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5 Life-Changing Benefits of Meditation (Hint: The Key to Stress Relief)

Meredith Osborne
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Meditation can be practiced in many forms. Whether you love to sit in Lotus for two hours in total stillness, or if you prefer to take a quick 10 minutes each morning to simply focus on your breath, the benefits of meditation are abundant.
 
The most interesting aspect of these benefits is how meditation impacts your brain specifically. . .
 
Let’s be real. Meditation is challenging! At first, it seems simple: you just close your eyes and breathe, right? Yes, but meditation is much more than that. There are many different approaches to meditation: counting breaths, repeating mantras, or just letting thoughts pass by without attachment or judgment.
 

If you practice meditation regularly, you know how good it feels – like a breath of fresh air for the mind.

 
Mindfulness meditation is a good technique for beginners because it gives the practitioner specific things to focus on. You practice mindfulness by becoming fully aware of your surroundings – the way the wind feels against your skin, the sensation of your bare feet walking across a cold floor.
 
Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere, anytime and enhances your experience of the here and now. This in and of itself is an effective way to stay present, peaceful, and able to handle any challenges that come your way.
 
 

Here are 5 Benefits of Meditation That Will Change Your Life:

If you practice meditation regularly, you know how good it feels – like a breath of fresh air for the mind. We know that meditation feels great, but what are the actual benefits of meditation and how do they impact the brain specifically? Read on to learn more!
 

1. Greater Sense of Self-Awareness

Meditation allows us to mentally take inventory of our bodies. How does our body feel in the present moment? What amazing things is our body capable of? Do we feel strong or weak? What can we do to remedy anything that aches in our body?
 
Much like the physical practice of yoga, meditation helps you establish a stronger connection between mind and body. Through this greater sense of self-awareness, we cultivate present moment awareness which allows us to remain present, grounded, and focused in all aspects and every moment of our lives.
 

2. Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Obsessing about the past or future can often lead to unhappiness. When we are fully immersed in the present moment, we are content. We can only control what’s happening now – which is why there is no reason to be caught up in the past or fixate on the future.
 
Our life is always in the now. Meditation is the anchor to help you stay there. This is the key to reducing stress, gaining control over your anxiety, and ultimately living a more stress-free and happy life.
 

3. Increase Mental Clarity and Focus

If we are mindful and focused on the present moment, we are fully engaged in present action. Think of how amazing all your work would be if you were completely focused on it, and not caught up in the chatter of your mind, or impulsively checking your cell phone or social media every five minutes.
 
Meditation helps us unplug and tune in to what’s going on beneath the surface of our thoughts. Over time, this becomes a subconscious habit that results in increased mental clarity and focus, and your memory and mental acuity will improve too.
 

 

4. Emotional Intelligence

When we have time to sit without any distractions, we are able to get more in touch with our emotions. We may realize the root cause of our unrest or worry. Regular meditation helps us recognize our emotions as fleeting, but also allows us the chance to sit with them instead of avoiding or being afraid of facing our emotions.
 
Through the ability to sit with your thoughts, you can work through emotions instead of continuing to ignore or repress them. As a result, you deepen your emotional intelligence and ability to recognize and work through emotional issues as they arise, which impacts your relationships and mind state in a positive way.
 

5. Trigger the Brain’s Relaxation Response

According to Herbert Benson, founder of the Mind-Body Medical Institute, meditation ignites the ‘relaxation response’ in the brain. Components of this response include changes in heart rate, metabolism and brain chemistry, all in the name of bringing you – and your brain – to a heightened state of relaxation.
 
Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it?! It is! And this relaxation can lead to better sleep, falling asleep quicker, and also stress management, reduced anxiety and a better ability to maintain emotional equilibrium.
 
 

The Benefits of Meditation Improve Your Daily Life

Meditation is a practice, and with that practice yields incredible health benefits for both mind and body. Some days it’s easy to quiet your mind, and other days it’s an uphill battle. Regardless of how each meditation sessions goes, know that you’re doing yourself a world of good.
 
Meditation is a potent practice that teaches patience, confidence, strength, and awareness. Even closing your eyes and taking a deep breath in and out is a form of meditation. So the next time you’re feeling stressed, simply try taking a few breaths in and out, knowing that you are receiving the benefits of meditation.
 
Be inspired by the fact that your meditation practice is doing wonders for your brain, and prepare for a less anxious, more self-aware, and more relaxed version of y.o.u.!

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Meredith Osborne

Meredith is a writer training to be a yoga instructor in the American Midwest. A self-described ‘word nerd,’ she will read (almost) anything she can get her hands on. She’s passionate about holistic health, empowering women & radical love.

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