There are many benefits of meditation and it is widely believed to treat stress and anxiety. People rush to it when they find themselves helpless. Sooner than later, they begin to feel that missing calm and emotional balance.
But regular meditators would tell you that meditation has benefited them in many more ways than no modern medication has. Despite being old by many thousands of years, meditation has been a go-to for personal well-being – as a remedy and as a self-awareness tool.
The benefits of Meditation are real
The need for a remedy that is definite and holistic has only made meditation more relevant today than ever.
Several studies by premier science institutes and hospitals have reaffirmed the power of meditation in improving the overall health of a person.
Read on to know the benefits of meditation and how only a few minutes of silence and contemplation can put you in charge of YOU. To help you live better. Calm, confident and cheerful.
Benefits of Meditation for Mental Well-being
In our path to growth, the mind is the invisible hand that guides us and also misguides us. At the core of meditation is the awareness of this deceitful mind; and the secret to train the mind to follow us, not direct us.
Calmness and clarity are two basic indicators of mental health. What, why, where, when and how of our actions or even inactions are an affirmation of the health indicators. Meditation helps you score better on these two parameters, so you can be confident in any situation and cheerful in your daily life.
Now, let us look at some specific areas where meditation is very helpful.
Stress & Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are a manifestation of our inability to accept our thoughts and situations. Meditation helps us overcome them by teaching us to observe and accept the thoughts – pleasant and unpleasant – without becoming judgemental about them.
Meditation treats stress by working in two ways –
Unmitigated stress triggers Cortisol, a stress-causing hormone, which in turn leads to anxiety. Regular meditation strikes at the root of the problem by lowering the unusually high cortisol level in our blood. This has also been validated by a scientific study.
Erasing the “footprints” of thoughts that have caused anxiety in you. This allows you to start afresh without the burden of memories weighing you down.
Many studies have conclusively shown that inability to sleep is largely a cause of
an overworked sympathetic nervous system due to poor lifestyle
and stress – by far, the major reason.
Lifestyle-induced sleeplessness can be corrected by modifications in diet, time-to-bed and screen time. But stress-induced sleeplessness needs a different tool to treat stress. Meditation does this wonderfully by calming your mind and relaxing the body – naturally, and non-invasively.
Studies by medical researchers have also gone to demonstrably prove that deep meditation increases the levels of two vital hormones responsible for overall wellbeing – melatonin (sleep inducing hormone) and its precursor, serotonin (mood regulator).
Difficulty in focus is because of a wandering and distracted mind. The culprit for this tendency is the default mode network (DMN) in the brain. When we are not doing anything particular, DMN becomes overactive.
Through its calming effect, meditation tames the hyperactive DMN thereby helping a distracted person regain his focus. With practice, regular meditators can easily rein in the wandering mind. This is beneficial for kids with ADHD.
The impact of meditation on DMN has been corroborated by studies of top research institutions.
Benefits of Meditation for Better Physical Health
Sooner than later, poorly managed mental health will start affecting the body badly.
Heart & Brain
Stress shoots up cortisol and adrenaline. High levels of adrenaline can cause heart attack and stroke; and cortisol can shoot up blood sugar setting off a chain of complaints, thereafter.
Practising meditation regularly protects us from such avoidable problems by regulating the hormone levels.
Calm mind and sound sleep automatically endows you with lots of energy. Meditation helps you accomplish many tasks by staying alert longer. Did we say you get more minutes per hour with regular meditation?
Benefits of Meditation for better Relationships
A healthy mind in a healthy mind makes your relationship also healthy. When you are stress-free and energetic, you are bound to be cheerful. While we may meditate in private, its impact on us can be experienced by all around us – family, colleagues and friends.
Where to begin – Heartfulness
Heartfulness Meditation prepares you to face any situation confidently, and not be cowered by them. You learn to become dispassionate about situations and people that once caused anxiety. And turn more compassionate towards yourself and others.
When you begin meditating for the first time, sitting in silence even for a short period could be daunting. But you would soon discover how just sitting motionless has brought a certain calmness to your mind. By practising daily, you will see your transformation into a person of poise and confidence.
Heartfulness meditation requires three must-dos:
Practise daily. Start with shorter sessions, and increase the duration gradually.
Just watch your thoughts. Don’t judge or analyze.
Seat yourself comfortably in a quiet place. Anything or anyone that distracts should be away.
It is advisable to remove your shoes, jewellery or any apparel that restricts movement. After choosing a time and place for your daily Heartfulness meditation, follow these four things.
Choose a comfortable position
Some people sit cross-legged with back straight on the floor. You can, however, choose your own comfortable posture. Floor, sofa or armchair – anything is fine. Sit with your legs extended out, and your back erect.
Don’t be too comfortable, or else you risk falling asleep. You may change your position at anytime if you feel any discomfort.
Bring your attention to here and now
Sit comfortably and quietly. Direct your attention inwards. Close your eyes and concentrate on the divine light within. If you find your mind straying, bring back your focus inward. Once you’re aware of the divine light and the pull it has on you, relax by allowing it to go deeper.
Recognize your thoughts
In the initial days, you may feel a surge of emotions like worry and self-judgment. Am I doing it right? What am I supposed to do? Recognize this inner conflict. Don’t suppress or answer it. It will disappear on its own. By doing so, you will learn to handle difficult people and situations without reacting. Soon, you will feel calmer and less anxious.
Complete your Heartfulness Meditation
Open your eyes when you feel you’ve reached the end of meditation or the necessary amount of time has passed. Do some light stretches to ease yourself gradually from your meditative state. Reflect on your practice for a moment.
Begin by meditating for three to five minutes a day. As you become comfortable, increase the duration to 15 minutes, then to 30 minutes and 45 minutes after that.
How will Heartfulness App help?
Heartfulness App helps people attain their peak performance through meditation. Daily meditation with Heartfulness App boosts cognitive and emotional health through guided, self-care meditation.
All you need is a phone with an internet connection. Meditating with Heartfulness app is easy, effective and FREE.
The app has everything you need to get the best from your meditation time.
Set your meditation goals
Track your performance in the app journal
Meditate in private or in a group
Take the help of a trainer
When can I see the results?
You will experience calm and peace during and soon after meditation with. Much like our body fitness routine, you need a committed approach to meditation to make mental fitness a part of your persona.
Download the App. Schedule a session. Feel the change.
Sathish Rajamani is an advertising professional, writer and literary translator. He has written many advertising campaigns, blog content and business features. His interests are learning Carnatic music, visiting ancient temples and practising meditation.