“If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.” – Gautama BudhhaFor centuries now, yogis and spirituals have been preaching about the benefits of meditation to the health of the mind and body. Before we get into that, what IS meditation? In a nutshell, it’s quieting down your brain through focus. There are two major ways to do it: 1) focused-attention meditation, which is laser-focusing on one specific thing (like a body part, an object, your own breathing); and 2) open-monitoring meditation which is being hyper-aware of everything in your environment (noticing details you wouldn’t normally notice). Meditation changes your brain chemistry, and since the mind controls the body, meditation will change everything about you. A healthy mind is essential for a healthy you. You are your thoughts. So why should you meditate? Through MRI scanning, scientists have confirmed that meditation decreases brain activity significantly. Our brains are usually working overtime, and meditation is a vacation from that neurotic mess up in there. It teaches us to just be. To simply exist. To let go of traumas, heaviness, hurts, worries or darkness. It cleanses us and allows positivity to flow in and out of us. Still unconvinced? Here are the five very real, very visible benefits of meditation.
1. Less anxietyAnxiety is rooted in fear and the need for survival. For a regular person, the neurons that manage that survival instinct are very strong. Meditation LOOSENS UP the neurons, making us less prone to knee-jerk reactions and unnecessary worrying. With enough meditation, we become more RATIONAL THINKERS who don’t panic easily.
2. Less stressWith less anxiety comes less stress. When we become more rational non-worriers, our stress hormones lower too. Meditation also gives us a break (or even frees us) from all the negative emotions that run through our body. That bad memory? Forget it. That unbelievably painful experience? Learn to accept it and let it go.
3. More creativityPeople in creative fields, listen up! If you do open-monitoring meditation regularly, you will never run out of fresh ideas! REALLY NOTICING the world around you, in all its beautiful tiny details, will make you way more creative than you already are. Like a little kid, everything will become new to you. It’s time to stop taking the world for granted!
4. Better focus and memoryYour brain is a muscle that can be trained. Since meditation is all about focus, it will train you to become less scattered in your daily interactions. And the more focused you are, the more likely you will remember stuff! Enjoy a life of good memories that you can treasure ’til you’re old and grey!
5. More compassion for fellow humansThe amygdala is the part of the brain that handles emotions and motivation. In people who lack empathy (read: sociopaths), the amygdala is abnormally small. Studies have shown that meditation increases amygdala activity by balancing your entire brain chemistry. Imagine a world where all of us are nice to each other! Meditation can be done in the comfort of your own home, for 5-10 minutes a day (or longer, if you have the time). If you’d prefer to be with experts and like-minded people, try visiting HEALING SPACE ORTIGAS.
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