I used to think meditation was just a bunch of monks sitting on pillows saying OMMM for hours on end, having no benefit for other individuals, but boy was I wrong. Although this is a form of meditation, there are many other beneficial ways to do meditation to increase your mindfulness. To learn how to meditate go here.
From my experience, I have found that meditation:
-Increases concentration and awareness- you are able to focus on the things going on in your life that need your attention. The distractions of daily life are less controlling of your mind, because you are able to stop and focus. This makes things like binge eating occur less frequently because you are able to slow down and focus.
-Let things go- focusing on the negative aspects of the day can really bring you down! I’ve found that meditating makes it a little easier to let go of the things that are out of your control, like the car that cut you off, or the annoying coworker.
-Peace- After I complete a 5-10 minute meditation session I always feel more calm and peaceful moving forward in my day. Meditating in the morning is a great way to get your day going positively.
-Less anxiety- Personally, I can be a very anxious person. Looking at my mile long to do list, my messy apartment and even thinking about work or school can send me into an anxious spiral. Meditation helps reduce the ego, and takes the focus off of yourself. The more you meditate, the less anxious you are. This can also help prevent depression.
-Better emotional control- I know at times I can be very emotional, and meditation seems to buffer that. My reactions to things that previously would have stirred me up, seem to be smaller. My complaints have become less frequent, and I am able to remain calm in a situation that would have previously made me very angry. This is shown in this 8 week meditation study (Desborders et al. 2012), that showed that over time, participants were able to better see positive and negative pictures for what they were, instead of reacting emotionally to them.
There are hundreds of other beneficial reasons to meditate including health, emotional, and physical benefits, beyond what is listed here. How has meditation helped you? Comment below!