Research shows that regular meditation is one of the best practices you can do for your physical, mental and emotional health. Many of us may already know meditation is good for us, but we may find ourselves putting meditation off for tomorrow, or the next day, or after the holidays or ‘someday’ when life isn’t so stressful and busy. However, when we are feeling stressed is when we need to take a breather the most. To help build your motivation to shift from a human doing to a human being for a short time during your day, here is some eye-opening information on just how beneficial meditation is for us in case you need more convincing.
According to well-known meditation teacher Sharon Salzberg, research shows that as little as 9 minutes of meditation per day positively impacts our brain centers for mental health. When we are depressed, our body and mind enter a chronic stress state, which is a form of survival mode. This survival mode impacts key centers of our brain. As a result, this survival mode creates an enlargement of the amygdala and de-activates the pre-frontal cortex. The more activated our amygdala is, the more reactive we are to our emotions, and the less activated this part of the brain is, the more emotionally resilient we feel. The pre-frontal cortex, which is responsible for executive function, clarity, decision making and impulse control, becomes more activated with meditation, and as a result, we feel more grounded or centered, and less frazzled. Meditation helps to gently and effectively pull us out of the survival mode depression elicits and into a more peaceful and self-compassionate state of mind.
Regular meditation (10-15-minutes daily) helps to lower our blood pressure, relax the digestive system, decrease pain sensitivity, and improve our overall immunity. In addition, meditation helps to lower the levels of adrenaline and cortisol that are released when we are in constant distress. Basically, meditation is a great tool for improving our overall physical health and sense of well-being.
Try meditating daily for a couple weeks and notice the difference in how much calmer, more grounded, less reactive and stressed, and overall better you will probably feel.