One of my objectives for this year is to mediate more frequently than once or twice a week. So I decided to start by meditating everyday, this January. To my surprise I have only missed a couple of days. Every morning after my tea, I lay in a comfortable position and begin. I just meditate for as long as i feel, ranging from 10 minutes to as much as 35 minutes, per session. (Note: Beginners can start with 5 to 10 minute sessions.) I have had some very positive results during, however I the newest and greatest result has been how much calmer and happier I fell afterwards and these positive feelings seem to last through a good part of my day.
“Maybe if we tell them the brain is an app, they will use it.” — Unknown
Do you wish for changes in your body, physically, mentally, and/or emotionally? Then, you need to slow down, focus within, and become aware of yourself. Yes, it takes extra effort to unplug from the frenetic energy of the world and listen to what your body is saying. The best benefits are experienced and achieved by repeating this exercise often, slowly but surely building a stable sense of awareness that starts to filter through to the rest of our life. So let’s talk about specifics: how exactly does meditation change your life?
The moment you get comfortable, place your arms at your sides, and join your thumb and fingers and begin to take a few deep breaths your mind, body, and soul begin to transform. Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years to promote spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being, but how exactly does it affect the body? Meditation works on the whole person. A regular meditation practice helps you get in touch with yourself on a deep level enabling you to detect imbalances in your well-being right away.
“Silence isn’t empty it is full of answers.” — Unknown
Meditation all starts in the brain with an increase in neural activity in regions directly correlated with decreased anxiety and depression, along with increased pain tolerance. The default mode network, in particular, is activated when the mind is at rest and not focusing on the outside world. This has been found to improve memory, self-awareness, and goal setting.
During meditation the active brain begins to undergo physical changes. A 2011 study published in the journal Psychiatry Research: Neuro-imaging found it takes up to two months to get a better brain. Participants who were involved in a meditation program for eight weeks had gray matter that was denser in areas associated with learning, memory, processing, and emotion regulation. The amygdala, which deals with stress, blood pressure, and fear, actually showed a decrease in gray matter.
Since meditation plays a significant roll on the brain, and the brain controls all of you, it can protect your body when it’s most vulnerable to be ill. Compared to non-meditators, meditators are able to produce a greater number of antibodies and have an increase immune function, according to a study published in the journal Psychosomatic Medicine. Furthermore, meditators may be able to see changes on a cellular level with an increase in telomere length, which is associated with a decreased likelihood of diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, and cancer.
Meditation not only benefits the mind and body, but also the soul. It can help meditators become more empathetic. Meditators tend to have higher alpha waves, which are known to reduce feelings of negative mood, tension, sadness, and anger.
“Miracles start to happen when you give as much thought to your dreams, as to your fears.” — Unknown
Always remember that whatever you resist will persist. If thoughts come up, merely observe them. Let them come into your mind, accept them, and then let them go. Since I started meditating, on a daily basis I feel more empowered and complete on a mental, emotional, and spiritual level. I have more control over my mind and my thoughts. When you master your mind, you become less reactive. Today, I find that I am more present and in the moment when I am interacting with people, both in my work and in my personal life.
I have learned that, as with any practice or school of thought, ultimately you need to find what works for you. If you think you are too busy to meditate, think again. Studies have shown that meditating just 10 minutes a day reduces stress, lowers cortisol levels, and improves your outlook on life (Sarich, 2015).
We all lead busy lives, but if we want to achieve life mastery, it is important that we feel a sense of balance, in our body, mind, and soul. Take the time to invest in yourself. Go deeper and embrace the power of meditation.