Why meditation works is the question we’ll try to answer in this blog post. Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces an altered state of consciousness. In this article, we’re going to dive into why meditation works.
Meditation is not about emptying your head of thoughts. It’s more centred around training yourself to focus on one thing without getting distracted by other thoughts. Through meditation, you’re able to learn how to control the way you think and react to situations. Meditation gives us clarity of mind and a better understanding of how our minds function. This helps with stress relief because it reduces anxiety and depression levels while also improving overall sleep patterns. Also, meditation aids in reversing age-related mental decline!
What is meditation?
Meditation is the process of calming the mind and the body. The practice is as old as human history itself. Some people say that people practiced this back in 5,000 BC. There are many different techniques of meditation and all of them share some common traits. Quieting the mind and relaxing the body are two of them. Meditation can help reduce your stress by making your body’s reactions less strong. It works by reducing activity in your sympathetic nervous system and increasing activity in your parasympathetic nervous system. This helps to move your body closer to a relaxed state.
The benefits of Meditation
Meditation has many benefits, for example, it reduces stress in the brain and body. Plus, meditation can also leave you with a sense of calmness and reduced pain in your body.
Scientifically, meditation has been shown to slow heart rate, reduce blood pressure, and lower cortisol levels. Meditation is often used with cognitive behavioural therapy to treat mental health disorders like anxiety and depression. Some studies show that meditation can be beneficial for people suffering from multiple sclerosis, fibromyalgia, and PTSD.
Meditation is also known to change the brain. It increases grey matter in areas of the brain related to learning, memory, self-awareness and compassion. Meditation can change your brain in a good way. It can make you more focused and better at regulating your emotions.
Common Misconceptions about Meditation
There are many common myths about meditation. One of them is that it will make you lose your thoughts and lose yourself. However, this is not true because meditation is about being mindful. You accept your thoughts without judgement. Another myth, people who meditate are better than everyone else. This is far from the case because meditators come from all walks of life. One last misconception is that only people with certain beliefs can meditate. You don’t need to belong to a specific religion or be formally educated to meditate.
The Different Types of Meditation
Loving-kindness meditation – Opening your mind and heart to receive love from others. For instance, this could mean sending a series of well wishes to loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and others.
Progressive relaxation. Progressive relaxation, also known as body scan meditation. A technique for reducing tension in the body and promoting calmness.
Mindful Meditation. You pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t judge your thoughts. Simply notice any patterns that might show up.
Light Meditation (the kind we at RE:MIND specialize in). Uses a specific light that is a form of brain entertainment. The light guides the user to an altered state of consciousness.
A Few Meditation Tips For Beginners
If you’re new to meditation, don’t worry! You can try these simple steps during your first session to get the most out of it.
Find a time for meditation that works best for you. It doesn’t need to be in the morning; it can be at night, in the afternoon. In short, anytime. Just make sure it fits with your schedule and won’t interfere with other things.
Get into a comfortable position that feels natural to you. Meditation doesn’t require sitting cross-legged on the floor, but if you find that comfortable, go for it! Otherwise, just find a position that is less taxing on your body. Meditating while lying down or sitting in a chair are both great options.
Find the right setting. You don’t need to sit in a silent room, but find somewhere you won’t be interrupted by people or noise. Sitting on your bed with the TV off is a good idea.
Start small and set an alarm for 5 minutes because it’s easier to start a new habit with tiny manageable goals.
Why Meditation Works
The UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center did a study that found meditating 8 weeks reduces stress by 44%. You can read the research here.
Meditation is all about finding inner peace and bringing it back to the outside world. When we practice meditation, we’re shutting down the part of our brain that’s constantly bombarding us with distractions. This means less time ruminating on past annoyances or worrying about future worries. Every time we let go of a thought and focus only on our breathing, we’re training ourselves to show up more fully in each moment — and who doesn’t want that?
I hope you found this helpful in gaining insight as to why meditation works.