Meditation has existed for thousands of years. Although only in the recent decade it has gained a tremendous amount of traction in the modern world.
The physical and mental benefits that come with a consistent practice of meditation are virtually undeniable.
It's no longer just a 'thing' done by the monks or a Buddhist and gurus. Meditation can be done by anyone, It doesn't cost any money or membership of a class. It can be done in the comfort of our home.
Here are the 6 benefits that a mindfulness meditation practice yields and the why behind it.
1) Stress Reduction
It's a common misconception that spending time watching TV or scrolling on social media is seen as a way to reduce stress or an escape from worries.
While it may numb your worries and emotions temporarily, keep in mind doing nothing doesn't alleviate stress. Stress relief is an active process.
It has been shown numerous times that a daily meditation practice can in fact keep your cortisol levels in check, (the hormone responsible for stress).
How is this possible? When you meditate, you reconnect inwards within yourself, rather than outwards, Which involves mindlessly consuming content, eating junk food, excessive smoking, and alcohol consumption.
Meditation helps you in achieving that state of calm within yourself and keeps you grounded and thus allowing you to not get overwhelmed by stress.
And what happens when you get overwhelmed by stress? you get anxious, you feel irritable and on the edge, your hair gets brittle, weight gain, improper sleep, the list is endless.
2) Improves your sleep
Today many people around the world suffer from sleep deprivation and most of the time we are to blame for it.
It comes down to lack of self-discipline, Whether it is having late night high carb meals, overconsumption of social media at night, Having a sedentary lifestyle.
Whatever it is, we are surrounded by dopamine stimulants around us, which keeps on robbing us of our attention making it harder to have a proper routine, consistency, and discipline.
It's not about the length of sleep, it's about sleep quality. There is no better drug out there for anti-aging other than deep sleep every night. That's when the body repairs and regenerates the cells.
So what meditation does is it allows you to disconnect from the stream of thoughts that pops up in your head especially at night paving way for improved quality of sleep.
Mediation is not about stopping the thoughts, it's about taking a step back and observe your thoughts from a distance, not engaging with them in any way.
This gives you the power to disconnect when you want and not get stuck in the loop of neverending thoughts.
3) Improves Cognitive Function
Our brain has a very limited capacity to handle all the emotions, stress, and thoughts, yet we live in a world where our brains are exposed to a constant stream of media, news, gossips, everyday stress, etc.
When we overburden our brain, we put a tremendous amount of stress on the brain cells, and what's the result? fragile memory, hard time learning stuff, short attention span, etc.
By meditating every day and being mindful about what we expose our brains to allows us to preserve the power of our mind on the things that really matter in life.
4) Improves physical appearance
People who undergo chronic stress and never get around to actually treat it the way they should, are left with the consequences without even realizing it.
Which involves, dull skin, deflated posture, digestive issues. At the same time, you see other people who meditate and take care of their mental health and go through life with awareness and consciousness.
People who meditate naturally also have their problems in life, just like everyone else, that's life. but the difference is they don't allow their emotion to take control over their mind.
What goes on in your mind and the way you feel has a direct correlation with how you feel and look.
So what happens is, when you implement meditation in your life, you create a space within the realm of your mind to disconnect from the constant chatter that goes on especially during stressful times, and learn to deal with it with awareness and clarity.
5) Helps you in being a better version of yourself
When we live through life mindlessly and without any sort of awareness about ourselves, We have a biased perception towards ourselves and never really try to improve on the not-so-good things in our persona.
When we are constantly looking outwards, complaining, comparing, and blaming others for our own failures. It makes it impossible for us to grow as a person. you get stuck in a loop of repeating the same behaviors.
Whether it's getting addicting to something, overeating sugary foods, being impulsive, and egoistic, Whatever it is. Unless we are aware of the personality traits within ourselves that we need to improve on, It makes it impossible to grow as a person.
Being mindful and having space where you can reflect on yourself allows you to go through your day with awareness. Meditation acts as an anchor that keeps you grounded and in the present moment.
It's not about the period while we are meditating, it's about the rest of the time when you carry that awareness with you throughout the day.
6) Helps you in losing weight
This one might come as surprise, How can meditation possibly help in losing weight, its not an exercise or a diet, then how?
Absolutely correct, While meditation doesn't have a direct impact on weight loss like exercise and nutrition does, having said that, What meditation is, it is a behavioral change.
When a person is not mindful of their lifestyle, whether it is living a sedentary lifestyle or eating whatever they without any sort of limitations or restrictions, you are bound to see health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, etc.
So just like I mentioned in other points, Meditation allows you to be more mindful, which in turn results in you being aware of your food habits and what you put in your body.
When you are mindful, you will no longer binge eat or drink sugary beverages mindlessly. it will help you connect with your body's urges, for example, cravings for unhealthy food, your hunger levels.
Living mindfully involves eating mindfully. it helps you be specific about what you eat and how much you eat and never allow yourself to overeat until you are physically full, just because it is your favorite dish.
We must absolutely enjoy our food but never go overboard and eat just for the sake of it.
Being mindful allows you to connect your mind and your body, your hunger, and satiety signals which promote healthy eating behavior.