Meditation: Why You Should Take 2 Minutes To Try It

Does your brain feel like a browser with too many tabs open? Do you feel as though it’s impossible to switch off? I have the answer. Meditation.

Life can be so stressful these days, we are constantly connected to the outside world and it can be extremely hard to let go and find balance. But as human beings it’s vital that we hone our ability to cope with stress and start daily meditation.

Meditation is a a stress-reducing practice that offers many science-backed health benefits like lowered blood pressure and a boost in our immune system.

Meditation isn’t just about sitting in a circle and chanting ‘OM’, it’s not even about clearing your mind of all thoughts, it’s about taking time to develop a deeper connection with yourself and address what you feel you need.

So here some reasons why you should try meditation and cultivate this daily habit…

Gain Inner Peace

Think about your mind like you would your kitchen? If you didn’t wipe down your kitchen on a daily basis or mop the floors then it would accumulate so much dirt it wouldn’t be a pleasant place to live.

Well, your mind also picks up plenty of dirt and clutter and that clutter needs managing.

Meditation can help you clear the junk out of your mind and help you expel negative energy leaving your mind seem clearer than ever before.

Makes you present.

The thing with modern life is that we’re often involved in something else. I have to say, I’m terrible for this, I’ll sit in the lounge in the evening to watch TV with my partner but instead I’ll be playing on my iPhone or tapping away at my laptop.

I’m not present in the moment. And when I think about it, a lot of my day is the same.

Meditation helps you begin to live fully in the moment. It gives you the power to react better to the situations around you and helps you become more focussed, efficient and receptive.

It can help you sleep better.

Better sleep is something we all strive to achieve. If you have trouble getting off to sleep or staying asleep then it could be down to the bombardment of thoughts running through your mind.

Lack of sleep is a dangerous thing, not only can it lead to stress and depression but it can also take a physical toll on your health. So by meditating for 20 minutes before bed you’ll find that your brain will relax properly, enabling it to shut down sending you off to a blissful sleep.

A stronger immune system

Studies show that meditation doesn’t just improve your mood but it can also help strengthen your immune system. One study demonstrated that meditators who were given a flu vaccine had more antibodies in their blood, as compared to non-meditators. The same study also observed increased activity in areas of the brain associated with positive emotion. Some beneficial effects of the meditation lasted up to four months after practice was concluded.

It’s Anti-Ageing

There is growing evidence that regular meditation can slow ageing at a cellular level.

A commonly used proxy for cellular ageing is the length of telomeres, the DNA and protein caps that protect the ends of each chromosome during cell division. These shorten slightly every time the chromosome replicates, until eventually the cell can no longer divide, becoming senescent or undergoing “apoptosis” – the cellular equivalent of suicide. Having shorter telomeres in your cells is associated with the onset of many age-related diseases, including hypertension, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and dementia. - The Guardian.

How to Meditate

Start small.

If you want to make meditation a habit that sticks just commit to 2 minutes per day to start. Then increase this amount until you’ve reached a time that feels comfortable for you.

Pick a time and trigger.

Doesn’t have to be an exact time but rather morning, lunch time, before dinner. Whatever works for you. The trigger should be something you do often such as before your first cup of tea or before you brush your teeth.

Find a quiet spot.

I find morning is best. People tend to be stiller in the morning and make less noise. So find a quiet, peaceful spot where you can sit without being bothered for a few minutes.

Make sure you’re comfortable.

Don’t worry about how you sit, what you were etc just make sure that you’re comfortable. I like sitting on a pillow with my back against the wall.

Use an app.

Technology may be what’s getting us all stressed out but it can also be a huge help. Use an app such as headspace to help you with your meditation practice. This app classes itself as a gym for your mind and will help make meditation easy.

Breathe.

As you breathe in, follow your breath in through your nostrils, then into your throat, then into your lungs and belly.

Sit straight, keep your eyes open but looking at the ground and with a soft focus. If you want to close your eyes, that’s fine. As you breathe out, follow your breath out back into the world.

If it helps, count … one breath in, two breath out, three breath in, four breath out … when you get to 10, start over.

If you lose track, start over. If you find your mind wandering, pay attention to your mind wandering, then bring it gently back to your breath. Repeat this process for the few minutes you meditate.

You won’t be very good at it at first, most likely, but you’ll get better with practice.

These are just a handful of benefits of meditation.

Some of the best benefits of meditation are hard to define but it’s worth starting this daily practice. Even if it is just to enjoy the oasis of calm and relaxation that we rarely find in our lives these days.