In an age where everything is nearly instantaneous – food, movies, communication, etc. – you would think more time would be left to find an inner peace that so many are searching for. Unfortunately, for most, this tranquility is harder to find than ever, with more and more Americans reporting higher levels of stress than ever before. What’s the solution?… A strong sense of quietness, not just of the body but the mind, to let your soul relax and calmly approach the circumstance that this life will throw at you. Below are a few benefits of taking some time for quiet.
1. Improve Your Levels of Concentration
Oprah Winfrey is one of the most successful people on the planet. As the host of her own talk show for twenty-five years, and the president of a successful media company, Oprah Winfrey has a net worth of over three billion dollars. And yet, even the queen of media herself takes twenty minutes, twice a day, to still her mind. Oprah says that meditation helps her put things in order. Every decision is easier to be made because there’s more clarity.
Stilling the mind allows you to put the troubles and worries of this world out of your brain for a second, and focus on the things that truly matter. Imagine your mind as a jar of jelly beans, that you shake up every once in a while when you want to get that rare orange bean in the middle. The more muddled it is, the harder it will be to bring that bean to the top and get it out, but if you remove all the other ones that are blocking its way, it’s easy to get to.
In one study conducted by the University of California at Davis, participants were divided up into groups of sixty and given extensive meditation and mindfulness training, which they then practiced alone for six hours a day for three months total. Initial results from the study show that “intensive contemplative training sharpens and sustains attention, enhances well-being, and leads to less judgmental, more empathic emotional responding to the suffering of others.”
2. Give You a Stronger Sense of Resilience
This world is one of chaos and inconsistency, and in many cases, unfair. But for those who have learned to still the mind and dominate their thoughts instead of letting their thoughts dominate them, it becomes less about reacting to the world around them and more about taking charge of one’s own life.
John Lennon, one of the most famous musicians of the 20th century, credited meditation as providing him with the outlook he needed to channel his inner peace seemingly at will. John Legend mentioned that he felt more energetic through meditation. The big advantage of meditation is that it’s accessible anytime and anywhere. Meditation is beneficial on both good days and bad days.
Meditation allows you to get the proper perspective not only on your own life but also on the world around you and helps you to see things as they really are instead of how they simply appear to be. Moreover, by keeping your mind still, you can draw from a never-ending stream of willpower that will see you through even the darkest times.
3. Make You a Kinder Person
A 2012 study conducted by Dr. Stefan Hoffman appeared in Clinical Psychological Review and discovered that not only did meditation improve levels of concentration and resiliency, but kindness as well. Specifically, Loving-Kindness Meditation (LKM) and Compassion Meditation (CM) led to a decreased level of negative emotions, as well as an increased level of positive emotions, as well as activating parts of the brain reserved for empathy. The study concludes that certain types of meditation can, and should be, employed alongside other medical practices.
Another study, published in Psychological Science, put an actor on fake crutches into a waiting room to see how many people would offer their chair to the man seen as less fortunate. One group of people who had undergone eight-week meditation practices were three times more likely to offer their chair to the man, as opposed to the group that didn’t take the training.
Why the dramatic change in compassion? According to researchers, meditation teaches the user to move from a simple recognition of others’ pain to actually doing something about it, without being crippled by a shared feeling of the others’ distress.
4. Greater Amount of Internal Peace
Count actress Gwyneth Paltrow among those who are convinced meditation works. After hearing about it from her friends for years, she has made meditation one of her goals. We all strive after that peace that can’t be bought or stolen, the kind of peace that radiates from within and allows us to weather the storms of life as well as create a strong feeling of happiness. And even though science has shown us that we can simply choose to be happy, it’s also true that meditation is one of the best ways to begin.
Meditation pushes out the negative thoughts and allows the mind to focus itself only on the positive, creating a sense of balance and tranquility that helps users find the calm they seek.
Meditation is often misunderstood by many who have never tried it before, as well as by those who claim it does nothing for you, but numerous studies and circumstantial evidence of millions worldwide proves differently. If you want to turn your life from one of chaos and complexity into one of peace and tranquility, implement a few sessions of meditation into your life, and you will feel yourself start to reap a few of the benefits.
If you or someone you know experiences mental health issues, it is important to seek help from a qualified professional. Our Resource Specialist can help you find expert mental health resources to recover in your community. Contact us now for more information on this free service to our users.Contact a Resource Specialist
Author Bio: Alex Moore is a psychology undergraduate and ardent advocate of the power of motivation. You’ll usually find him writing for www.schizlife.com, where he tries to help people overcome every obstacle with both mind and body.
The opinions and views expressed in this guest blog do not necessarily reflect those of www.rtor.org or its sponsor, Laurel House, Inc. The author and www.rtor.org have no affiliations with any products or services mentioned in this article or linked to herein.
Recommended for You
- Barriers to Recovery: Shame - November 27, 2023
- Navigating the Intersection of Psychology and Psychiatric Care for Mental Well-being - November 24, 2023
- Empowering Patients: How Doctors Promote Active Engagement in Mental Health Treatment - November 20, 2023