January is the month for New Year’s resolutions, but if you are stuck for ideas here is one you may not have considered- meditation. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years in many different cultures and religions, and has proved to be a successful treatment for a number of mental and physical health conditions. It is not difficult to learn the basics of meditation, and with a little bit of practice you will soon be able to reach a state of calm in minutes. Below we have offered you 8 powerful reasons you should try meditation – but be warned you may get hooked!
8 Reasons You Should Try Meditation
1. You Can’t Fail
Many people believe that in order to meditate properly you need to have achieved perfect concentration. But in fact, meditation is simply the process you go through as you try to focus your mind on the present moment.
It doesn’t matter if you have to retrain your thoughts every 10 seconds, or whether you get distracted by the noises outside – this is all part of meditation. Every experience, positive or negative, is considered part of the meditating process and in this sense you simply cannot fail or be bad at it.
2. You Can Meditate Anywhere
Meditation does not have to be practiced in a candlelit room with incense burning. In fact, you can meditate almost anywhere, whether that is at work, in a waiting room, on the bus or walking the dog.
Although quiet spots are ideal, you can actually use the noise of things around in to help refocus your mind. And you don’t have to be sat down to meditate- walking or doing exercises like tai chi or yoga can all be used during your meditation practice. For example, walking meditation is a specific form of meditation which involves focusing on your footsteps.
3. Meditation Helps You Unwind
One of the main reasons you should try meditation is its stress reducing properties. Mentally, it helps you reach a center of calm for you to visit when you are feeling anxious or in a stressful situation.
The better you get at meditating the easier you will find it to find that place inside yourself, until you can calm yourself down at any given moment. And in your body, meditation has been scientifically proved to stabilize blood pressure, lower the heart rate, reduce stress and improve the functioning of your brain.
In fact, meditation has been proven so successful it is often recommended by therapists for people with mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
4. Beliefs Are Not Important
Although meditation is a fundamental part of certain religions like Buddhism, you do not have to be religious to try meditation. Indeed, there are many different types of meditation, and you are certain to find one that suits you and your lifestyle.
For example, mindfulness meditation is a form that involves focusing on the present moment with complete neutrality, making it accessible to everyone whatever their beliefs. And whilst some people use mantras during meditation, the chosen word or phrase is a personal choice and can be secular or religious.
5. Meditation Improves Concentration
You train your body, so why not your brain? Meditation is all about concentrating on something and holding your attention on it.
Depending on the type of meditation you choose this could include your breathing, a part of your body, walking or a mantra. Because of this, many people find meditation is a great way of exercising the brain, and science has actually proved this theory. Participants in a peer-reviewed study found their attention span greatly improved after three months of regular meditating.
So if you find it difficult to focus on things for long, try meditation, it could really help you in your day to day life.
6. Meditation Helps Manage Pain
Mindfulness meditation has been used successfully to reduce pain in people with conditions such as lower back pain, chest pain, headache, and stomach pain.
Mentally, meditation allows people to identify pain in their body and not react to it in a negative way, helping to remove any anxiety that may come alongside the pain.
Scientists have also proved that practicing meditation in the long-term can actually change the brain so that it has a lower sensitivity to pain, helping aid people in their recovering without medication.
7. Quit Those Bad Habits
It may surprise you, but meditation is regularly used as a treatment for addiction. Whether you want to give up cigarettes, alcohol or even biting your nails this year, you should try meditation to beat them.
Certain forms of meditation require you to observe the workings of your own mind, something which can lead to insights about the source of the cravings. Once you have established where the cravings are coming from, you can stop them influencing you.
However, if you are struggling with a serious addiction make sure you seek advice from a doctor before trying to tackle the problem all by yourself.
8. Meditation Helps You Find Inner Peace
“Peace comes from within. Do not seek it without.”
This is a famous Buddhist quote that emphasizes the importance of looking inside you for happiness rather than relying on other people. Meditation encourages this practice, and if you feel unfulfilled in life it could help you find ‘inner peace’. Enlightenment is often the ultimate aim of meditation, and means to rediscover the contact with our inner being.
So if you have never considered meditation before, hopefully these reasons will go some way to convince you that you should try meditation to enhance your life.
If you want to give it a try, why not search online to see if there is a local class for people to meditate together? This can be a great way of learning the basic practice, and giving you the motivation to meditate on a weekly basis.
You could also invest in a book or CD that teaches you the process from the comfort of your own home. However you choose to approach it, you will soon find that meditation brings something new and enriching to your life.
Please share this article and inspire your friends to try meditation.
Author Bio: Chloe writes on health for ActiveQuote.com, a website where you can compare life insurance and medical insurance quotes online.