How do you begin your day? Many swear by the benefits of meditation for a serene start to your day: the stress-busting practice, which stretches back thousands of years, is good for emotional health and overall well being.
From improving day-to-day life to diminishing stress, medical studies point to many advantages gained through the practice of meditation. MRIs reveal that meditation transforms the way the brain works, slowing down the speed in which the brain processes information. It’s good, sometimes, to take a break!
Here are just a few of the ways meditation is helpful:
- Decreased stress: A review in JAMA scientific journal found that across more than 50 trials, meditation helped reduce and anxiety. It is hard, after all, to stress when you’re focused on the present moment.
- Increased focus: Have trouble concentrating? Meditation is known to strengthen a person’s ability to focus. Think about meditating before you do your taxes, get started planning a big work project, or absorb a dense text. While it’s no miracle worker, both studies and anecdotal data reveal that “meditation may help keep your brain focused and help you absorb more information than you otherwise would,” according to reporting in Time.
- Makes us more compassionate: And the benefits don’t stop with making our own lives better – meditation has been shown to make us more compassionate and kind toward others as well. That means your meditation is good for you, and better for your friends, family, and coworkers. A study found that people who’d recently meditated were more likely to help a person on crutches than those who hadn’t, reports the Huffington Post. One of the study’s researchers commented, “that meditation made people willing to act virtuous — to help another who was suffering — even in the face of a norm not to do so.”
- Improves your sleep: And of course, if you have trouble getting your Zzzzs, meditation can be a big help, both at reducing insomnia and improving your rest. A recent study found that mindful meditation – a technique where you focus on both your breathing and what’s happening in the present moment – was effective at improving sleep.
- Lowers your blood pressure: As well as emotional well-being, meditation is also helpful for physical problems. NPR reports that with daily meditation, patients can lower their blood pressure – and do it so effectively that they can even drop medications.
There are many different ways to meditate, from guided to mindfulness meditation to mantra meditation! Getting started meditating can be a challenge, especially for Type A folks, or anyone who has trouble putting down their smart phone. To set the scene for your meditation, try using one of Mood’s Serenity products: you could light a candle, pour some crystals into your next bath for a soothing experience, or use Mood-Lites in the room where you like to meditate.
Share your favorite way to meditate on social media.