There are many benefits to meditation. Meditation offers physical benefits by relieving pain, lowering blood pressure, and strengthening the immune system. It offers emotional benefits by improving mood and minimizing stress, and it provides spiritual benefits by helping us uncover our life purpose and realize our personal strength.
These benefits can come from many different forms of meditation, including Concentration, Mindfulness, Passage, and Transcendental meditation.
Regardless of which type you choose to explore, all of them are based on “retaining attention” and experiencing the vastness of the present moment.
Whether meditation helps us to regulate our thoughts and feelings by being mindful of our momentary experience, or helps us concentrate and build greater attention by reciting a mantra, saying, or prayer, there are some overarching benefits that come from making meditation a part of our daily life.
Sitting still helps us to be patient and rest
Living in a fast paced world with constant stimulation can be exhausting. When we can make time to be still and experience quiet solitude it is rejuvenating and relaxing.
It also builds our capacity for patience and allows us to move through life in a calm and collected manner, where we can more easily deal with problems and upsetting moments. Meditation can help us to grow and learn more about who we are, and by doing so help us to become a stronger person.
Gets us closer to a higher power
No matter what your belief or relationships with a higher power, the practice of meditation is a wonderful way to develop a sense of spirituality. As we meditate our mental chatter quiets and we begin to hear the voice of our higher power.
We can get in touch with our intuitive nature and find answers to questions concerning our purpose and meaning, or how to solve a current problem we are facing. Connecting to something greater than ourselves and pursuing a relationship with our creator can come from reciting scripture, praying, or simply being present in the moment.
It helps us stop worrying and handle stress
Most of the time we are on automatic pilot and go through life responding to fleeting thoughts that pop into our head. Meditation helps us to become mindful and manage our thinking. It slows down our thought process and lets us experience clam and quite. It helps us to be centered and present in the moment.
It not only helps us to manage negative emotions and irrational thoughts, but enhances our positive emotions as well. Meditation has been shown to alter brain activity and enhance activity in the left frontal cortex, which is associated with positive emotional experiences. Meditation offers us a chance to cultivate more positive emotions through focusing on loving-kindness and other positive states of mind.
It helps us accept what is and say yes
Do you often find yourself saying “no” and trying to avoid your current reality? Emotionally we can get dragged down past mistakes and feelings of shame or guilt. We can become anxious about the future and live in a state of worry and fear. Meditation can help us to overcome this perspective as we learn to let go of blame and stop holding on to what we can’t control.
Mediation can help us to stay mindful and experience the present moment without brooding on the past and worrying about the future. Instead of trying to change the flowing river we can just let it flow calmly.
If you’re a beginner and haven’t had much experience with meditation, here is a Loving-Kindness Meditation I made for my DailyOm course. Compassion is one of my favorite intentions to use as a focus for meditation. Hopefully this can help you get started in your meditation practice.