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The Benefits of Meditation

By Hayley Hunkin

Meditation is a fantastic way to take control of your life and improve many aspects that may not be currently as good as they should be. The benefits of meditation vary depending on the person, but there are lots of different benefits that can be gained, depending on your needs.

Meditation can reduce anxiety, ease muscle tension, reduce stress by calming your body and mind down, relax the nervous system, and lower your blood pressure. Of course, it’s important that you do meditation properly and regularly or you won’t gain any benefits at all.

Meditation is not something you do once and everything is fixed. It should become a regular habit because it can reduce your need for certain medications, improve your overall health, help you sleep better, replenish your energy levels, cure migraines and headaches, improve asthma, and help you to quit smoking or any other addictions or bad habits you have.

People greatly underestimate the power of meditation because many view it as something so simple that it couldn’t possibly provide any real benefits at all. Unfortunately they’re right. If they believe it won’t help them, that negative thought process will prevent them from gaining any benefits from meditation because they won’t be open-minded enough to do it properly anyway.

Meditation is a useful tool to help you at work. Many people are under the false assumption that you can only do meditation at home or in a quiet room. Once you have trained your mind and body to do it regularly, you can meditate almost anywhere. If you’re having a stressful day or have a headache, find a quiet spot inside or outside and meditate just long enough to bring yourself back into balance, so you can complete your work.  

Most people who don’t use meditation don’t comprehend the far-reaching effects it can have on your life. It can help clear your mind and enable you to focus more fully on whatever you need to do. It can enhance your memory and learning capacity, reduce the speed at which your mind ages, improve communication between the brain’s two hemispheres and increase your overall perception of things happening around you.

Meditation allows you to ignore small irritants and concentrate on bigger picture things in your life. Instead of being upset about someone honking their car horn at you on the road, becoming frustrated because you’re waiting too long in a supermarket line or getting annoyed at receiving telemarketing calls, you’ll learn to just let them go because they don’t matter. You won’t waste your energy on things that don’t actually mean anything in the greater scheme of things.

Studies have shown that people who meditate on a regular basis have actually altered the way their brain works. Stress is normally found in the right frontal cortex but regular meditators manage to move much of this stress to the left frontal cortex which is the calmer portion of the brain. Less activity is also shown in the amygdala which is where the brain processes fear. Alpha waves (relaxed brain waves) increase due to meditation.

Anyone can learn to meditate. You can do it alone, with a friend or in groups. You can do it to music or silently. Find what works best for you and stick with it because the benefits can be phenomenal.

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