5 reasons why you should meditate

I greatly admire people who can sit and quiet their minds for hours. As a very active person, I find it difficult to sit down and calm all the thoughts going on in my mind. Usually I think about what I need to do often, and wonder about what I need to do after I’m done just “sitting there.” The truth is, I had to learn how to force myself to be still and meditate. That’s why I want to share with you some tips to start meditating from my personal experience.

I was familiar with the term meditation, as it was something my mother practiced since I was little. I even attended some yoga classes with her. When I started out at university I began to attend qigong classes. This is a discipline where you learn how to use movements to relax the body and mind.


Life goes at 100 km per hour sometimes and I found myself leaving all those practices behind, until one day I realised that I had been living with chronic stress for many years, and I didn’t even realise it!


Many times we find ourselves forgetting to take the time to relax and stop the clock for a moment. Hopefully that isn’t a situation you find yourself in right this moment and that you are taking at least some time to take care of yourself!


My doctor confirmed that I looked very stressed and that it was affecting my adrenal glands and hormones. She said that I had to pay attention to my mind and body, this is when I realised that  I needed to return to the practice of meditation.


I feel wonderful when I meditate! I feel calm and also more tolerant with myself and others.


Practicing meditation regularly has many benefits, one of these benefits is that, meditation improves the ability to concentrate for a longer period, reducing fatigue and distraction, which as a result allows for important changes to take place in the functioning of the brain.


A team of neurologists from the Waisman Center at the University of Wisconsin, United States in conjunction with the Scheche Monastery in Kathmandu, Nepal, studied the brains of Buddhist monks from the Nyingmapa and Kagyupa meditation schools. They compared them with those of a group of university students who had never practiced meditation. The results revealed that there was greater neural coordination in the monks’ brains than in that of university students. This other study is about how meditation affects brain networks differently in long-term meditators and novices are also really interesting.


Here are 5 reasons why you should meditate regularly


1. By meditating regularly, you reduce your levels of anxiety and depression, and you improve your sleep quality .


2. You feel more at ease and experience serenity as meditation activates certain parts of the brain, specifically those associated with feelings of generosity, empathy, and altruism.


3. Your attention span and emotional control increase when you meditate,  this makes you feel less anxious and as a result, you can navigate through your day in a calm manner.


4. Meditation might improve cellular health, this means that meditation may also have an impact on ageing.


5. You can improve your memory, regular meditation increases blood flow to the brain, which leads to a stronger network of blood vessels in the cerebral cortex and reinforces memory capacity.


Let’s not wait for something serious to happen. If you haven’t started meditating yet, I hope that all these benefits convince you to start.


Tips to start meditating


1. Start small
If you are a beginner, it is advisable to start with short sessions, just 1 minute of daily meditation can generate significant changes. You can also extend the session from 5 to 10 minutes when it becomes a daily habit in your routine.


2. Follow Your Breathing
Focus on your breathing every time you inhale and exhale, this allows you to relax your mind and exercise your lungs. It helps if you imagine you have a nose above your belly button, this will help you breathe deeper.


3. Seek Comfort
Find a quiet, distraction-free place where you can meditate without interruption. It is also important to wear comfortable clothing and choose a simple position. You can start from the lotus position. To do this, sit cross-legged and put your feet on the opposite thigh.


4. Focus on the here and now
As you meditate, focus on the “now”, the present time and your breathing. Do not observe or pay attention to what is happening around you. Don’t let the sounds or objects around you, distract you.


5. Accept your thoughts
During the meditation session, many thoughts may appear and may overwhelm you, but this happens naturally, so don’t reject them instead let everything flow and refocus on your breathing.


Guided meditations or guided visualizations are what I do most of the time. This helps me a lot and takes a little less effort, as I am less distracted.


It really is worth a try if you have not already done so. We can choose to cultivate inner peace through the art of meditation.


How about you, do you meditate every day? Do you have any other tips to start meditating?

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