The idea of meditating usually elicits quite polar responses from people. You have either tried it, learned about its powerful effects, and have made the practice a regular part of your life, or you’re a skeptic.
If you fall into the category of believers, let this be an affirmation that meditation is worth your every effort and time. If you fall into the latter group, doubt no more. Whatever visions meditation conjures up - crystal balls, hypnosis, hippies, the supernatural - cast them aside. Discover for yourself science-backed ways that meditation can help your body and mind!
The demands of modern life triggers our stress response. Over time, commuting to and fro work, caring for loved ones, and other responsibilities, take a toll on our psychological and physiological states. To help us deal with triggers and threats, our body naturally releases adrenaline and cortisol as a natural stress response, regulating our heart rate, blood sugar, and so forth. However, when stressors are always present, our body becomes overexposed to these stress hormones that send us into overdrive.
But the good news is there are ways to help regain our equilibrium without relying on medication. In fact, a growing body of research points to the effectiveness of meditation in bringing us back to a state of restful alertness, during which the body can regulate its many processes and self-heal. Find out how!
Less Anxiety, Stress, and Headaches
When you meditate regularly, you are inducing your body and mind to enter a state of deep rest. When in deep rest, your brain releases neurotransmitters like dopamine and GABA that regulate your mood and bring your over-activated neurons back to normal functioning. The result? Reduced stress and related symptoms.
Are you exhausted when bedtime rolls around but find that your mind is still racing? An alternative to sleeping pills is meditation, which can help with insomnia by triggering the release of serotonin. This happy chemical in turn calms and induces the production of alpha and theta brain waves associated with deep relaxation, and helps us get the quality sleep we need to reboot.
Increased Concentration & Memory
In the high-paced world, multi-tasking has become synonymous with efficiency. Truth be told, juggling multiple tasks simultaneously is counterproductive more often than not, making it impossible to concentrate on a task at hand. Studies reveal that meditation is associated with the expansion of regions of the brain related to attention. Not only are people who undergo meditation training are able to focus on tasks for longer periods of time, they also have better working memory.
Whether you’re hoping to reduce stress, get better sleep, find greater focus, or simply improve your overall well-being, why not give meditation a try if you haven’t already? All it takes is setting aside a tiny fraction of your time to tend to nothing else but yourself. After all, how can you take care of anything or anyone else if you aren’t in your best condition?
By working on connecting to the present moment -- making meditation a part of your daily or weekly routine just like eating breakfast, exercising, or reading the news -- you will soon see the benefits yourself!
Have trouble meditating on your own? Join us at Futureproof Wellness for Meditation Mondays, where you’ll be guided through this rewarding practice.