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Meditating is a very powerful tool that we can use to keep our minds sharp and focused. Ever notice that you get lost in thought and forget what you were doing for the last 10 minutes?
Well, that's called being stuck in your mind.
This type of situation has a dampening effect on your enjoyment of life. Since life can only truly be seen and appreciated in the here and now, here are five benefits that you will get from daily meditation.
1. Rewiring Your Nervous System
When you allow the body to relax into a calm state by using any meditation technique, the nervous system has time to repair. This happens when we fall asleep—however, with modern day technologies, schedules, and stressors, we rarely get the repair we need when we sleep. We don't repair enough.
While meditating we get into a similar state of sleep. Except we are aware and awake. Fully conscious.
This state is when the nervous system repairs itself to become stronger. The effects of this are huge and wide-ranging. Anywhere from decreased heart rate to nothing stresses you out ever (as long as you stick with it).
By repairing the nervous system, we are no longer living in "fight or flight mode," also known as the sympathetic nervous system. When we have a calmed down nervous system we are in the parasympathetic nervous system. That's the one that lets us feel calm, cozy, and safe. Not feeling like we are being chased by lions.
Living in the parasympathetic state, our thoughts will change from negative to positive thoughts. Stress and negative thoughts are highly linked, so feeling safe and relaxed produces positive thoughts and emotions.
Doing daily meditations will allow you to rewire your nervous system and keep it permanently healthy. Rewiring is a simple process of firing certain neurons and neuron pathways at frequent intervals so that your body can memorize these firing patterns and then it becomes your new normal state.
Who wouldn't want to rewire their nervous system? Sounds awesome to me.
2. You think more efficiently.
By not thinking, you think better. When you have a gap in the stream of thought, you create space for clearer thoughts to arise. When your mind is so full of things and thoughts, you can never think sharp and efficiently.
Meditation will calm the mind and make the thoughts you have more useful. There will be less chatter in the mind about things that don't really matter. The mind is always trying to get your attention by throwing a thought at you as if you were a fish and the thought was bait.
If you get hooked on the thought you will go on a ride with that stream of thinking until you realize you can just stop thinking and come into the present moment. Much like a fish coming free from a fishing hook.
Once you come into the now. The thoughtless state of presences. Whatever thoughts you will have will then be creative and clear.
3. Your mood becomes steady.
If you begin to meditate daily one of the benefits that you will notice for sure early on is that your mood is a lot more consistent. The ups and downs are still there of course; however, when you meditate you learn to disidentify with the mind and its moods.
Living with fluctuating moods is pretty normal, but to make it much less painful you can use meditation. With this time alone, you will be able to sense your mood.
The one who senses the mood is not the mood. Meaning that becoming aware of the mood you are in allows you to disidentify with it and know that it is not you. If you can learn to watch the anger, sadness, or happiness, you will come to realize that moods come and go. You are always.
Being aware of your moods through meditation helps break the patterns that your brain has built through your life, such as feeling extremely happy when something good happens to you, but then extremely sad when that thing leaves.
This doesn't mean that you can enjoy your happy moments and grief in the sad ones. It just means that you know it's not the end of the world either way. Know that you are the consciousness that experiences the moods. You are the one that watches this all happen. If it's raining out you might feel gloomy, but at least if you are aware of it, it won't affect your entire day.
4. You will feel alive.
Some people have lost their sense of aliveness that they had when they were a child. This is really what we are all wanting: to feel alive. That's why people do extreme sports, drink, or do drugs.
Daily meditation brings you into the present moment which is the only place life is found. You cannot feel alive in the future or in the past but in the now.
You will start to feel the life inside your body and around you in the world. You're going to relate with nature on a deeper level. Not just seeing it and saying "that's pretty" but also feeling its aliveness and beauty within yourself.
Meditation has a lot of benefits, many which I did not write about. Give it a try by doing around 10-20 minutes a day once in the morning and/or once in the afternoon. Start with a shorter time if this is difficult. Practice and consistency is everything when it comes to meditation. Don't let a bad day stop you from meditating. Keep at it and see how it changes your life in so many areas.