Whenever I tell people that I meditate on a regular basis, I am often met with responses like “I don’t think that would be something for me,” “I wouldn’t be able to sit still,” or “I’m not into that woolly kind of stuff.” While there is definitely a shift in how open people are to the idea of meditation, there is also still a lot of scepticism surrounding it. But I think everyone should try meditating. Below, I’ve listed 3 reasons why.
Why EVERYONE should try meditating
#1. It lowers your stress
Did you know that it is scientifically proven that meditation lowers stress levels? And I’m not writing this based on a single study. In fact, there have been hundreds of studies, with biomarkers, active control groups and renowned scientists – and they all confirm the stress-reducing effect of regular meditation. It also makes a lot of sense, when you look at it from a scientific point of view. In this modern age, we are constantly exposed to stressful stimuli. This basically creates a continual state of activation, causing us to keep ruminating over all kinds of stressors. Through meditation, we are purposefully bringing our attention to the present and practice conscious, non-judgemental awareness. This breaks the cycle of rumination and enables us to remain more calm and collected when exposed to stressors, thus bringing our stress levels down.
#2. It helps you focus
I have ADD so being able to focus has always been a massive challenge for me. Meditating has made the challenge significantly easier for me. With the most basic forms of meditation, you’re training yourself to bring your attention to a predetermined thing, such as your breath. Every time you notice your thoughts start to wander, you gently bring them back to your breath. Through regular practice, you gradually get better at it. Over time, it becomes so easy that you don’t even have to think about it anymore. And if you are able to focus on your breath without any effort, you can bring your focus to other things as well. You can focus on your studies, on your work, on a random conversation, on the person you’re sharing your bed with. This way, meditation can enhance every aspect of your daily life.
#3. It makes you a more compassionate human being
Science has proven that meditation reduces stress and improves focus, but there’s more. There are various studies that show regular meditation activates the circuits in the brain that are associated with the regulation of our emotions, empathy and affection. With that in mind, it will probably not surprise you when I tell you that people who have gone meditation training are generally more willing to respond to others. Practising meditation can actually make us feel more compassion. And let’s be real: when we’re more compassionate, we are better human beings.
Ready to try meditating? Check out these 5 meditation techniques for beginners!