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How does a regular meditation practice affect the mind?

September 7th, 2021 by
Category: Health & Wellbeing Stress

Woman sitting by the ocean, meditating

A regular meditation practice is something that can be healthy for your mind, body and spirit. In today’s world we are constantly exposed to a downpour of information, stresses and expectations on how we should live our lives. Meditation can help in a number of ways that is beneficial for mental and physical wellness. In today’s blog post, we look at some ways that consistent meditation can help your mind.

1. May help to reduce stress

Meditation allows space for you to process, accept and let go of your thoughts as they are, with no negative attachment. This can help to reduce stress, returning your mind (and body) to a clear and relaxed state. When you’re able to reduce stress, you can change the course of your day because you are now in an improved mental state.

You may be able to reduce the negative thoughts you had from earlier in the day, or even the previous day. Some people wake up and meditate for 15-20 minutes each morning before doing anything else. The benefits of meditation helps them to start the day in a positive manner.

2. May help improve focus

You may have a big work project or an important exam to study for that requires a lot of focus. Meditation may help you concentrate on the task at hand and help you put forth your best work. Meditation can be a training tool to stay focused and not let your mind wander.

Meditation may help you retain more information, by prioritizing what needs your time and energy, and what you can let go. Let’s say you’re studying for an exam and you need to revise numerous topics a few days before. Meditation may help you refine your study methods and help you prepare effectively.

3. May be able to help slow the ageing process

Regular meditation may be able to slow the rate of cellular ageing, through reducing cognitive stress. Decreasing psychological stress – changing from ‘fight or flight’ to ‘rest and digest’ has significant impacts on the physical body too – lowers blood pressure, improves heart rate, breathing and brain waves.

A study from UCLA has found that those who have meditated long-term have better preserved brains than those who did not mediate. The population who had been meditating for 20 years (average) had more grey matter volume present through the brain.

4. May help combat depression and anxiety

If you experience depression, it can be hard to shake the low mood that comes along with it. Meditation may be able to help those who depression by changing your approach to negative thoughts, teaching you to pay attention to how you’re feeling, accept the thoughts for what they are and letting go of them.

Anxiety can present itself in a number of unpleasant ways – excessive worrying, nervousness, feeling of danger, panic and dread, increased heart rate and breathing and other symptoms that are associated with your body going into high alert, activating its ‘fight or flight’ response.

Meditation may be able to help those with anxiety in a similar way that depression does – helping you learn to sit with your feelings, accept them and in turn, let them go. Focusing on deep breathing can help the body return to its rest and digest state.

5. May help improve sleep quality and quantity

It combination with our consistent attachment to our devices, it can be hard to switch off and get a good night’s rest when you have a busy work, school and life schedule. You may have an important client presentation to finish, a university paper that’s worth 50% of your unit’s grade to complete or kids to care for when you get home. One or more of the above can make it difficult to get a good night’s sleep. Meditation may help improve sleep by reducing stress and introducing a relaxed state of mind. Mindfulness and meditation may even help those who experience insomnia.

6. May be able to help you unlock creativity

If you’re stuck in a mental rut, it can be hard to finish your artwork, book or other creative task that requires innovation and unique ideas. A meditative state may help reduce stress, improve attention and in turn, help open your mind to new creative ideas and concepts you couldn’t think of when in a creative block.

Meditation can work wonders for your brain to help you reduce stress, accept and let go of your thoughts, and in turn, live a happier and more fulfilling life.

This article has been contributed by Janine Pichetterik, Liberate Yourself 

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