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Even though meditation is becoming more socially acceptable, it still seems a little “woo woo” to some. But taking time to meditate is really a chance for us to slow down and be quiet for a while. And considering the amount of noise we are immersed in every day, that is really rare. It’s a great way to calm your nervous system down when you need it the most. The amazing benefits you can experience are great reasons to meditate daily! But the best reason is meditating is a powerful way to help you feel better!
It’s important to shine a spotlight on something that is affecting so many people on such a profound level. The truth is, we are all pretty darned stressed out. Being chronically stressed has become so common that most people accept that they should feel that way. But it’s not. Our bodies were not designed to live in the midst of a constant stress response. And because of that, stress-related illnesses are skyrocketing. But you do have the power to take control of your life. And you can reduce your stress in order to protect your health. There are some simple solutions that you can use every day to manage your stress more effectively.
One of the best practices you can do daily is to meditate. Most people are unaware of how powerful the benefits of meditation are, not only for their health but for their sense of well-being as well. Meditating for 15-20 minutes once or twice daily can create profound changes in a person’s life. And you can begin to experience the benefits from the very first day that you meditate.
Here are the top 10 reasons why you should meditate daily
It is easy to do and feels good!
Stress has a significant impact on our health. In fact, stress contributes to more than 50% of all illnesses, and between 70-80% of all doctor visits are directly related to stress. And yet, few people actively participate in a regular stress management program of any kind. Regular meditation is easy to do and can reduce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline by as much as 50% in only a few weeks.
It boosts your immune system
When you meditate regularly, it increases activity in the regions of the brain that help to control your immune system. This allows your immune system to function more efficiently, helping you to ward off viruses and bacteria more easily.
It will increase your productivity
A 2012 study by researchers at the University of Washington found that workers who were given a meditation training course, performed better while doing basic office tasks like checking email, word processing, and messaging. They also showed reduced stress levels and had better memory and increased focus.
It boosts mood
Multiple studies have been done on the benefits of meditation on mood. They’ve shown that meditating regularly benefits those who struggle with anxiety and depression. And meditation may be as effective as many medications routinely used for people struggling with both mood disorders.
It reduces stress
Stress is a problem for most people in modern society because of the increased time demands of busy schedules. If stress becomes chronic, however, it can lead to illness, so managing stress regularly is vital to maintaining a healthy body. Meditating for as little as 10-15 minutes a day can significantly reduce stress levels, which ultimately can help to prevent stress-related illnesses from occurring. Regular meditation can reduce the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline by as much as 50% in only a few weeks.
It reduces pain
In clinical trials, mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce chronic pain by as much as 57 percent. Active meditators experience a reduction of pain by as much as 90 percent. Studies, where they have done scans of the brain, have shown that meditation soothes the pain centers of the brain, and more doctors are prescribing meditation to patients with chronic pain. In fact, meditation may be more powerful than common pain-relieving drugs like morphine.
It boosts creativity
Meditating regularly stimulates the neocortex of the brain, which is where creativity comes from, so stimulating it can promote more creativity and innovation. In fact, Walt Disney understood this and was one of the first proponents of meditation in the workplace.
It reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke
A 2012 study of African Americans with heart disease found that those who practiced Transcendental meditation regularly were 48% less likely to have a heart attack, stroke, or die from all causes. This was compared to another group that attended a health education class. The reduction of stress and stress-related chemicals seems to help the heart.
It reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s and dementia
A recent study of adults with mild cognitive impairment showed that those who meditate daily for 15 to 30 minutes showed a showing of the progression of the decline. After eight weeks, participants experienced marked improvement in cognition and a greater sense of well. Typically, up to 20% of those with mild cognitive impairment wind up with full-blown dementia, but meditation can improve this. Alzheimer’s disease impacts the same areas of the brain helped by meditation. This brings hope that meditation can improve cognitive function for Alzheimer’s patients as well.
It can help you live longer
Meditating regularly can help you live longer. By reducing chronic stress, you can avoid stress-related chronic illness. Experiments have also shown that regular meditation protects our DNA which increases longevity.
I’ve worked with various forms of stress management with clients over the years. By far, the most effective overall is meditation. Other forms of stress management are good too. But if you only have time for one type of stress management, meditation will give you the greatest benefit. Meditation will reduce stress for a longer period of time after practicing it as well.