During this time of year it’s easy to get really stressed and worked up over small things. I know I’m guilty of it and got a little to testy with the Amazon representative on the phone today when I know she was just doing her job.
One thing I like to do when I get stressed it meditate. When I first started to meditate I used the headspace app on my phone to guide my meditation.
According to Healthline 12 benefits of meditating are:
1. Reduces Stress: Normally, mental and physical stress cause increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol. This produces many of the harmful effects of stress, such as the release of inflammation-promoting chemicals called cytokines.
These effects can disrupt sleep, promote depression and anxiety, increase blood pressure and contribute to fatigue and cloudy thinking.
In an eight-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress (2).
2. Controls Anxiety: Less stress translates to less anxiety.
3. Promotes Emotional Health: Some forms of meditation can also lead to an improved self-image and more positive outlook on life.
4. Enhances Self Awareness: Some forms of meditation may help you develop a stronger understanding of yourself, helping you grow into your best self.
5. Lengthens Attention Span: Focused-attention meditation is like weight lifting for your attention span. It helps increase the strength and endurance of your attention.
6. May Reduce Age-related Memory Loss: Improvements in attention and clarity of thinking may help keep your mind young.
A review of 12 studies found that multiple meditation styles increased attention, memory and mental quickness in older volunteers (28).
7. Can Generate Kindness: Some types of meditation may particularly increase positive feelings and actions toward yourself and others.
8. May Help Fight Addictions: The mental discipline you can develop through meditation may help you break dependencies by increasing your self-control and awareness of triggers for addictive behaviors (34).
Research has shown that meditation may help people learn to redirect their attention, increase their willpower, control their emotions and impulses and increase their understanding of the causes behind their addictive behaviors (35, 36).
9. Improves Sleep: Nearly half the population will struggle with insomnia at some point.
One study compared two mindfulness-based meditation programs by randomly assigning participants to one of two groups. One group practiced meditation, while the other didn’t.
Participants who meditated fell asleep sooner and stayed asleep longer, compared to those who didn’t meditate (39).
10. Helps Control Pain: Your perception of pain is connected to your state of mind, and it can be elevated in stressful conditions.
11. Can Reduce Blood Pressure: Meditation can also improve physical health by reducing strain on the heart.
Over time, high blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood, which can lead to poor heart function.
High blood pressure also contributes to atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the arteries, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes.
12. You Cab Meditate Anywhere: People practice many different forms of meditation, most of which don’t require specialized equipment or space. You can practice with just a few minutes daily.
If you want to start meditating, try choosing a form of meditation based on what you want to get out of it.