Benefits of Meditation: We all know meditation can help us to relax and reduce stress by cutting out the continual white noise of our chattering mind. When I started meditating, my goal was to have at least a few minutes of peace each day from the repetitive loop of thoughts that always seemed to keep me in a perpetually harried state. While I certainly achieved a few moments of respite, in time, these few moments of peace had a tremendously transformative effect on my life in ways I would never have imagined.
“Meditation is a powerful balancing technique and the key to experiencing the highest levels of fulfillment in life.”
Benefits of Meditation
There are various benefits of meditation. A quick Google search reveals that meditation can help alleviate stress symptoms, even help with post-traumatic stress disorder. Meditators may also sleep better, may feel less pain and may enjoy relief from depression. In addition, many individuals credit meditation for the increased energy improved focus and enhanced creative and thinking abilities which allow them to function more productively in our stress-filled the world.
Here are eight benefits of meditation that can make your life more meaningful and enjoyable!
1. Make better choices for yourself.
How many times have you made poor food choices, stayed in the negative, draining relationships or frittered away hours of time on meaningless activities simply because you were operating on autopilot? Meditation helps you to cultivate awareness of your own patterns and behaviors.
As you begin to pay attention to yourself and your life, you start to notice the small choices you make each day –and how those choices add up to the sum total of who you are and what you do in life. When you can take a step back and get a bird’s eye view, you’re able to use this state of awareness to pause and change tack, and these small moments by moment changes can eventually transform your whole life.
2. Release Anger and Fear.
Anger can lead to hatred and violence. If we do not accept our negative feelings we are likely to repress or disown them, and when denied they can cause shame, depression, and rage. Meditation enables us to see how selfishness, aversion, and ignorance create endless dramas and fears. It may not be a cure-all, it’s not going to make all our difficulties go away or suddenly transform our weaknesses into strengths, but it does enable us to release self-centered and angry attitudes and generate a deep inner happiness. This can be very liberating.
3. Heal your relationships.
Meditation helps you to cultivate a sense of presence, and when you’re present with your loved ones, or indeed anyone, magical changes in how you relate to each other take place. When you cultivate presence, you not only truly listen to others, but you give them the freedom to be who they are without our limiting prejudices and judgments getting in the way. In the present moment, we allow each of our relationships to begin fresh, free from past grievances or future expectations, and we see the beauty of each human being unfold in a new light.
4. Generating Harmlessness.
Simply through the intent to cause less pain, we can bring greater dignity to our world, so that harm is replaced with harmlessness and disrespect with respect. Ignoring someone’s feelings, affirming our hopelessness, disliking our appearance, or seeing ourselves as incompetent or unworthy are all causes of personal harm. How much resentment, guilt, or shame are we holding on to, thus perpetuating such harmfulness? Meditation enables us to transform this through recognizing our essential goodness as well as the preciousness of all life.
5. Increase your productivity at work.
When the mind is scattered, you may start to think of all of the things that need to be done – or worse, you try to do everything that needs to be done all at once, and end up overwhelmed and exhausted. Meditation cultivates clarity, and a clear mind can focus laser-like on one task to complete it without running off in different directions like a bunch of crazy monkeys. This sense of clarity and focus actually allows you to get more done in less time without the stress and drama.
6. Stop the pointless worrying.
Fear, stress, anxiety and worrying are frequently based on the illusory concepts of past and future and have very little to do with what’s happening in this moment, right now. Yet so often people taint the present moment with these unreal imaginings. Meditation helps you to get real and tune into the present moment, the only place where peace resides. Inner peace is a choice, and it’s always here, now.
7. Be With What Is
The very nature of life includes change and unfulfilled desire and a longing for things to be different from how they are, all of which brings discontent and dissatisfaction. Almost everything we do is to achieve something: if we do this, then we will get that; if we do that, then this will happen. But in meditation, we do it just to do it. There is no ulterior purpose other than to be here, in the present moment, without trying to get anywhere or achieve anything. No judgment, no right or wrong, simply being aware.
8. Accept life’s challenges with grace and ease.
Many people reject the present moment because it’s not how they want it to be. As soon as the present moment doesn’t measure up to what you think it should be, the sh*t hits the fan, and you check out of the now. You can fall into patterns of victim-hood, pessimism, despair or anguish. You may resist life’s natural flow and get caught up in mental fantasies of “should have,” “could have” and “it’s not fair.”
The greatest benefits of meditation are the awareness that despite the seeming chaos, despite life not going how you think it ought to when you step back and experience the joy of just being, you come to the realization that all is perfect, right now.
Meditation enables us to see clearly, to witness our thoughts and behavior and reduce our self-involvement. Without such a practice of self-reflection, there is no way of putting a brake on the ego’s demands. Stepping out of the conceptual mind, however, does not mean stepping into anywhere or nothing; it does not mean that there is no connection to a worldly reality. Rather, it is stepping into sanity and, more importantly, into even greater connectedness. Then we have no more need to do ourselves harm!
To experience the benefits of meditation, regular practice is necessary. It takes only a few minutes every day. Once imbibed into the daily routine, meditation becomes the best part of your day!