Meditation is about much more than just relaxing. The benefits of this ancient practice are well documented – people who meditate report improved attention, shaper concentration, reduced stress and enhanced self-awareness, to name a few. Here are a few specific ways meditation helps your mind:
- Meditation boosts your focus. The world around us is full of distractions. Have you ever been working on something and a phone call or text derails your mindset? Meditation helps improve mental focus because it enhances your ability to bounce back from interruptions and bring your mind back to the task at hand.
- Meditation reduces anxiety and helps fight depression. This is really two in one, but often anxiety and depression go hand in hand. When feelings of overwhelm or sadness are on repeat in your mind, it’s hard to shut down that cycle and quiet the voice inside. Mindfulness meditation is all about living in moment and is designed to help people focus on the present instead of what could happen in the future or what’s already happened in the past.
- Meditation makes you more creative. Lacking inspiration? Studies have shown that meditation increases a person’s creativity. When you’re feeling stuck or are looking for insight, a deeper perception or a new way to solve a problem, meditation creates the emotional and mental conditions where your ideas can flourish. With all the noise of daily life, choosing a quiet moment may allow you to tap into the deeper dimensions of your mind and think of new ideas or solutions.
The best part? Meditation is completely free, and you can do it anywhere and at any time. Although there are many different methods and techniques for meditation, the fundaments of the practice are the same. And now that you know a few of the benefit of this simple practice, try these steps to get started.
- Relax your mind and body. You don’t need to be lying down to meditate. Instead find a comfortable place and a posture that’s easy, not difficult for you to maintain. You can turn on soothing music or white noise if that’s helps you calm down.
- Be in the moment. What does this mean? Being in the moment or mindful as it’s sometimes called means not passing judgment on your thoughts. When your mind wanders – and it will – gently bring your thoughts back to your primary goal of relaxation.
- Think about your something. Many people choose to focus on their breath during meditation, feeling and listening carefully as you sense the air moving in and out of your body. Keeping your mind on your breathing – and not on every other thought that pops in your head – takes time and practice because our minds inevitably waver.
Meditating is straightforward and the benefits are noticed quickly with practice. Consider adding a few moments of meditation to your day to reduce stress, enhance calmness and promote happiness.