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Meditation. We all know what it means — it conjures up sort of mixed feelings maybe for the masses, and we aren't sure how to proceed.
Most of us are aware of the bare minimum, that it's apparently healthy for us. It alleviates stress and helps us truly breathe.
That's totally correct, but seriously, if that's the best you could come up with, there are much better alternatives than taking precious time from your crazy busy life and pretending not to look at your phone just once. The fact is, meditation is somewhat of a misunderstood brilliant tool. We don't always understand it — many people believe they're not doing it right when, in actuality, they probably are, and just need to, well, do more of it. Science, folks, speaks the truth, and it has shown a multitude of reasons why you, me, and everyone else sharing this planet need to relax.
Here are five reasons to do just that. (And I promise it won't take too much time away from your schedule.)
1. Improves Concentration
To a lot of people, the concept of sitting or lying someplace, shut off from the world with minimum noise is maybe a little weird. Hey, to others, it sounds blissful.
The truth is, it is shown that when you detach yourself from everyday minutia that overwhelms the body systems and senses (which otherwise send us into a robotic kind of state), we improve our thinking, coordination, rationalization, and a lot more. It encourages self-awareness and opens up the mind in better capacities to see the world. Sounds pretty goodfor doing pretty much nothing for a few minutes (And no, you don't necessarily need to "ohm" or chant, or create circles with your thumb and index finger. Just get relaxed! But don't fall asleep).
2. Increased Happiness (You read that right)
Studies over the years have shown that meditation helps you cognitively and perceptually, meaning you're at a better advantage take on different types of concepts and react better in conflict scenarios with meditation on your side. That being said, taking some minutes away (it doesn't have to be a whole hour — it can literally be any time, but about two minutes at least can be good) can aid in healing. That's probably a pretty good keyword to use when describing the benefits of meditation. Healing comes in different forms. People who have suffered from all types of ailments, such as illnesses and diseases have tried meditation, and have reported a significant improvement in their stability and overall life. It may not cure whatever they're going through, but it will at least help the recovery process. Another misnomer to meditation is that people tend to believe they're not doing it right. They assume they're just simply supposed to cease all thoughts, and once they get up from wherever they're resting, they'll be a new person. This is just not true. Once you try it though, you'll realize you can do it pretty much any time (although not recommended while driving).
3. Self-Reflection looks great on you.
Yeah. When you look happy, you look awesome. People take notice. And coupled with "Hey, are you doing a new workout regime? You look great", you'll find it's infectious!
Happy people make people happy. Meditation, in essence, is taking a minute or two from whatever you're doing, and just letting the thoughts naturally pass you by.
You could try thinking of the things that you're grateful for — and that's also been studied to show that when you practice gratitude, you unconsciously attract more good things to you.
It's literally quantum physics. It's not magic. So basically, when you feel good about things in your life — and even in tough times, there's ALWAYS something positive to think about — there's bound to be that happy glow that comes after.
4. Opening doors to other cool stuff.
You're getting in touch with your spiritual/emotional/physical/mental stuff, which is awesome news! Congratulations. Now that you're probably sleeping a little bit better, have an easier time of thinking of witty comebacks and you feel just more mellowed out than usual (thanks to taking in more oxygen while breathing), you're sound as a pound! But you'll be pleased to see it doesn't end just there. When you relax, you unconsciously open doors to other things — you'll probably be sleeping better (even a little bit) and the possibility of clarity and better dreams come with it too. Some people have found transcendental meditation has broken down metaphorical walls while in a sleeping state. If you believe in signs, you may notice signs becoming more obvious in your wake state. What are they telling you?
5. Decreased Anxiety and Depression
We all get anxious and a little depressed sometimes. Obviously, some more than others. We're humans. We're sensitive. I'm tired of hearing "you're sensitive" — we're ALL sensitive, we just differ slightly from each other individually, and that's part of what makes each of us special. The fact is, we're all so wound up with every day "going through the motions", set on "go" mode, panic mode, you name it. We just keep going. We need to pull back and stop. It's fantastic to grasp the reigns and go forth in life, but there are times to take a break, and it's more often than you think. It's proven by countless scientific studies than meditation helps decrease anxiety and depression. Of course, depending on the severity of the depression, it is highly recommended that you balance it with something that will treat it, but meditation and natural routes, in the end, are much better for you.
A bit of stretching, loving, peaceful thoughts in a loving, quiet, peaceful atmosphere is always a good thing. Never think you're not doing it right. Never think for a moment this is silly, or pointless. You're doing it right. And don't give up. Meditation is a lifelong practice. With a little more of it, we can all be hopefully a tad nicer and happier.
Sometimes people sadly mix not having an open mind and their own limitations onto something they don't really give much thought to. People think of "universal thought" and meditation as weird spiritual stuff when both are actually things each and every single one of us do — right now (Ok, maybe you're not literally meditating this second. But you get what I mean).
Imagine a place where each of us takes a minute or two just to breathe, and be. Simply just exist. Which means not touching your phone at that time. It's possible, trust me.