If you have not experienced the benefits of meditation, it’s time to rethink your mindfulness practice. While you might enjoy hiking, weight lifting, and running to reduce stress and improve your health, mindfulness is another way you can strengthen your mind and even improve your motivation.
Mindfulness is not just sitting in a dark room and breathing. In fact, it is a holistic way to reduce your stress, improve sleep, reduce anxiety, and even improve your strength. Read on to discover the many benefits mindfulness can have on your life.
Who isn’t stressed these days? With jobs, family, bills, responsibilities, and day-to-day stressors, life can get pretty intense. The trouble is, when you are exposed to high levels of stress, you can experience hair loss, depression, high blood pressure, insomnia, heart issues, and more. While your body is designed to handle some stress, it is not meant to be constantly under stress. While exercise and eating healthy have big impacts on stress, meditation can rewire your brain and improve your stress response.
So how exactly does this work? Well, meditation helps you quiet your mind and address your intrusive thoughts. Often we let our minds run the show, but it tends to create situations and thought patterns that are not in our best interest, causing stress. Meditation is a tool to quiet your mind and bring awareness to your thoughts.
Meditation also reduces stress by moving you out of the “fight or flight” response to stress. When you are stressed, your body increases your stress hormones, blood pressure, and breathing. While this can protect you when you are in danger, long-term exposure to this response can wreak havoc on your health and well-being.
Improves your confidence
Negative self-talk can directly impact your confidence. You see, confidence is the belief in yourself and your abilities. It allows you to have better relationships, feel better about yourself, and find more success in your life. When you get stuck in negative thought patterns, you can begin to experience depression, anxiety, and lowered self-esteem. Meditation helps combat this process by improving how you feel and think about yourself.
One way to use meditation to improve your confidence is a process called noting. When you notice a negative thought or feeling about yourself, you note it by acknowledging the thought or emotion but not giving it power over you. It sounds simple, but this process helps you become more aware of your thought patterns and helps you distinguish when your thoughts are not benefiting you.
It can make you smarter
If you have trouble focusing or retaining information, you might want to give meditation a try. Studies show that a daily meditation practice can improve your retention of information, improve your focus, and help you perform better on tests. Meditation helps you quiet your thoughts and enhance your ability to focus on your current task without worrying about other things.
If you think about it, we typically have many thoughts going on at once. Maybe you are reading a book but thinking about a work assignment or trying to study for a test, but worried about dinner. Meditation helps you acknowledge and quiet wandering thoughts, allowing you to enhance your memory, retain new information, and recall that information later on when you need it the most.
Improves your strength and recovery
This one might shock you a bit, but meditation can improve your workouts. When you add meditation to your wellness routine, it helps you process pain better, reduces cortisol, and improves your breathing. These three components enhance your workouts by allowing your body to recover faster and push through your workouts.
How to get started
You don’t need a sound bowl and meditation pillow to begin a mindfulness practice. In fact, you can start by downloading an easy app like Headspace or Calm app. You can also try just ten minutes of quiet every night before bed. Turn off your screens, get relaxed, and focus on your breathing. Don’t get discouraged if it’s a struggle at first. It is called a mindfulness practice because it takes time to get its hang and a lot of practice.
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