifier help, adding in some mindfulness meditation may help to give you a better quality of sleep and fight the symptoms associated with insomnia such as fatigue and depression.
7. Boost Libido
On top of better sleep, you may be able to increase the quality and occurrence of your intimate life. One of the biggest reasons couples do not have nearly as much together time as they could is because they are too tired. Our body’s response to stress is usually through fight or flight. When this occurs, we release the stress hormone cortisol as well as adrenaline to help us fight the stress. What this does is increase blood pressure, suppress the immune system, and libido sadly gets caught in the crossfire. Improve your response to stress through meditation and your energy and stress levels shouldn’t be an excuse any longer.
A Final Thought
You may be a bit overwhelmed and think there is no possible way you can include meditating into your already busy life. However, the good news is, you can! Start out with only five minutes each day. You can squeeze in your short meditation practice before breakfast or before you get ready for work. When you get more comfortable with your meditation, you can then begin to increase the length of your sessions over time. The benefits truly are amazing and once you get started you’ll be grateful you didn’t procrastinate any longer.