May 15, 2015
You’ve heard for years that meditation has amazing benefits, and you’ve always meant to give it a try, but never gotten around to it. Sound familiar? There are a lot of reasons that you might be reluctant to start a regular meditation practice – maybe you think you don’t have enough time in the day, or maybe trying to quiet your mind for 20 minutes sounds like an impossible feat. But the benefits are undeniable, and it turns out that meditation is way easier than you think!
Here are a few reasons to finally give meditation a try:
- You don’t actually have to “clear your mind” while you meditate
The idea that meditation involves clearing your mind of all thoughts is one of the main reasons that it sounds so difficult to beginners. But it’s not necessarily true! Even Deepak Chopra says, “The nature of the mind to move from one thought to another is in fact the very basis of meditation.” Allowing your thoughts to flow freely as you meditate is fine, and over time you’ll get comfortable with letting each thought slip by without dwelling on it too much.
- Meditation can improve your sleep
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to improve insomnia, fatigue and even depression. This type of meditation in particular involves focusing on your breathing or on a positive word or phrase such as “Om” or “Relax.” Again, you don’t have to clear your mind, but try to let go of worries about the past and the future. With a little practice, this causes a relaxation response which can be used at bedtime to help get a longer and fuller night’s sleep.
- Meditation improves creativity and problem-solving
In our modern world, where many of us can’t sit still for 5 minutes without checking our phones, the practice of being still with your own thoughts can have great benefits. If you’re feeling overworked or mentally exhausted, it’s the perfect time to take a few minutes for a gentle meditation. For one thing, calming your emotions can help you get some perspective when you’re feeling too stressed out. On top of that, research has shown that regular meditators have better luck thinking outside the box and coming up with new and creative solutions to problems. Because of this, meditation can actually be a time saver! Why spend hours struggling with a mental block when you can get relaxed and boost your creativity at the same time?
- It’s not a big time commitment
You can start meditating for just a few minutes a day. To begin with, you’ll want to make yourself comfortable. You may wish to stretch lightly beforehand, especially if you meditate first thing in the morning. Wear loose or stretchy clothes that don’t pinch or bind. And sit comfortably – try a meditation cushion on the floor, or even just your bed or sofa. Once you’ve had some practice meditating, you may want to work your way up to 15 or 20 minutes a day, but there’s no hurry – be kind to yourself, and enjoy!
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