7 Benefits of Meditation
Do You Currently Meditate?
Ever had a crappy day? I mean super-duper-positively crappy. If yes, then try meditating to feel better. Helping you feel better and happier is just one of the many benefits of meditation. If you are not meditating right now, then this article may help you find a quiet place, sit down, and try it for yourself.
7 Benefits of Meditation
1. Fixing Relationship Conflicts
Relationships can get tense! It doesn’t matter if it is your lover, mother, brother, friend, or co-worker. Even a stranger can be counted as a relationship of sorts if they have some sort of connection to your life.
When something happens, and those negative feelings come around, it can be easy to get caught up in them and create more problems with the relationship. But meditation can help you calm down and find a solution without having to go through all the negativity first.
For instance, if you have had a problem with a neighbor (often my issue), then you could dwell on the problem and become more worked up with each passing thought. However, the benefit of meditation is that it allows you to stop getting worked up, calm your thoughts, and find a solution or answer clearly without all the nonsense of anger and resentment.
Therefore, if you go ahead and meditate after the conflict happens, or after you start to get upset about it, then you may be able to still your mind long enough to see an answer, a solution, a way to feel better about the situation. Or at the very least, you may see that the person was acting out of fear or anger (a sad place to be) and you may feel more compassionate towards them.
2. Stop Anxiety or Panic or Fear
I’ve heard that sleep is unconscious meditation, while meditation is conscious sleep, and I like that thought. While I have my own thoughts on sleep and dreaming, I think that meditation is a time that we can quiet our mind and work through things that are internally bugging us instead of focusing on the who, what, when, where, and why - all the stuff that can quickly bring about anxiety and panic.
By allowing yourself to connect with your subconscious, you can cure anxiety and worry and fear, overcome blockages, and draw in the universes energy to heal yourself. No, it's true! During meditation you can allow your mind to relax and recharge (and stop running in circles of panic), and come out the other end much more focused and less stressed. Anxiety sufferers will surely see this as one of the great benefits of meditation.
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3. Meditation Can Help With Forgiveness
One of the great benefits of meditation is having a softer heart towards others. This is because your negative thoughts, which create negative emotions, are taken out of the equation, and you are left with just the reality of what is - and a new perspective on life and people.
Meditation can help with forgiveness. It can help you let go of a word, a sentence, an interpretation, a trespass, a frame of mind, or an emotion that has evolved into a state of negativity.
For instance, I can use the latest incident with my neighbor as an example. During the last rainfall, my drainage pipe from the roof (closest to her house) was pouring water at a high rate. The bushes in between our house were starting to attract a very large pool of water because it was not moving fast enough down our yards to the street. The next day I came home to find my pipe crushed and beaten to death. And I gotta say, I got a little angry that she had destroyed my property – again. Thoughts about her feeling entitled to do whatever she wants crossed my mind. Then anger came into play when I thought “Why can’t she handle things better?”. Then sadness that I have been saddled with such a miserable neighbor started to eat at my mind. Then I began to worry about my dogs and my property in case she does something stupid. Then...I went to bed and woke up and continued the thought process in the morning until I eventually wanted to go over there and hurt her (hey, I’m being honest here.) I didn’t hurt her, although I did yell something about destroying property. And then I decided to meditate before I went crazy. During it my throat started to loosen up and I started to forgive her.
4. Meditation Can Help You Detach From The Outside World
Once, I stopped watching TV for about a week. During that week I discovered that I was more focused on my life and not the characters lives I was watching on TV. I paid attention to my feelings, my wants, my needs, and I found myself living in the moment more. Not watching TV is kind of like meditation.
During meditation, you go inward and alleviate any outward chaos. You focus on the here and now, and you become more aware of yourself, your feelings, your emotions, and your state of being. If you want to get away from the outside world for a while, and remember that you are a being separate from the outside world (including TV), then meditate.
5. Meditation Can Allow You To Connect To Your Higher Self
The term ‘higher self’ means different things to different people. Some people view their higher self as someone beyond this world. What I’m referring to is higher self that knows how to bring happiness into your life, and knows what steps need to be taken next in your life. I guess I am trying to say that the higher self is the best self that you could be.
I think that our higher self, the one that wants us to become happier, healthier, and more loving, is always speaking to us through intuition and instinct. Like when we hear ‘Turn left!’ when we are about to turn right.
The problem is we often tune out our higher self and make decisions that go against what it is trying to tell us. One of the benefits of meditation, however, is that we can really connect to that voice and let it guide us along in life.
Asking questions and receiving answers during meditation is much easier than during a traffic jam on our way to work. And, the more we learn how to tune-in to our higher self and the guidance it is providing, the easier it becomes to hear our higher self during that same traffic jam.
How Happy Are You Right Now?
6. Meditation Can Make You Happier!
You are probably saying “Well of course it can! If the benefits of meditation include better relationships, less anxiety, more forgiveness, detachment from the outside world, and connecting to your higher self – how could you not be happy?” However, that is not what I’m talking about (not all I’m talking about). I’m talking about proof that it can make you happier and less stressed!
This article from Psychology Today, talks about a study done on stressed-out employees of a high demand job. Out of the 25 participants, the 9 who meditated over an eight week period, were calmer and happier than before the study. Their brain activity had made a shift from the right to the left frontal lobe, which helped to decrease the effects of stress, anxiety, and depression.
7. Meditation Can Help With Pain Management
Some people believe that pain is all in the head – or at least there is a very good possibility of the mind-body connection being involved. For instance, John E. Sarno, M.D. has long talked about the theory that the mind creates pain in the body. Check out his book, Healing Back Pain, to learn more... it is worth the read.
Studies have been done that found that meditation helps to reduce pain by taking the mind off the pain, and into the present (living in the moment is another benefit of meditation). Pain is often anticipated, which means you are focused on the future and worrying about the next bought of pain. This theory should ring true for most people. I know that I have experienced intense pain and then became distracted by the present moment and suddenly forgot all about it.
More on Benefits of Meditation?
- 6 Other Reasons to Meditate | Psychology Today
Meditation isn't just for relaxing. Here are six other benefits. By Linda Wasmer Andrews...
- Meditate on This: Buddhist Tradition Thickens Parts of the Brain | LiveScience
The study also indicates that regular meditation may slow age-related thinning of the frontal cortex.
- Brain Scans Reveal Why Meditation Works | LiveScience
If you name your emotions, you can tame them, according to new research that suggests why meditation works.