The Benefits of Meditation On Your Mental Health
Life has literally been flipped upside down over the past year for a lot of people. Now more than ever, it’s important to look after our mental health and wellbeing as we come out of a national lockdown.
Spending most of your time alone, or with the same few people in your household can also be hard, especially if you’re a natural social butterfly.
Naturally, this whole situation can cause frustration, worry, anxiety and stress, among lots of other emotions. When life goes back to normal, the transition from lockdown to normality might also be challenging – it’s something no one has ever done before.
Meditation can help with all of this.
WHAT ACTUALLY IS MEDITATION?
The thought that appears in people’s minds when they hear the word ‘meditation’ is usually sitting cross-legged on the floor, arms resting on the knees, palms facing the air, and humming an ‘ohm’ sound. Whilst you can definitely meditate like this, meditation is way more than that.
Meditation is an effective way to train your mind, focus and attention to help build awareness around a particular thing. It’s an incredible way to clear the mind, give the emotions a refresh and make you feel calm, both mentally and physically.
STILL NOT CONVINCED? HERE ARE SOME OF THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION...
One of the main benefits is the reduction of stress. Practising meditation helps you stay calm and deal with stressful situations in a healthy way.
The practice of calming the mind and emotions reduces anxiety and helps you to focus on being present, rather than reflecting on past or future events.
LENGTHENS YOUR ATTENTION SPAN
Most people could benefit from this. In this day and age with modern technology and information available to us instantly at our fingertips, we find our attention spans shortening. Meditation can help improve this and also increases the ability to focus and complete tasks.
Not only can it improve your sleep, but also reduce the pre-sleep anxiety that can creep up on us as we lie in the quiet, before drifting off to sleep.
As well as improving focus and attention span, meditation can also improve your memory and the ability to process new information. It’s a win-win really.
IMPROVES OVERALL HEALTH
Meditation is said to reduce blood pressure and joint pain, whilst improving the immune system and increasing serotonin levels in the body.
Practising meditation can also reduce physical pain. Bringing your attention to what your body is telling you it needs, will help identify what you can do to ultimately, help yourself.
SO, HOW DO I MEDITATE?
Meditation is something which can be done anywhere, at any time, once you’ve got the hang of it. If you’re new to meditation, it will be beneficial to find a quiet space and get comfortable. Ease yourself into it and before you know it, you’ll be more comfortable with it. Once you’ve mastered meditation, you can do it anywhere: on your lunch break, on the bus, or even in the park.
There are loads of books and apps to help you meditate, which also provide you with meditations to follow. You can even find some on YouTube, but be sure to research into the individuals holding the workshops to ensure they are licensed. Headspace is a great app with some short meditations for when you just have a spare 10 minutes or so.
Some people find it difficult to meditate and until you really get the hang of it, it is tough. But don’t give up if you don’t get it right away, remember: It takes time to train your mind. Your mind is a muscle and so it needs to be trained, just like any other muscle in your body! It can be challenging, but the benefits definitely make it worth it!