Meditation 101: What It Is & How It Can Help

6 Reasons Meditation Can Help You

Last week, Apple revealed four breakout trends in app culture for 2017. ‘Apps focused on mental health and mindfulness’ were one of them.

This past year has provided no shortage of stress, with new data surfacing almost monthly about heightened levels of anxiety among teens, Americans, even a stress epidemic in Great Britain. Now your co-workers are talking about it, your daughter is meditating at school; an estranged high school friend just posted pictures on Facebook about his silent retreat. So, what exactly is meditation? And does it make sense for you?

We’ve got some answers to help.


What Is Meditation? 

Meditation is a practice in which a person focuses on his or her breath to bring the mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future.  The purpose of meditation is to help us cultivate the mind and achieve heightened awareness. By taking a moment of our day to meditate, we give ourselves the chance to check-in with our thoughts, emotions, bodies, and environments in a non-judgemental way. Through this, we can gain mental clarity and resilience. When we bring our “meditation muscles” beyond our meditation practice into everyday experiences, we can start to respond to situations rather than react out of habit or fear.


breather-196128.jpgHow Does It Help? Here Are 6 Benefits

  1. Reduce stress. Meditation helps clears the mind and slow down the nervous system. Studies show people who trained in meditation display fewer stress-related symptoms and an increase in their sense of control in their lives than those who did not. Mindfulness has also been linked to a reduction in psychological distress and anxiety among students and healthcare professionals. Try Simple Habit’s Reduce Stress meditation.
  2. Strengthen your relationships. Learning to be more mindful doesn’t only have a positive impact on you. Research shows that increased mindfulness leads to significant improvements in marital quality, work relationships, and friendships. This is due to improvements in the identification, communication, and expression of emotions. Try Simple Habit’s Mindful Relationships meditation.
  3. Sleep better. Sleep is crucial, but many of us don’t get enough of it. Studies have shown that meditation can help people fall asleep faster and stay asleep for longer. Need we say more? Try Simple Habit’s Deep Sleep meditation.
  4. Focus your attention. The practice of mindfulness and meditation has repeatedly been shown to improve our ability to sustain attention. Even in high-stress work environments, research found that people who were trained in meditation were able to stay on a task longer, which resulted in less negative feedback after task performance. Try Simple Habit’s Improve Focus meditation.
  5. Improve your mood. What could work better than a Netflix binge? Believe it or not, meditation beats distraction in improving a sad mood. Meditation teaches us to separate our sense of ‘us’ from our thoughts and feelings by learning how to sit with and observe them. In fact, meditation-based programs have been found to lead to significant reductions in clinical levels of anxiety and depression across a range of conditions. Try Simple Habit’s Find Happiness and Feeling Tired.
  6. Boost self-control. Self-control is a gift we’ve all been given, but it’s not always easy to use when, let’s say, our breakfast meeting kicks off with Friday bagels. Meditation strengthens our ability to resist impulse and stay committed to healthy habits for our minds and bodies. A study shows that 11 hours of meditation led to structural changes around the anterior cingulate cortex, which is involved in self-control. Try Simple Habit’s Self-Control meditation.

 

Still wondering if meditation is a fit for you? Send us an email and tell us what you hope to get from meditation, we carefeedback@simplehabit.com. 

 

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