Meditation – I am sure you have heard about it and most likely tried it! But as I am sure most of you can relate to – it is damn hard! I TRY (being the operative word) to practice meditation daily, be it for 5 or 10 minutes as when I get into a regular routine I can truly feel the benefits it has on me! I am someone that likes to do it just before I go to sleep at the end of the day, as I feel I have less things running around my mind and it also is a great way to slow me down and prepare my body for sleep.
Meditation is a habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. You can use it to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings and alleviate things such as stress, anxiety, depression, anger and self-esteem issues.
As I mentioned previously, meditation is not easy though, and so the habit can be dropped quite quickly! Though sometimes we have to persevere as I can guarantee the benefits outweigh the difficulty and as with all things – practice makes it easier! Know what else makes it easier? When you use a guided meditation app! These apps are great for people starting with meditation or who struggle to set the pace themselves! They set prompts and can be tailored to suit what you would like to get from the practice! Calm and Headspace are my two go-to apps and I am currently using the self-esteem meditation series in Headspace. I have already noticed myself using the techniques learnt through the meditation during my day-to-day life and can slowly but surely feel my self-esteem increasing little by little!
I understand self-esteem isn’t an issue for everyone though, so here are my other top reasons why I think you should get (try) meditating!
1. Reduces Stress
2. Controls Anxiety - Less stress = less anxiety.
3. Promotes Emotional Health - Some forms of meditation can lead to an improved self-image and more positive outlook on life.
4. Enhances Self-Awareness - Some forms of meditation may help you develop a stronger understanding of yourself, helping you grow into your best self. For example, self-inquiry meditation explicitly aims to help you develop a greater understanding of yourself and how you relate to those around you. Other forms teach you to recognise thoughts that may be harmful or self-defeating.
5. Lengthens Attention Span - Focused-attention meditation strengthens attention span, by increasing the strength and endurance of your attention.
6. Improves Sleep - Meditation can help relax your body, releasing tension and placing you in a peaceful state in which you're more likely to fall asleep.
7. Helps Control Pain - Your perception of pain is connected to your state of mind, and it can be elevated in stressful conditions. Meditation can diminish the perception of pain in the brain and may help treat chronic pain when used as a supplement to medical care or physical therapy.
8. Can Decrease Blood Pressure - Blood pressure decreases not only during meditation, but also over time in individuals who meditate regularly. This can reduce strain on the heart and arteries, helping prevent heart disease.