Remember the phrase no pain, no gain? Here’s a new one to get familiar with: sit back and blossom…
Meditation used to be thought of as a mysterious practice that only specially trained yogis could master. But with some 30 million Americans meditating on a regular basis, including the US Marines and members of the NFL, more and more people are tuning in to its power and potential than ever before.
So what makes meditation so attractive to people from so many different backgrounds and walks of life?
One reason lies in its simplicity. Anyone can meditate, anywhere, at any time of the day. All you need to be able to do it is some time to yourself. That could be a few minutes alone in a quiet room, or it could just as easily be a walk in the park, or a few laps in your local pool.
You don’t have to shut your eyes and try to concentrate; instead, try switching off your phone and devices, go outside, breathe in some fresh air, and let your senses be filled with whatever you happen to come across. Even if you don’t consciously try to meditate, you’ll be alone with your thoughts, whatever they might be, and that’s all it takes to practice meditating.
If you’re still not sure, here are three good reasons why regular meditation might make a big difference in your life:
1. Meditation is good for your health
Meditation has been proven to boost the immune system, make it easier to manage pain, fill you with positive emotions, and give you a feeling of self-satisfaction. It also decreases anxiety and stress, making it the simplest and least expensive form of therapy you’re ever likely to experience.
2. Meditation is good for your brain
Research shows that meditation actually increases the volume of your brain and the grey matter associated with thinking and memory. A few minutes meditating every day could improve your powers of concentration and help you remember things with greater clarity and detail. Not bad for just sitting around and basically doing nothing.
3. Meditation is good for your relationships
You might think that the nature of meditation could result in feelings of loneliness or isolation. But, oddly enough, the reverse is true. Regular meditation has been shown to increase positive emotions and decrease feelings of depression, making it easier to connect and interact with others. It keeps you balanced and centered so that you feel more like spending time with other people.
You can meditate in your bed before you get up in the morning or before going to sleep at night. You can meditate while having a relaxing soak in a nice hot bath. You can meditate on an airplane to help pass the time on a long journey. In fact, you can meditate wherever you are, at any time of the day, as long as you have the time and the inclination to do so.
Think of meditation as me-time, a few minutes every day where you get to focus on the most important person in your life: you. Give it a try and you’ll discover it’s not actually as difficult as you imagine.