With the rising popularity of holistic forms of healthcare like yoga, herbal supplements and mindfulness practices, it’s safe to say that meditation is becoming mainstream. This thousand-year old practice is being applied in modern-day ways to alleviate the daily stresses of our lives: from dealing with busy urban environments, work demands and the usual hassle of life stuff (bills, plans, etc.), there’s a lot we have on our plates. It’s when that stuff stays on our minds, contributing anxiety and fatigue, that it’s time to find ways of dealing with it.
Meditation is like pressing a pause button on the frenetic pace of life: it allows you to reset mentally, opening yourself to greater potential and a greater sense of well being. There’s even scientific data that suggests your brain can reap the benefits of meditation even when you’re not in an active meditation state.
So why should you begin a meditation practice?
1. Stress less
Because chewed up nails and/or pens is never a great look to begin with, you can nix the anxiety that keeps you up late at night. Stress is stimulated by a part of the brain that’s responsible for your fear mechanism – the biological part of your brain that was created so you could sense danger and run away from it (i.e., the tigers from our cavemen days). And while a shot of cortisol (the stress hormone) is natural every now and again, it’s damaging when it occurs unnecessarily over a long period of time. Some studies suggest you can cut back on anxiety by 40 percent with meditation – and can make those everyday tasks seem much less overwhelming.
2. Sleep better
While the habit of taking our phones and tablets with us everywhere (including into bed) can’t be too helpful, a racing mind doesn’t contribute to the suggested eight hours of sleep we need. Meditation can help reduce insomnia, keep your mind in check and lead to a better night’s sleep.
3. Improve your work performance
You know those little coffee breaks you need to take at work, just to get a little mental reprieve? It makes more sense to meditate during your 9-to-5 — studies have shown that meditating during your job helps your performance and improves your memory of the work you’ve already done, not to mention the benefits for your emotional state and awareness.
4. Build better relationships
When you’re aggravated, it’s highly unlikely you’re going to make a good decision: meditation will help you build and grow healthy relationships with others by helping you be more present overall. You’re far more likely to listen, and less likely to make a reactive decision. Approach situations with a calm mind and body, and you’ll solve problems in a much more communicative and open way.
5. Improve your mood
From relieving depression, to banishing stress, to reducing blood-boiling temper, there’s almost no end to the ways that meditation can help temper your mood and lead you to be a healthier, happier person all around. After all, the more inner awareness you have, the less likely it is you’ll be triggered by others.
Want to learn meditation, but have no real idea where to start? If you’re a little wary of finding the time and space to go to group meditations, check out this handy lifetime subscription to Aura Premium instead.
This highly-rated app received 5/5 stars on 1,200+ App Store ratings, and has been featured on TechCrunch, Forbes, Brit+Co, Mindful, and Product Hunt. You can choose between three, five and seven minute meditations – but best of all, Aura uses machine learning to completely cater to you and your specific needs. You’ll get customized mindfulness exercises daily, and increasingly specific meditations for your feelings whenever you need.
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