Physical and mental wellness is an effort. Every day, we can choose to live as “well” as possible. For some, general wellness means eating healthy, taking your daily dose of vitamins, or working out. But more often than not, we overlook our emotional well-being. 1 in 5 US adults experiences mental illness each year. Maintaining your mental health is an integral component of your overall well-being. Even if you’re not part of a statistic, do you ever feel stressed, anxious, or overwhelmed?
There’s a growing demand to reduce pressure amid our busy schedules and demanding lives. Is meditation the answer? When life throws a wrench in your wellness plan, meditation can help you get back on track. Uncover the benefits and considerations of meditation. Explore if it's suitable for you and discover its potential impact on your well-being. In this post, we’ll explore meditation, its benefits, and how to get started.
Meditation is a simple ancient practice that originated in India. Once a spiritual and religious practice, modern mediation is widely practiced worldwide to reduce stress, boost calmness, and promote happiness.
Meditating involves focusing or clearing your mind using mental and physical techniques, like breathwork or emotional triggers. Depending on your practice type, you can meditate to relax, ease anxiety and tension, etc. Learn more about science-based meditation benefits here.
Who Should Meditate?
Meditation can benefit almost anyone, regardless of age, gender, background, or religious beliefs. This simple, effective practice can cultivate inner peace and calmness. That said, it’s important to note that meditation isn’t a substitute for medical treatment or therapy. Instead, it’s a tool for anyone interested in improving their well-being that you can use alongside conventional treatments (if needed).
5 Benefits of Meditation
There’s no lack of meditation benefits. Check out a few of our favorites.
1. Ease Stress
Life can be stressful. Do you ever feel pulled in all directions, whether at work or in your personal life? Meditation helps calm the mind and promote relaxation. Meditating regularly can help reduce the production of stress-causing hormones in the brain, like cortisol and adrenaline.
2. Better Sleep
Are you sick of counting sheep? Meditation can help relax your body and mind, making it easier to fall asleep. Regular practice can also help relieve insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Tip: Meditation + our sleep gummies = a sweet slumber!
3. Boost & Regulate Mood
People who practice meditation frequently experience reduced negative emotions like anger, frustration, and sadness. This is because meditating allows you to become more in tune with your feelings and how you react in a situation. When you’re more aware of your thoughts and feelings, everyday stressors become easier to manage.
4. Improve Physical Health
Meditation can help maintain a healthy heart. Research shows that meditation can help reduce blood pressure, improve blood circulation, lower the heart rate, and improve cardiovascular health. Reducing stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline can also boost the immune system.
5. Helps You Focus
So many of us struggle with concentration, whether at home, school or in our day-to-day life. People who meditate will learn how to be present in the moment. Being present extends far past the practice and percolates into every aspect of your life. If your attention span is short, even a few minutes of meditation can improve your ability to focus.
What are the Different Types of Meditation?
Every type of meditation has its unique focus and technique. For example, Mindfulness meditation is one of the most popular in the West and focuses on the present moment and becoming more aware of your thoughts, emotions, and physical sensations. Chanting or Mantra meditation is more spiritual, honing in on Buddhist and Hindu traditions. You also have Loving-Kindness meditation, which increases compassion, kindness, and acceptance.
There isn’t a “good” or “bad” way to practice. Instead, finding a style that matches your needs and goals is the most important. Learn more about all 9 types of meditation here.
Getting Started with Meditation
Starting a meditation practice is simple, but it can be challenging to stick with it. A few minutes a day can make a big difference.
Here are some tips to establish a routine and get comfortable with the practice.
● Choose a quiet and comfortable place to sit or lie down without being disturbed.
● Use a guided meditation practice. You can find guided practices for free on YouTube, Spotify, or meditation apps like Aura Health or Glo.
● Start small. Meditate for 5 to 10 minutes at first and increase the time as you become more comfortable.
● Schedule a time for meditation and make it a part of your everyday routine. A lot of people enjoy meditating first thing in the morning, but it’s not a must!
● Focus on your breath to keep your mind from wandering. If you find your mind roaming, always bring your focus back to your breath.
● Sit in a comfortable position. Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to sit cross-legged with your hands on your knees.
● Try to get a friend to start with you. Having an accountability partner (someone also looking to meditate regularly) can help motivate your practice.
● If meditation doesn’t come easily, explore meditation classes or one-on-one sessions. There are also plenty of resources, in person or online, to ask for help.
Meditation comes in many forms and types. Research shows practicing meditation can positively impact the mind and body. If you’re beginning your meditation journey, there’s no shortage of information and resources to find a way to make meditation work for you.