Updated: Apr 29, 2021
We were overwhelmed by the positive reception of our first "October Meditation Challenge," so for the entire month of April we have offered a FREE meditation each weekday morning from 7- 7:15 AM online via Zoom. For those of you who have taken advantage of this offering, thank you for joining us and helping to raise the collective vibration as we move out of the isolation of the winter months and towards the light at the end of the tunnel.
In this fast-paced world, it's important to set aside time to ground yourself and focus on your inner being. Through meditation we can begin to train our minds, shift the relationship we have with our thoughts, and cultivate more ease in body, mind and spirit. All that is required of you to start a meditation practice is a body and a mind, making it an accessible practice for all. See below to learn more about the benefits of consistent meditation practice, and register for our morning meditation practice online via Zoom!
5 Health Benefits to Meditation
Meditation is proven to reduce stress
One of the most common reasons people turn to meditation practice is to reduce their stress levels. Stress can manifest itself in the body in many ways, one of which is inflammation. Inflammatory responses within the body have proven to disrupt sleep, increase feelings of depression and anxiety, increase blood pressure and contribute to mental fog and fatigue. Daily mindfulness meditation practice has been proven to reduce stress-induced inflammation in the body and, in turn, improve the quality of life of the practitioner.
2. Mediation helps manage anxiety
Studies have shown that that 8 weeks of consistent daily mindfulness meditation can help reduce anxiety symptoms in people with generalized anxiety disorder, increasing positive self-statements and improving stress reactivity and coping methods. Another study observing the effects of mindfulness meditation on job-related anxiety found that employees who practiced mindfulness meditation for 8 weeks experienced improved feelings of well-being and decreased distress and job strain, compared with those who did not. While anxiety forces the mind of whoever is suffering to fear and dread the unknown conditions of the future, mindfulness meditation focuses the mind on the conditions and felt-sensations of the present moment. When and if achieved, even if just for a moment, this presence can combat the feelings of dread and worry about the future.
3. Meditation promotes emotional health
Some forms of meditation can lead to improved self-image and a more positive outlook on life. For example, one review of treatments given to more than 3,500 adults found that mindfulness meditation improved symptoms of depression! It's been proven that some forms of meditation can reduce depressive symptoms, including harmful or negative thought patterns. It may also decrease levels of inflammatory cytokines, which contribute to the onset of depression. The more time spent sitting with our own emotions in meditation, the better we can get to know them and understand them, and eventually even off of our meditation cushion we can more skillfully confront them when they show up in our everyday lives. The knowledge that we are not our thoughts, we are not our emotions, can drastically effect an individual's emotional health and wellbeing.
4. Meditation enhances self-awareness
In meditation, the body may be still but the mind is always working, swirling with thoughts and worries and wonderings. The real magic of mindfulness meditation arises when practitioners make the conscious decision to remain in stillness, allow for the fluctuation of thought, all while remaining conscious of the movement of the breath. With this discipline comes the ability to simply watch the ever-changing thoughts, without identifying with them or taking them on as truthful. This heightened awareness will benefit not only the practitioner, but the lives of those around them. The better we can understand our selves, in all of our complexities and brokenness, the more compassionate and loving we can be towards the world around us- in all of it's complexity and brokenness.
5. Lengthens attention span
Focused-attention meditation is like weight lifting for your attention span, enhancing your ability to hold and maintain focus. It's not about how long you meditate, as long as it is consistent. One study found that meditating for just 13 minutes daily enhanced attention and memory after 8 weeks. Remaining still in meditation and focusing on your breath, even while the mind swirls with thought, can be quite challenging at first. But with time and discipline, you may find that your ability to focus and remain still will improve.
Whether you are just starting your meditation practice, or looking to enhance an already existing one, join us for our Spring Renewal: April Meditation challenge and experience the benefits of meditation firsthand.
Click below to learn more.