The key to living more abundantly and more authentically.
In a nutshell, meditation allows us to align with who we really are and live more authentically.
Wherever you are on your mindfulness journey, finding inner calm and deepening your self-awareness has a ripple effect of benefits, spreading to all areas of your life.
Most meditation techniques are based on attention to the breath, with the aim of becoming aware of our thought patterns and cultivating an awareness of the present moment.
While the benefits are truly endless, we’ve picked the 10 benefits of meditating that we believe will inspire you to develop a regular meditation habit or deepen your existing practice.
1. Less stress, more happiness
In this fast-paced world, we are constantly at risk of physical and mental stress - both of which are associated with increased inflammation and risk of disease.
Meditation helps reduce emotional stress by quieting the mind and bringing awareness back to our bodies while increasing the thickness of your prefrontal cortex (the area of your brain associated with attention, logic and self-awareness).
When we become more self-aware, we also get more in-tune with our true capabilities, which can lead us to better results in the gym, or new heights in our careers, studies, health and relationships.
Taking time for just 10 minutes of meditation each day is enough to significantly lower all kinds of stress, and live a happier, healthier, and more meaningful life.
2. Mindful meals and better digestion
It’s impossible for our bodies to respond to stress and digest food simultaneously, so it’s important to discover the stress management strategies that work for you.
Meditation is an especially helpful strategy to improve digestion because it shifts us from the sympathetic ‘flight or fight’ nervous system, into the parasympathetic ‘rest and digest’ nervous system.
Mindful eating also helps to prevent excess calorie consumption, while
the reduction in cortisol levels associated with mediation can help with losing stubborn belly fat.
3. More motivation and satisfaction
The aim of meditation is to live fully in the present moment. The more present we are from moment to moment, the more likely we are to break free from distractions and mental noise, to truly experience our intrinsic motivation and satisfaction.
High levels of these emotions mean we’ll be more likely to stick to our training plans, go the extra mile in our work, and ultimately perform at our best - all whilst genuinely enjoying ourselves!
4. Positive mindset
The aim of meditation is not to have no thoughts at all, but rather to cultivate an awareness of our thoughts.
During meditation, we watch our thoughts come and go without judgement or reaction, and we begin to notice patterns that may be detrimental, not only to our wellbeing but also to our performance.
Without a mindfulness practice, the majority of our thoughts are negative in content. Most people have deeply ingrained negative beliefs about themselves, often without even realising it.
Meditation allows us to recognise that these beliefs are not truths about ourselves. We can then shift our thoughts to create new, positive beliefs that embrace our high potential and true, unlimited abilities. Mindfulness can literally change your brain and your whole experience of life.
5. Better sleep
Many people suffer relentlessly from sleep disorders, like insomnia, which can have a number of negative consequences for our wellbeing. Poor sleep can lead to weight gain, bad moods, increased depression and anxiety, poor focus and decreased motor ability.
Fortunately, meditation is a simple way to enhance REM sleep and increase melatonin, improving the length and quality of sleep, as well as our overall sleeping patterns.
6. Stronger immune system
A study from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Health found that those who practice meditation experience fewer bouts of cold and flu, as well as a shortened duration and less severe symptoms.
In short, meditation helps the immune system do its job. Getting sick less often means we can live life to the fullest, and stay on track to reach our goals.
7. Self-confidence boost
When there’s less racket going on in our minds, we’re able to locate and connect with our authentic selves.
Having a better understanding of who we really are, minus all the noise, enables us to become more self-confident.
Not only does meditation allow us to grow as an individual, it also helps us to live in alignment with our true selves. Don’t you think it’s only natural that we feel insecure when we’re not living authentically?
8. Stronger mind, stronger body
Meditation greatly improves the mind-body connection, allowing athletes of all levels to discover their optimal zone for performance.
A sharp mind increases our ability to focus while performing any physical activity, and many athletes notice a positive shift in their training after learning to meditate. Here’s one meditation technique for a stronger body.
9. Happy relationships
Not only does meditation help us to better recognise our own emotions, but it also enables us to be more in-tune and empathetic to the emotions of others.
It heightens our intuition, keeps us calm and rational in the face of disagreements, helps us communicate with compassion and understanding, and even helps us express ourselves better.
In short, a couple who meditates together is much more likely to stay together in a happy and harmonious relationship. Need proof? Here are nine ways a meditating brain creates better relationships.
10. A clear path toward your goals
Have you set some big goals for yourself this year? Have you spent time visualising those goals?
The power of the mind is greater than we can imagine - especially when we use meditation to find clarity, focus and inspiration.
Meditation puts us in the optimal mental state to manifest our dreams and create the life we truly desire. Many world-class performers, elite athletes and successful entrepreneurs attribute their success, in part, to their meditation practice.
This is no surprise, as consistent, long-term meditation leads to high levels of brain integration. The brains of these mindful top-performers are wired with strong connections between the different areas, with heightened attention, and an increased ability to think quickly and solve problems.
Perhaps the best benefit of all is that meditation is free and you can be taken with you, wherever you go. Developing a meditation practice means you will always have a lifeline, no matter what obstacles and challenges you experience throughout your life.
The only thing you need to invest is a little time and patience, and you’ll be equipped with an effective, free, and healthy strategy to overcome pretty much anything.
Once you’re on your way to mastering meditation, you can literally practice at any time, in any place - from a nightclub queue to an airplane packed with screaming babies.