Mental Benefits of Meditation
Ah, meditation. The art and practice of calming the mind and reducing stress. Yes, meditation does in fact help you become calmer and less stressed. The beauty of meditation however, is that it does so much more! It can make you happier and healthier mentally, emotionally and physically. But it doesn’t stop there! Keep reading to find out what other great benefits can be gained from meditation.
Develop the ability to let go of worry and regrets
Meditation actually helps the mind recognize, acknowledge and redirect what neuroscientists call the “Default Mode Network.” It’s the network that commands common traits like worry, self-doubt, self-reproach, negativity and regret.
Stimulate feelings of well-being, happiness and equanimity
Doesn’t it feel good to, well, feel good? Meditation gives us the pleasure of a better enjoyment of life. We learn to appreciate the world and people around us more, and the little irritations in life don’t seem to bother us as much.
Enhance focus and concentration
Our brains learn how to focus like a laser during meditation. This concentration and focus we have during formal meditation flows over into our regular day so that we get more done in less time.
Encourage compassion towards self and others
Have you ever noticed that when you’re stressed, you tend to lash out at people? You’re not alone. Fortunately, meditation can take care of that too! It encourages us to pursue life with a benevolent and curious awareness that leads to more fruitful and healthier relationships, including with ourselves.
Decrease stress, anxiety and depression
There’s more stress in our lives than ever, and more people are being treated for depression and anxiety than ever before. Stress occurs depending on how we respond to a challenging situation, while anxiety results from frequently thinking about the future and depression comes from focusing too much on the past. All three of these can be greatly reduced by practicing meditation, where we learn to live in the present moment.
Diminish negative self-talk
Meditation makes us keenly aware of the negative self-talk that is constantly chattering in the back of our minds. That awareness allows us to recognize self-reproach and self-doubt for what they are—just thoughts. Once we are aware of them and see them for what they are, we can choose not to buy into them. We can stop them before they really get a hold on our peace of mind.
Nurture acceptance of change
It’s fair to say that most of us hate change. But through meditation, we come to accept change easier. We come to accept that life progresses and changes, and that we must progress and change with it. By cultivating our curious awareness, we can more fully appreciate the transformations that life naturally brings.
Reduce perfectionistic and rigid thinking
Meditation helps us fully understand that perfection does not exist. As meditators, we are better able to contend with our crazy, imperfect, and mostly out of our control world.
Decrease the need for attaching to outcomes
Lastly, meditation frees us from preconceived notions regarding the world around us. We then create fewer expectations. When we have fewer expectations, we can let our lives flow, which increases our happiness and peace of mind.