In this article we look at meditation and the many benefits it has
5 Surprising Benefits of Meditation You Might Not Know About
The most well-known benefit of meditation is stress-relief. Different forms of meditation have been used for literally thousands of years to quickly, and sometimes instantly, relieve and remove stress and anxiety. The LiveAndDare.com website has identified 76 scientifically proven benefits of meditation. They include lowering instances of depression and reducing anxiety. Those mental benefits may seem logically linked to a practice where you calm your mind. However, some benefits of meditation may surprise you, including the following 5 beneficial effects of meditation you just might not know about.
1 – Meditation Makes the Teen Years Livable High school can be a very difficult time, not only for teenagers trying to get through it alive but for their parents as well. The teenage years can be difficult because the human body and mind are changing so rapidly. This can cause self-doubt, frustration, confusion and sometimes a sense that the whole world is “out to get” the teenager. Research from the Harvard Medical School shows that relaxation practices like meditation and deep breathing improved students’ abilities to cope with hormonal mood swings, and the constant drama surrounding teen years.
2 – ‘Meditation’ Can Be Better Than ‘Medication’ for Chronic Pain The Journal of Neuroscience reports on a study that shows you can save major money on prescription drug costs, while simultaneously relieving pain more effectively, with meditation. Pills often have bothersome and debilitating side-effects. This is not true with meditation, that proved more effective than pain medication for chronic pain relief in that study.
3 – Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) Relief IBS can be frustrating, inconvenient, painful and embarrassing. The answer may just be to meditate on a regular basis. Research in one study shows an 8-week practice of mindfulness for stress-relief reduced IBS symptoms by an impressive 26.4%.
4 – Meditation Actually Boosts Your Immune System Your immune system is the complex group of processes in your body that fights infection and disease. Stress and anxiety play havoc with your immune system, and this means you’re more likely to become sick or ill from any cause. Meditating regularly slows the production of stress hormones like cortisol which naturally damage your immune system.
5 – Improves Fertility Rates in Women Researchers are still not sure why this happens. However, there is an undeniably correlated presence of notably higher fertility rates in women who meditate regularly, than in those who do not.
6 Meditation Benefits That Help You Climb the Corporate Ladder Faster
Are you climbing the corporate ladder in search of job security, better pay, more responsibility or personal power? If you are running the corporate rat race and strive to advance as quickly as possible, meditation offers significant benefits. Aside from relieving stress, which as you know is constant in a competitive business environment, meditation offers the following 6 benefits that help you climb the rungs of the corporate ladder faster and more effectively than your coworkers who do not meditate.
1 – All meditation improves focus. If you can’t FOCUS (Follow One Course Until Successful), you simply are not going to make it in the advanced levels of the corporate world. Meditation, especially focused attention meditation, can create a laser-targeted vision that allows you to cut through the constant clutter and distractions around you, finishing projects and assignments quickly and productively.
2 – Meditation encourages objectivity, composure, clarity, and concentration. When you can objectively appraise any business situation, your value to your company increases dramatically. A meditation practice also improves concentration, helps you develop a clarity of vision, and guarantees you practice composure when things get stressful, essential advancement and survival tools in the corporate world.
3 – Meditation increases productivity. Whether you practice Kundalini or Vipassana meditation, or any of the other dozens of varieties, you will find yourself more productive. Incorporating meditation sessions throughout your workday will increase your productivity even greater still.
4 – Your problem-solving and decision-making abilities become stronger. Countless studies show meditation improves mental functioning and memory and dramatically decreases your chances of contracting mental health problems. This means your mental ability to attack problems, solve them, and make smart decisions is enhanced with meditation.
5 – Meditation improves your social and emotional intelligence levels. Meditation trades your brain to react objectively and intelligently. This improves both your social and emotional IQs. Studies show that employees with high levels of social and emotional intelligence are more likely to be chosen for leadership positions.
6 – Meditation is a mental and physical stress-reliever. This is probably the most well-known benefit of a regular meditation practice. What is amazing is that of all the many kinds of meditation, they are all very effective for relieving stress and anxiety. No matter what form of meditation you decide to practice, you will experience less stress. This means fewer days off, not experiencing dread and anxiety on the way to work, and a better capability to compete in a stressful corporate environment than your coworkers.
7 Simple Meditation Tips for Beginners
Beginners to meditation often approach it with preconceived notions. In contrast to popular opinion, you don’t have to practice a particular religion, have a specific spiritual outlook or buy any equipment or accessories to benefit from meditation. Beginners to this age-old practice have heard it is a great stress-reliever that also delivers other mental health benefits and physical rewards.
Anxious to get started, would be meditation newbies generally have one big question on their mind … “How do I meditate?”
They often envision trying to achieve a cramped and painful lotus position while breathing stifling incense and repeating mystical chants as necessary for a meditation practice. Preconceived notions and ill-informed stereotypical misconceptions fill their mind.
If you want to get started benefiting mentally and physically from meditation, the following 7 tips and practices will quickly move you from confused newbie to calm and focused meditation veteran in no time.
1 – Understand right up front that there is no “right” and no “wrong” way to meditate. Whatever works best for you is what you should be doing.
2 – Start off slow. You should aim for 2 or 3 daily meditation sessions just 3 to 5 minutes long at first. Get familiar with the process. At first, even a 3 minute meditation session can be difficult. You may feel like you have “failed”, but stick with it and your performance and benefits will get better over time. 3 – If your thoughts wander, and they will, don’t criticize yourself. Recognize whatever distracting input has interrupted you, and then slowly redirect your attention back to your point of focus.
4 – Don’t try to meditate right after a heavy meal. Most people don’t realize how much energy their digestive system requires. Meditating after you eat can cause frustration when you don’t see or feel results happen quickly enough to make you happy. You should also be hydrated properly, but not to the point that your bladder is begging for your meditation session to be over.
5 – Use meditation soundtracks … or don’t use meditation soundtracks. Some beginners say meditation MP3 files, CDs, and YouTube videos are crucial for providing the correct audio environment for meditation. Others say this music distracted them. Find out what works for you.
6 – Realize that you don’t have to sit in a cross-legged, lotus position. Meditation can take place anywhere, as long as you are seated or reclined in a comfortable position, in a calm, peaceful environment.
7 – Practice mindfulness everywhere. When you drive, while you are shopping for groceries or taking a walk around your neighborhood, be mindful of your experience. Don’t focus on the past or the future, and not even the next step you are taking. Becoming mindful of the “right now” time in your life throughout the day can help your dedicated meditation practice..