We live in a world full of stress, fear, anxiety, and general unease. Of course, we also live in a world full of love, abundance, joy, and connection. But what happens when the stressors of the world start to overshadow and overpower joy and love? We feel absolutely crazy. We feel disconnected from each other and from ourselves. It’s hard to come back to center when we constantly feel depleted. This is where meditation and mindfulness come in.
Thankfully, science is now catching up to what ancient wisdom has known forever – meditation has the power to literally rewire your brain. That’s some powerful stuff. Even just ten minutes a day can have a profound positive effect on mood, stress levels, and memory.
Here are 8 benefits of practicing meditation and mindfulness on a regular basis.
- Stress Relief
- Reduced Negative Emotions
- Reduced Anxiety
- More Creativity
- Increase in Memory and Focus
- Increased Productivity
- Gaining New Insights and Perspectives
- A Deeper Connection with Self - Feelings of Inner Peace and Calm
There are many types of meditation, so finding the one that resonates with you will take time. It’s important not to judge your meditation skills. It takes practice for everyone and we all practice in slightly different ways. Your mind was made to wander, so getting it to go quiet is a challenge. Even long term practitioners have days where they can’t get their mind to cooperate!Some types of meditation include:
- Guided meditation - In this form of meditation you often visualize places, people, or situations that you find relaxing. You can focus on one sense or many. This meditation can be led by a guide or teacher.
- Mantra meditation - In this type of meditation, you silently repeat a word, thought or phrase to prevent your mind from wandering.
- Mindfulness meditation - This type of meditation is based on having an increased awareness and acceptance of living in the present moment.
- Qi gong - This practice usually combines meditation, relaxation, physical movement and breathing exercises to restore and maintain balance.
- Tai chi - This is a form of Chinese martial arts. You perform a series of postures or movements in a slow manner while practicing deep breathing.
- Transcendental Meditation - In this form of meditation you silently repeat a personally assigned mantra, such as a word, sound or phrase, in a specific way.
- Yoga - You perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind. This encourages you to focus less on your stress and more on the present moment.
- A Walk Through Nature - Even a simple walk, while being mindful of your surroundings and breath, can be meditative.
There is no right or wrong way to meditate. It can also fluctuate on any given day depending on your mood. Some days you may want to stay in bed and meditate before you fully wake up. Other days you may sit on your meditation cushion, light some incense, and surround yourself with crystals. It’s all good and it’s all ok. Whatever brings you joy and provides that sense of calm and ease is what you should be striving for.
Listen to your body – it will send you all the signals you need to know.