In a modern world that values activity, achievements and results, it is perhaps surprising that more people are turning to meditation. For all the activity of modern society, many still feel a fundamental need for silence, inner peace, and a moment of reflection. Meditation can reduce stress and help us relax; but, it can also give us a lot more. These are some of the benefits that daily meditation can give us.
Meditation helps to reduce stress by teaching us to switch off from the worries that can plague us through the day. Meditation is an opportunity to spend time by ourselves, without feeling at the beck and call of others. Spending 15 minutes in quietening the mind and focusing on the present moment, makes us more relaxed and effective decision makers.
Numerous studies have shown that meditation has health benefits. Many of these benefits are related to the decrease in stress that occurs through meditation. For example, with lower levels of stress and anxiety, the probability of heart disease diminishes significantly.
This is not to say meditation guarantees you good health. But, there is a growing awareness of the link between our state of mind and physical health. Quite often physical ailments are symptoms of inner turmoil. Meditation can give us peace of mind, and this can be a helpful step in avoiding many stress related ailments. Meditation has also been shown to relieve the pain associated with certain illnesses.
Control Your Own Thoughts
Man has conquered space, Mount Everest and numerous other challenges; but, are we able to conquer our own mind? How often do you find yourself victim to your own negative thoughts? Some people are even of the opinion that it is impossible to control your thoughts. However, the art of meditation teaches that, not only is it possible to control our thoughts, but, we can learn to stop them completely. Through meditation we can bring our unruly mind under control. This creates peace of mind and enables us to achieve what we want to.
When we live in the mind it is easy to get distracted by small irritations. For example, maybe we find it intolerable to be kept waiting in a line, or we get upset by a small misdemeanour of another person. The solution is not to avoid these minor problems, because they will keep appearing no matter how hard we may try.
The only effective solution is to develop detachment and keep things in perspective. A powerful benefit of meditation is that we are able to detach ourselves from these insignificant, yet irritating thoughts. This detachment is not indifference, it is just that we are able to maintain equanimity in the midst of life’s inevitable turbulence.
Happiness and Peace of Mind
Is there anybody who does not, in some way, seek after happiness? Meditation takes us to the source of happiness, which is to be found in our own peace of mind. If we have no peace of mind and are constantly attacked by negative thoughts, happiness will remain elusive, no matter how successful we are on an outer plane. It is perhaps hard to imagine that happiness can occur from the simple act of being. However, if we can meditate with a still mind, we will discover an unexpected source of happiness within our own self. Meditation shows us that happiness is not dependent on outer circumstances, but on our inner attitude.
Be it work, sport or music, concentration is essential to fulfill our potential. In one pointed concentration there is great power; our energy and focus do not get dissipated. When we have concentration we can do more in less time. Through meditation we gradually improve our powers of concentration; this focus can be used for both meditation, and also other activities we engage in.
Spontaneity and Creativity
When we live in the thinking mind, we are usually preoccupied with the past or future. When we spend our energy on the past and present we cover up our natural spontaneity and creativity. We may feel we have neither creativity or spontaneity, but, if we can learn to silence the mind, we realise that we have far more potential than we currently believe. To access this source of inspiration we just need to quieten the mind. Some of the great thinkers and scientists were able to make important discoveries when they could absorb themselves in their work, to the exclusion of all else. Meditation helps us to live in the current moment, and thus can help us to unlock our creative potential.
Discovering the Purpose of Life.
If you are satisfied with your current life. If you feel perfect contentment and happiness then, at the moment, meditation is not necessary. However, if you feel empty inside; if you aspire to know more about the nature of existence and life, then meditation can be of great help. Usually we look for meaning in life through external events and other people. Meditation, however, shows us that we can gain a greater understanding of life through knowing who we are. In meditation we gain a new perspective of life, uncoloured by our own egoistic perspective. For those who wish it, meditation can become a lifelong process of answering the eternal question: “Who am I?”
The benefits of meditation are real, but, it also requires perseverance. It is mistake to expect all these benefits in the first few attempts; the mind takes time to tame. Also, it is difficult to explain all the benefits of meditation, because it involves a state of consciousness that cannot be expressed by words. To appreciate the benefits of meditation it is essential to meditate yourself. Alas, it is not sufficient to just read about it. Start meditating today!
- It lowers oxygen consumption.
- It decreases respiratory rate.
- It increases blood flow and slows the heart rate.
- Increases exercise tolerance.
- Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation.
- Good for people with high blood pressure.
- Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
- Decreases muscle tension.
- Helps in chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis etc.
- Reduces Pre-menstrual Syndrome symptoms.
- Helps in post-operative healing.
- Enhances the immune system.
- Reduces activity of viruses and emotional distress.
- Enhances energy, strength and vigour.
- Helps with weight loss.
- Reduction of free radicals, less tissue damage
- Higher skin resistance
- Drop in cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.
- Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing.
- Decreases the aging process.
- Higher levels of DHEAS (Dehydroepiandrosterone)
- Prevented, slowed or controlled pain of chronic diseases
- Makes you sweat less
- Cure headaches & migraines
- Greater Orderliness of Brain Functioning
- Reduced Need for Medical Care
- Less energy wasted
- More inclined to sports, activities
- Significant relief from asthma
- Improved performance in athletic events
- Normalizes to your ideal weight
- Harmonizes our endocrine system
- relaxes our nervous system
- produce lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity
- Cure infertility (the stresses of infertility can interfere with the release of hormones that regulate ovulation).
- Builds self-confidence.
- Increases serotonin level, influences mood and behaviour.
- Resolve phobias & fears
- Helps control own thoughts
- Helps with focus & concentration
- Increase creativity
- Increased brain wave coherence.
- Improved learning ability and memory.
- Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.
- Increased emotional stability.
- Improved relationships
- Mind ages at slower rate
- Easier to remove bad habits
- Develops intuition
- Increased Productivity
- Improved relations at home & at work
- Able to see the larger picture in a given situation
- Helps ignore petty issues
- Increased ability to solve complex problems
- Purifies your character
- Develop will power
- Greater communication between the two brain hemispheres
- React more quickly and more effectively to a stressful event.
- Increases one’s perceptual ability and motor performance
- Higher intelligence growth rate
- Increased job satisfaction
- Increase in the capacity for intimate contact with loved ones
- Decrease in potential mental illness
- Better, more sociable behaviour
- Less aggressiveness
- Helps in quitting smoking, alcohol addiction
- Reduces need and dependency on drugs, pills & pharmaceuticals
- Need less sleep to recover from sleep deprivation
- Require less time to fall asleep, helps cure insomnia
- Increases sense of responsibility
- Reduces road rage
- Decrease in restless thinking
- Decreased tendency to worry
- Increases listening skills and empathy
- Helps make more accurate judgements
- Greater tolerance
- Gives composure to act in considered & constructive ways
- Grows a stable, more balanced personality
- Develops emotional maturity
- Helps keep things in perspective
- Provides peace of mind, happiness
- Helps you discover your purpose
- Increased self-actualization
- Increased compassion
- Growing wisdom
- Deeper understanding of yourself and others
- Brings body, mind, spirit in harmony
- Deeper Level of spiritual relaxation
- Increased acceptance of oneself
- Helps learn forgiveness
- Changes attitude toward life
- Creates a deeper relationship with your God
- Attain enlightenment
- Greater inner-directedness
- Helps living in the present moment
- Creates a widening, deepening capacity for love
- Discovery of the power and consciousness beyond the ego
- Experience an inner sense of “Assurance or Knowingness”
- Experience a sense of “Oneness”
- Increases the synchronicity in your life