Life is hard sometimes. Really hard. Every day, we’re faced with so many challenges: money, relationships, health. We all have our own problems, big or small, and for some every single day can be a struggle. The struggle becomes our focus, our mindset. We do everything we can to create a better life, we work harder, longer hours, we give up more and more for our family and friends, we try diets, exercise. But despite all our efforts, we still seem to struggle. The universe throws us more hurdles. We get busier and busier, and our relationships turn into a quick push of the ‘like’ button on social media. We try everything, and yet still something is missing.
Photo Lizzie Churchill for Animal
Happiness. That one thing we all strive for. What if there was one thing you could do every day to connect with your happiness?
The benefits of practising meditation on a regular basis are no secret. There’s scientific evidence and the world’s most powerful people have been singing its praises. It is the most powerful tool you can integrate into your life, and I can vouch for that. Every day, I come to my yoga mat, sit for 10 to 20 minutes, and focus solely on my breath. A sense of calm floods my body and my mind. It allows me to practise mindfulness in everything I do and ,despite the situation, there is always a sense of happiness that fills my world. The best part about it, it’s completely free.
Here are 10 reasons why you should start meditating today.
1. A stress-free life
Mediation allows you to take charge of your own emotions and calms the nervous system, reducing anxiety and making room for positive emotions.
2. Find more concentration
Meditating can improve the brain’s functionality increasing your mental focus.
3. Discover improved sleep
More sleep at night means brighter days. Research has shown how meditation can benefit those struggling with insomnia.
4. For weight loss
Lowering your stress levels and cortisol (stress hormone) has shown to lower fat levels. Meditation can also teach you to be more mindful in your eating habits, knowing when you are full, knowing what you are putting into your body can all help to lose weight.
5. Enhance your personal relationships
By learning to control and recognise your own emotions, you also learn to identify others and respond with empathy and compassion. Meaning less arguments, more communication, balance, respect and love in your relationships. It also increases your social connection.
6. It increases energy levels
Reducing cortisol levels and a better sleeping pattern mean more energy for all those other things.
A successful life
Heightened attention begins to make room for more personal growth. You’ll begin to find a clear path to achieve all your goals and be able to manifest the steps to get there.
7. Be free of anxiety
Our minds have a tendency to focus on all the negative things that could happen, which takes us away from the present moment and causes stress. Meditation teaches us to focus on the here and now, sending our worries away.
8. Healthy mind, healthy life
Many studies have shown how meditating and having a healthy mind can boost your immune function, decrease pain and inflammation, and increase life satisfaction.
9. The happiness recipe
A decrease in anxiety and stress, and an increase in sleep, personal growth, positive relationships, energy, improved diet, immune function all lead to an overall happy life.
Photo Lizzie Churchill for Animal
Sold? Here’s how to meditate. Choose a peaceful environment; turn off your phone and anything that could distract you. Come to a comfortable seat, sit bones on a block or blanket to elevate and elongate the spine. If crossed legs are uncomfortable, kneel, lie down or sit on a chair. Close your eyes and draw your attention to the breath. Make no effort to control the breath, but simply notice your inhales and exhales filling the body. As thoughts arise, simply notice them come to the forefront of the mind, without engaging with the thought, and simply allow the thought to float away. Return your attention to your breath. Remain with this practice for a couple of minutes, lengthening your time each session.
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