5 Reasons to Meditate for 15 Min Each Day
Meditation has been gaining popularity over the years. We understand now that allowing the brain to do nothing is quite therapeutic – like a “rest day” for your thinking muscle. Researchers verify that 15 minutes of meditation can be as beneficial to your psyche as a day of vacation. Now, meditation is not new. Cultures around the world have been practicing meditation before recorded history. Today, we’re just confirming what ancient people knew all along. Meditation doesn’t have to be a silent mind seated in lotus on the floor. Sun salutations can be another form of meditation. Still others repeat mantra or listen to a guided meditation like yoga nidra. Whatever style of meditation works best for you is the one you should do! After all, if we don’t stick with it, we won’t feel the results. Consistent meditation works. There are a multitude of benefits you can enjoy from adding a 15-minute meditation practice to your daily regimen. Meditation – because it feels good to be in the moment.
What are some proven benefits of meditation?
- Reduces Your Internal Autobiography
For many, ruminating on their personal story is a constant inner monologue. Why did I say that? What did those people think about me? This type of thought process is often loudest when there is nothing to focus on. Unfortunately, the haunting, destructive obsession with self can be a source of anxiety, sadness, and troubled relationships.
By meditating, people can gain more control and redirect their default thought process. Just like any other exercise, the more you practice, the more you remember and utilize the skill in the future. Think of it as rewriting or even deleting your autobiography. Meditation focused on breath or external sensations can help you to be in the present moment. After all, as Oogway said so eloquently, “You are too concerned with what was and what will be. There is a saying: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”
- May Reduce Depression and Anxiety Symptoms
Meditation isn’t just passively sitting still while the world unfolds around you. It may look like you’re doing nothing, but in fact, you are rewiring your mind. A study at Johns Hopkins found that mindfulness meditation and antidepressants might have the same impact on mood management. By connecting with your mind and recognizing your part within thoughts and observations, meditation can help some individuals to successfully shift their outlook and their personal experience.
Often, we feel as if our emotions and thoughts are beyond our control. But, with meditation, you start to tap in and realize that you are the one behind the wheel.
- May Improve Your Ability to Concentrate and Stay on Task
A lot of people make jokes about being overwhelmed by external stimuli. The truth is many of us are. There’s so much to focus on at all times and sometimes it feels like it turns into a big mush, and you can’t focus on any one thing. In school, teachers sometimes caught these difficulties (and many times, may not have.) But, in adulthood, the sad fact is that our minds don’t just straighten up and pay attention. Many of us continue to struggle our whole lives with this overwhelmed feeling of not being able to focus.
HOWEVER *all caps*, guess what you can do to help you focus your mind? Yep. Meditate. Once you connect to your brain, you can decide what you’re focusing on. You might even find some new tricks that help you concentrate. Meditation is a practice of focusing on a single thing – whether it be mantra, your breath, or the flow of your movements. So, of course, once you master that skill you can use it in other areas of your life.
- Meditation May Physically Reshape Your Brain
When we think about our minds, we probably don’t often consider the physical matter it is comprised of. Inside our noggins is tissue which is malleable and alive. That’s where we store our memories and process thought! It’s wild! What’s even more wild are the results of a study from Harvard. For eight weeks, they monitored participants who did mindfulness exercises. What they found… the hippocampus increased in thickness. Our hippocampus is responsible for emotional memory recall. With a daily meditation practice, we can make that area of the brain resilient.
Additionally, some key areas of the brain which are responsible for anxiousness and chronic stress were reduced. Did the physical measurements correlate with the way the participants felt? The reports indicate a strong “yes.”
- Meditation is Good for Kids!
Meditation is safe and beneficial for people of all ages. Children can benefit from a regular meditation routine, and it might even help them in school. Teachers and researchers have done testing with meditation and yoga for students. This approach is also a new way of analyzing a child’s experience and perspective in a school atmosphere.
School and home life can be stressful for children. It is not just adults who have difficulty with the stresses of daily life. Schools that implement a meditation program into the daily routine saw a decrease in behavioral issues and an increase in grades.
A Calm Mind is a Great Foundation
A calm mind is the best foundation for a productive, creative, and fulfilling day. Meditation is an easy way to start to create that foundation. Sometimes, the best exercise for your mind is to shut it off for a few moments. Just 15 minutes of meditation a day might be all you need to see improvement in your overall outlook. Whatever meditation looks like for you, it will do you good. Consistent meditation works. There are a multitude of benefits you can enjoy from adding a 15-minute meditation practice to your daily regimen.