Five benefits of meditationJan Hiscock
1. Meditating to reduce stress and anxiety
When we are coping with stressful situations and feel anxious we tend to have thoughts that persist in going round and round in our heads. It is important to realise that we cannot stop thoughts entering our conscious minds and this is where meditation can help. Meditation and mindfulness, focussing on your breathing enables you to reconnect with your inner self and as we follow the breath and relax, our brain wave frequency slows. Relaxation and relaxed focus help us to acknowledge the thoughts as they enter into our heads and let them flow through, as a cloud gently moves across the sky. This helps us to restore calm, inner peace and balance. By just spending 5 minutes meditating every day you can gain new perspectives on stressful situations which enable you to think creatively and by helping to improve critical thinking helps you to problem-solve effectively to reduce your stress and anxiety.
2. Helps balance the emotions
One of the primary benefits of meditation is that it helps to create balance between our quiet, inner world and our busy, noisy exterior world. Meditation gives you the opportunity to slow down, reflect upon a situation and listen to your inner voice and wisdom. This helps put things into perspective and creates harmony in the mind, body and soul.
Five benefits of meditation
3. Meditation can help to lower blood pressure
Blood pressure is two measurements of how much blood your heart is pumping and the level of resistance to that blood flow in your arteries. Therefore, having high blood pressure puts strain on your blood vessels, heart and other organs such as the brain, kidney and eyes increasing the risk of serious illnesses. Stress is one of the common contributors to people suffering with high blood pressure. As the body’s alarm system, stress causes the body to release adrenaline which causes your breathing to quicken, heart rate to increase and blood pressure to rise. By meditating you can reduce stress and anxiety which enables you to become calmer and more relaxed, enabling your body to work more efficiently and effectively, without strain.
4. Helps fight insomnia and promote better sleep patterns
Poor sleep patterns and insomnia is something many of us experience from time to time and seems to be more prevalent as we get older. We have all gone through periods of stress and anxiety, worrying about problems or a long to-do list that leave us with thoughts that go round and round in our heads making it difficult for us to get a good night’s sleep. We then worry that we will not be able to sleep, which makes our anxiety worse, finding it difficult to get off to sleep or stay asleep and the more this goes on, the more tired and anxious we get. Through regular practise of mindfulness techniques and meditation we learn to relax and focus on the ‘here and now’ rather than the past or the future or worrying about what might happen, helping us to break old patterns such as catastrophizing. Through regular meditation we learn to relax and stay focused and maintain a positive frame of mind enabling us to approach everyday situations and problems in a creative, logical, calm way. By relaxing the mind we are able to get a good night’s sleep so that we are rested and ready for the day ahead.
5. Helping you to make better life decisions
Meditation can help you to focus on positive rather than negative thoughts. Through the practise of mindfulness and meditation we learn to focus on the ‘here and now’. The more we focus on positive thoughts the more we want to make positive choices. This can impact in all areas of our lives from work, relationships to health. Regular mindfulness and meditation practise unlocks our creativity and helps us to focus on what is important. We are able to let go of negative patterns and use our creative problem-solving to create new and more efficient ways of working. We develop more meaningful and mutually rewarding relationships and the more positive we feel the better we feel. We want more things that are better for us which encourages us to take exercise, get outside into the fresh air, make time to relax and eat well. All of these life choices help us to work more efficiently and interact with others and the world we live in more effectively and beneficially.