By now we all know that meditation is good for us. It relaxes the body and mind, improves happiness and helps us to be present in the moment. But there are even more benefits that you can experience by meditating on a regular basis. If you don’t already have a meditation practice, read through these 7 facts and you might be motivated to start today!
1. It improves self-awareness
Meditation makes us more aware of our thoughts. A key part of meditation is learning to notice our thoughts without judging or attaching too much meaning too them. By doing that, we can develop a different perspective on the thoughts that are going on in our minds and a greater understanding of ourselves.
2. It boosts immune system
Research has shown that meditation stimulates regions in the brain that are responsible for our immune system. It increases activity in the prefrontal cortex, the right anterior insula as well as the right hippocampus – areas of the brain that act as a command center for the immune system. When they are stimulated, they make our immune system function more effectively.
3. It improves self-confidence
We all have these negative stories and thoughts about ourselves that can affect our self-esteem. During meditation, we not only improve self-awareness but also self-acceptance, which helps build our self-confidence. While meditating, we practice the skill of simply noticing negative feelings about ourselves without letting them get to us. And with a regular practice, we are able to take this skill into our everyday life and be less reactive when negative thoughts arise.
4. It relieves pain
A 2011 MIT study showed that meditation might even relieve physical pain. In the study, subjects trained themselves to focus on sensations from certain parts of their bodies. This lead researchers to believe that people who suffer from chronic pain could be able to train themselves to reduce it!
5. It improves fertility
Not only does stress have a negative impact on our immune system, it also affects women’s reproductive health. Scientists are not exactly sure yet how stress and fertility issues are linked, however studies show that women who practice meditation are more likely to get pregnant.
6. It improves stress-related conditions
The body and mind are deeply connected. When we are stressed, we have physiological reactions that can have a negative impact on our health. Thus, through reducing stress with a regular meditation practice, we can improve stress-related conditions such as anxiety, depression, skin conditions and eczema, headaches, high blood pressure, IBS and heart disease.
7. And last but not least… it improves relationships
The more self-awareness we have and the more connected we are with ourselves, the more we are able to give our best in relationships. We can show up as grounded, mindful and present partners, friends and family members and even pass this positive energy on to others.
Do you already have a meditation practice and how does it affect your life? Let me know in the comments below!
Are you feeling motivated to start meditating but don’t know quite yet how to start? Contact me and let’s practice together – online or face-to-face.