Mental health is something that should be prioritised and discussed regularly, especially now when everyone is a little unsure of when life will return back to normal and we’re spending a little more time inside, or in some cases, alone. A great way to keep calm and prevent burnout is through meditation. Although the word may bring to mind images of incense, mantras and sitting still and doing nothing for huge blocks of time, meditation can be practised in many different ways and encompasses so much more than that. Contrary to what many people think, the goal of meditation is not to completely empty the mind or silence thoughts, but focuses more on training the mind to observe thoughts, focus and redirect attention in a positive way. Meditation helps to declutter the mind by observing thoughts, emotions and sensations and training it to connect with the present moment.
Incorporating meditation into your daily routine where and when it suits you offers many scientifically backed benefits. Here are some of the incredible things that meditating can do for your body, mind and soul…
1. It reduces stress
Research shows that meditation practitioners have lower levels of cortisol, also known as the “stress hormone”. Meditation eases stress and anxiety which prevents you becoming overwhelmed and burnt out.
2. It improves your sleep
Meditation is known to help regulate sleep patterns, which is extremely important for your physical health (and, not to forget, your mood!).
3. It can make you smarter
Studies on the effects of meditating on the brain show that it can improve memory.
4. It’s a natural Painkiller
Forget painkillers and let meditation take away your headache instead. Practising meditation can help with pain management and pain relief without the use of over the counter medication.
5. It slows down the ageing process
If you weren’t completely sold already, I’m guessing this one has got your attention! Meditation has been found to have positive effects on the ageing brain, slowing down age-related cognitive decline.