Meditation is an ancient practice, but as we move forward with scientific research and technology, we are more able to prove the tangible benefits that can come from it. From recent studies, meditation appears to have a wide range of neurological benefits that can produce measurable changes in our brain, which can help relieve anxiety, improve attention, concentration and overall psychological well being. Alongside the scientific evidence, there is also a global community of people who practice meditation, from beginners to experts who sing the praises of meditation and how it has positively impacted their lives. Everyone from CEO’s to celebrities, from Jeff Weiner (CEO of LinkedIn) to Oprah Winfrey have acknowledged their positive experiences with meditation, with Oprah explaining “It’s a heightened state of being that lets whatever you're doing be your best life”. So it definitely seems worth a try! In this article we will take a look at the benefits, and how one might go around starting to meditate.
What are the benefits of meditation?
Practicing meditation daily can have numerous benefits for our body and mind. The practice of staying still and mindful for an extended period of time can reap benefits that only increase over time as you practice frequently and consistently.Some of the benefits can include:
1) Improved focus
Practising meditation has been shown to help people improve their overall focus, by reducing mind-wandering and aiding in decision making.Headspace found that by completing just one 15 minute session on their app resulted in a 22% reduction in mind-wandering and that after four weeks of using the app daily, users had a 14% increase in focus.
2) Reduction in stress and anxiety
By being more in touch with how we feel, we are able to gain perspective on our emotions, ultimately allowing us to feel more calm and in control. Giving us more clarity and focus - allowing us to soothe those feelings of stress when they arrive.
3) Improved Sleep quality
If we become more in control of our emotions, feelings and stresses this can lead to us being able to fall asleep quicker and stay asleep longer.
4) Improved relationships
Many claim that through meditation they become more self-aware, and more in tune with their own emotions, which means that in turn they are more compassionate and connect better with others. Headspace app was found to increase compassion by 23% in participants of a study.