Three Key Benefits of Meditation: Don’t Just Do Something, Sit There!
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
As one of my favorite internet sayings goes, Don’t just do something. Sit there! How true. So often our first instinct may be to rush in to a situation and DO something. Or worse, we might take an entire issue and put it all on our shoulders. But what if we could bring meditation and daily mindfulness into our everyday lives? What are some of the physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of meditation?
BENEFIT ONE: FOCUS
One of the best benefits of sitting and breathing for a while? Focus. Clearheadedness. The way I see it, meditation basically hands your brain a protective mask and buffers it from getting kicked by mental chatter and worrying. Recently, some researchers at a major university found that teens that practiced regular meditation and relaxation got higher scores on major standardized tests than those who did not.
BENEFIT TWO: SLEEP
Sleep – the last frontier. According to the CDC, roughly a third of all Americans don’t get a good night’s sleep. Why? Because we’re a little too close to our iPads and iPhones, for one thing, and most of us sleep with them right next to our heads. But another major reason we don’t sleep is because we’re not counting sheep – we’re counting worries and things we cannot control. A regular meditation schedule – even for five minutes a day – can help train your brain to take a much needed break and finally relax enough to sleep.
BENEFIT THREE: WEIGHT LOSS
When you focus your breath and meditate, all the old feelings and thoughts come up. Sometimes it’s like that scene from Eat, Pray, Love when Julia Roberts gets herself all settled on the mat only to be annoyed by flies and ticking clocks. When she opens her eyes, only one minute has passed. But the positive thing about working through the stuff that comes up is that it paves the way for mindfulness – and along with mindfulness comes awareness of food. Many weight loss therapists suggest meditation in conjunction with food issues. So, while meditation alone may not melt away the pounds, meditation may bring you an awareness of feelings, which in turn can help create a positive relationship with food.