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8 Benefits of Meditation

Meditation is an ancient practice of focused concentration. It requires one to bring their focus back to the present moment over and over.

Even though meditation was originally a spiritual practice, modern science is just beginning to study the profound effects meditation has on the body.

There are many different methods of meditation and each one has mental, physical and spiritual benefits.

If you are just beginning a meditation practice or have been active for awhile, it promotes well-being even in small doses.

The great thing about it is that it can be done from anywhere, at any time, free of charge.

Even though there are countless ways that meditation can be beneficial we will explore 8 of them here.

1. Meditation reduces stress. It has been known to lower inflammation by lowering stress hormones that are released in the body when physically or mentally stressed.

2. It enhances self-awareness.

By sitting down, closing your eyes and focusing on your breath in and out of your body, you become more aware of yourself. You are able to get into your body and out of your mind.

We can get lost in our own thoughts during the day and meditation is a good way to remind ourselves that we are more than just our thoughts. It can connect to us to our whole selves. The longer one practices meditation, the more self-aware we can become.

3. Controls Anxiety This hits close to home because, as someone who has always had high anxiety, meditation has been a game changer. A focused breath meditation practice focuses one on coming back to the breath and steadying our breathing, in and out slowly. I find this effective for managing anxiety. As one will notice feelings of anxiety come up, training yourself in this way will teach your body how to breathe and calm your nervous system.

Anxiety comes with feeling dizzy, rapid breathing, high heart rate, so, by breathing at a regular rate and keeping your body steady, the anxiety doesn't get a change to deprive your body of more oxygen, making the situation worse.

4. Improves Sleep Many adults will have trouble sleeping at some point in their lives. For many, it is a chronic issue. Meditation has been proven to help achieve a more restful sleep.

Most insomnia comes from a racing mind. Many claim that they cannot seem to turn off their minds while trying to sleep at night.

When practising meditation, there is a focus on controlling thoughts and being able to let them go. It also relaxes the muscles and puts the body into a restful, relaxed state.

5. Promotes mental health. The struggle with mental health is becoming an epidemic in the western world, even the world as a whole. There are so many of us who are overwhelmed and do not know how to deal with so many stressors and demands. It can feel like we are alone with nowhere to turn. In this case, we have to be our own ally and find what works for us. When we take the time to take care of ourselves and take a minute to breathe and focus on something other than stress, we are better able to take care of our responsibilities.

Meditation is helpful in taking care of our minds and our energy. By taking this time to ourselves, we release some of the tension and stress, creating a more positive outlook we can bring to our families and environments.

6. It reduces high blood pressure. So many of us have hypertension and don't even know it. Over 1 Billion people in the world have blood pressure issues. If it goes untreated it can lead to an array of problems and diseases. They cannot quite pinpoint what causes it unless there is a physical underlying problem. It is known to be lifestyle related; which means, stress, diet, exercise, and environment. Stress is a big one. Meditation, since it controls stress and anxiety, is a good way to control blood pressure.

7. Helps shed the past. Meditation can also be beneficial spiritually if you would like it to be. It can create space within you and hold you within the present moment. So many of us live in the past. We hold past events and hurts in our energies that trigger us in new situations with new people. Meditation can help us let go of these things from our past that hold us back and can allow us to focus on the present moment and enjoy it without our past troubles clouding our brains.

8. It can connect us to a higher source.

Not only can meditation connect us to ourselves but it connect us to a greater feeling of belonging, if this is something you are looking for. Some people want to be a part of a community and achieve a feeling of sacredness that links us to something more than what is. Meditation can accomplish this because it reminds us that faith is a large part of life. It can open our hearts, minds, and energy to endless possibility.

Whether you are a beginner or have been meditating for awhile, there are still many positives to be gained from continuing a practice. There are many types of meditations and can be used to achieve different goals.

There are guided meditations that are readily available online everywhere. There are also apps that you can follow programs on; some paid and some unpaid. Some meditations are breathing focused, some visualization, some sound focused, and mantra focused. The most important is finding a practice that fits your life and makes you feel good.

Happy Meditating!! XO Jenn

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