Why You Should Try Meditation
There are many things in life that are beyond our control. However, it is possible to take responsibility for our state of mind and our feelings – and to change them for the better. Meditation is a way to transform the mind.
According to Buddhism, this is the most important thing we can do, and Buddhism teaches that it is the only real antidote to our own personal sorrows, and to the anxieties, fears, hatreds, and general confusions is part of our everyday lives.
By engaging with a particular meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being.
I started meditation many years ago as a way to organise my thoughts and relax. For me, meditation is my favourite way to start and end my day - especially if I have a busy week ahead, meditation is a gentle reminder to stay positive, calm and grateful.
The benefits of meditation include:
A study from UCLA showed that long-term meditators had better-preserved brains than non-meditators as they aged. Participants who’d been meditating for an average of 20 years had more grey matter volume (essentially, more healthy brain cells) throughout the brain.
Because meditation is a practice in focusing our attention and being aware of when it drifts, this actually improves our focus when we’re not meditating, as well. It’s a lasting effect that comes from regular bouts of meditation.
The more we meditate, the less anxiety we have. Studies have shown it actually re-wires your brain so that the neural pathways responsible for fear and anxious thoughts are weakened.
Meditation can help you awaken the creative parts of your brain. Studies have shown that meditation can enhance your ability to come up with creative ideas.
Meditation puts you on the fast track to being happy. Studies have shown that brain signalling increases in the left side of the prefrontal cortex, which is responsible for positive emotions, while activity decreases in the right side, responsible for negative emotions. The other benefits of meditation, including increased self-awareness and acceptance, also contribute to improved overall well-being.