3 Benefits of Meditation

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As Eastern spiritual and health practices continue to gain traction in the Western world, more and more people are discovering the benefits that have been enjoyed by other people for thousands of years. There has been a push back against dangerous and ineffective pharmaceuticals, leading to a greater interest in herbs and other non-drug interventions for a variety of health issues. Modern living has created a population teeming with people suffering from depression and anxiety, and they are desperate for a way to end their suffering. There is no one magic bullet to address all of these problems, but there is one simple practice that can make a serious dent, and that practice is meditation. Of all the tools I have amassed over the years in my quest for happiness and peace of mind, this has by far, been the most powerful and effective. If you don’t meditate already, here are a few compelling reasons to start.

Helps You Gain Control of Your Mind

Our minds are out of control, and this leads us to suffer immeasurably. From the moment we wake up, there is a raging river of thoughts that just runs unchecked. When we operate in this manner, we become slaves to our thoughts and feelings, which by the way are not us, just fleeting entities. Meditation helps calm the waters. It allows us to step back and see what is going on, rather than getting all caught up in our ‘’stuff.’’ It is almost like we become a third-party observer. We stop living on auto-pilot and start thinking and acting deliberately. We begin responding rather than just reacting. We can stop those destructive chains of thought. We can question and reason with ourselves.

Gain Clarity about Your Life and Decisions

There is a lot of wisdom in silence, but this silence can be extremely uncomfortable so we tend to avoid it at all costs. Just being with ourselves and our thoughts can be really, really scary. This is why meditating is so difficult at first. You feel like you are being assaulted with all of your doubts, fears, hurts and past traumas. But, if you can learn to sit with this stuff, eventually all that quiets down a bit, and you can deal with it better. You will find yourself getting to the root causes of your issues, which lends itself to solutions. You will cut through all the junk and get to know yourself better. The better you know yourself, the more clarity you will gain about your life and decisions.  You will have a better sense of what you want to do, who you want to be and what type of life you want to live.

Improve Your Physical Health

Meditation reduces stress, and we all know how stress can destroy our physical health. But, it appears to heal our bodies in many other ways. For example, many studies have found it helps people who suffer with chronic pain by altering brain waves and how the body perceives the pain response. Then there are times when it appears to help, but researchers cannot exactly pinpoint how.   But, while we may not fully understand how meditation improves specific health conditions all the time, results of countless studies suggest it is effective for dealing with a host of issues from anxiety to high blood pressure, and may just generally improve how your bodily systems work, from the immune to the respiratory system.

Meditation can be done anywhere and does not cost a cent. It is not just a spiritual practice, it is one that offers many practical benefits regardless of your religious beliefs. You have nothing to lose by trying it and everything to gain.