As I admitted in my most recent podcast, “So You Think You Can’t Meditate?” I used to have no interest in meditation whatsoever. And now I recommend iRest, or Yoga Nidra, to all of my clients and my friends.
Two years ago I read an article in the Huffington Post, “Mindfulness Meditation Benefits: 20 Reasons Why It’s Good For Your Mental And Physical Health.”
Let me just highlight some of my favorite reasons from this article why meditation practice is good for you to help you feel motivated towards this life changing practice.
Why Meditation is Good for You
- Current research is showing significant results that mindfulness helps people feel less stressed and lowers the stress hormone cortisol in the body.
- Mindfulness encourages us to sit with ourselves and develop a perspective that includes getting to know parts of ourself we have not really been aware. Our blind spots suddenly can see.
- A research team examining college students and grades found that those who were trained and practiced mindfulness did better on tasks requiring working memory.
- It actually changes your brain in ways that benefit you by protecting you from mental illness. It makes changes in the brain that makes it easier for us to process pain and emotions.
- What I really like is that is continues to help us even when we are not actively practicing it. The amygdala brain region’s responses to emotional events happens even when you are not actively doing the meditation. Long term positive effects are a good thing.
- With meditation you cultivate four different areas that help you in many ways: body awareness, self-awareness, regulation of emotion and regulation of your attention.
There are different studies that found that mindfulness meditation does the following:
- Decrease loneliness and boost health by reducing the expression of genes linked with inflammation
- Increased overall health
- Lower risk of depression with teens by helping them experience less stress anxiety.
- It has been shown to help you sleep better. This is great news. Because sleep is the first ingredient in feeling good in your waking life. How it does this is by having higher levels of mindfulness during your day, thereby you are better able to manage emotions and behaviors during the day better leads to lower emotional activation at bedtime and increased healthy sleeping patterns.
The article neglects to mention what I think is the most compelling reason for meditation: it’s so good for you and it’s free! All you need is yourself.
If I’ve piqued your interest, take a listen to my podcast and see if you don’t find yourself more interested in trying meditation.
“Shavasana” by Flickr user teakwood is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.