It’s nearly 2017… and what better way to start off the new year than to get into a healthy routine of regular meditation? Absolutely everyone can benefit from practising meditation, but if you are experiencing the signs below, we strongly recommend implementing meditation into your life.
Sign #1: You feel stressed and overwhelmed
If you’re feeling stressed and overwhelmed in your job, you should consider taking up meditation to regain your mental equilibrium. Meditation has been scientifically proven to lower cortisol, AKA the stress hormone, and has also been shown to increase focus and attention (see research here, here, here and here), ability to multitask (see here), memory (see here) and creativity (see research by J. Schooler). Meditation improves your mental clarity and allows you to do more with the resources you have.
If you have a lot on your plate, daily meditation exercises can help you to keep a level head and do the best you can, without going into overdrive. If you’d like more information about how meditation can help to lower your stress levels, see how to release stress.
Sign #2: You often feel tired and worn out
Feeling tired and like you’re not performing at your best? Trying to balance work, family, friends and obligations is enough to leave anyone feeling stressed, and stress is one of the main causes of fatigue. According to Safer Health Care, “when the mind perceives a stressful event, the body automatically begins the biological “fight or flight” stress response: releasing adrenaline, tensing muscles, boosting heart rate, constricting blood vessels, slowing the digestive system, causing “tunnel vision” and so on. Without proper rest, exercise and nutrition to counteract these effects, the body continues producing the stress response until it is fatigued or exhausted.” And this is where meditation can prove to be really beneficial. Meditation restores your sense of inner calm and balance, releases mental and physical tension, calms your senses and focuses your mind. Regular meditation exercises will help you to achieve a constant state of relaxation, which will counter the negative effects of stress, boost your energy, improve your overall well-being and allow you to see your life from a clearer perspective.
Sign #3: You often feel anxious
Worrying about the past of the future stems from not being present. The main objective of meditation is to bring your mind into the now, and this can have numerous positive effects on your mental health. According to how meditation helps anxiety, meditation also helps with anxiety because it quiets an overactive brain. “For someone with anxiety, it sometimes feels like their mind is like a hamster on a wheel – constantly running, but not really getting anywhere… Meditating helps us stop over-attending to our thoughts and feelings and allows us to get off the wheel, catch our breath, and get some perspective.” Meditation is an accessible, natural way to easily relieve worry and stress anytime, anywhere. You can see more research on the benefits meditation can have on anxiety here, here and here.
If you are experiencing constant anxiety or mental distress, make sure that you seek professional help.
Sign #4: You feel depressed
Meditation increases positivity (see research here and here) and has also been shown to decrease depression (see here). How does meditation help with depression? Well, it stimulates feel good chemicals, increases awareness of thoughts, puts the mind into the present, increases emotional understanding and overall promotes a clear, focused, positive and healthy mind. Meditation has also been shown to increase the brain’s grey matter, which may be part of the reason why practitioners experience significant improvements in memory, sense of self, empathy, emotional control and sense of inner calm.
If you are experiencing depression, contact Beyond Blue today.
Sign #5: You don’t sleep well
Do you spend your nights tossing, turning and trying but failing to have a good night’s rest? If so, daily meditation can help, as it has been shown to fight insomnia and improve sleep. Sleeplessness is often caused by worries, stress and racing thoughts, and meditation can help by eliciting a relaxing effect on the body and mind. For more information about how meditation exercises can help you to sleep more soundly, see improve your sleep with streamline meditation.
Sign #6: You are experiencing mood swings
Meditation improves self-awareness and your ability to recognise, regulate and express your emotions in a positive manner (see research here). Meditation can help you to let go suppressed of anger, frustration and stress, and has been shown to increase brain volume in areas related to emotion regulation, positive emotions & self-control (see research here and here). Do you find anger particularly hard to manage? For more information about how meditation can help you to manage your anger, see meditation and anger management.
Convinced that it’s time for you to start meditating? Check out our range of meditation classes and find out how to create an ideal meditation space in your home. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions about the benefits meditation can have on your inner and outer health or how to incorporate meditation exercises into your daily routine.