When people hear the word meditation, they often conjure up an image of a Zen master meditating peacefully on top of a mountain peak. That’s because most people feel that meditation is reserved only for those who are enlightened or more spiritually aware than everyone else. However, this is not always the case. Millions of regular people meditate every single day. Most of them meditate because this simple practice offers many unique benefits that extend beyond the spiritual aspect of the practice. In this article, I’m going explain 5 reasons to meditate every single day that may surprise you, and encourage you to try this practice out for yourself.
Reason #1 – Meditation Reduces Stress
Among all of the stress relieving activities in the world, meditation is the fastest and easiest of all. Unlike physical exercise, meditation is a very relaxing practice that increases oxygen in the body and therefore reduces stress. Not only does meditation reduce stress on an emotional level, but it also changes your actual physiology. When you are stressed out, your body produces the stress hormone cortisol. This hormone is extremely harmful to your physical health and excess amounts can lead to rapid aging and degeneration in the body’s vital organs. Meditation helps relax your body and clear cortisol buildup, promoting a peaceful and balanced environment inside your body.
Reason #2 – Meditation Expands Awareness
Meditation not only reduces stress, but it also helps expand your awareness. This term can be hard to understand if you’ve never tried it. The best way I can describe it, is that you realize that you are not your thoughts, and that your awareness extends beyond your physical body. This leads to a feeling of greater connection and peace of mind, which ripples out into every area of your life.
Reason #3 – Meditation Promotes Clearer Thinking
When your mind is at peace, and your body is relaxed and free of stress, your level of thinking becomes clear. This can be quite a unique feeling if you experience stress and clouded thinking on daily basis. Suddenly, the ability to make tough decisions becomes a walk in the park. You’ll find yourself going to your day in a much more relaxed and easy way, just flowing from event to event, with a big smile on your face.
Reason #4 – Meditation Promotes More Self Control
One of my favorite benefits of meditation is the amount of self-control that you gain from practicing it daily. The more you meditate, the more you realize you have been letting your body control your actions rather than you controlling your body. At first, it seems difficult to let go of your thoughts and just be present. However, the more you practice, the easier it gets. Best of all, with consistent practice, you will find yourself actually wanting to meditate instead of feeling like you have to force yourself to do it.
Reason #5 – Meditation Feels Good
The last and final benefit I’d like to share with you, is simply that meditation feels great. Have you ever gone for a long walk on a beautiful day? Do you remember how you felt after that? A simple 20 minute meditation session can give you the same feeling without even leaving your house. The best part is, it’s free to do and easy to learn. That alone should be enough reason to give meditation a try today.
Virginia Cunningham is a Yogi who lives in Southern California. When Virginia isn’t on her yoga mat she is blogging about herbs and nutritional supplements for NorthWest Pharmacy.