When is the last time you sat and did absolutely nothing? Before you read any further i truly want you to take a minute and think about the last time you sat in a relaxing position and allowed your mind and body to truly be still. Laying in bed and watching Netflix or scrolling through Instagram doesn’t count. Our modern lives have us constantly being bombarded with information, from work, to school, TV, and social media, the list goes on and on. Our minds and bodies are never given time to just simply be still and do nothing. This is a problem that affects our generation more than any other group in the history of human existence. When our minds are constantly being bombarded with information this can put us into a sympathetic state, leaving us feeling stressed, anxious, depressed and unable to focus on the immediate task at hand. Here is a great article to read before we get started. Over the course of this blog we will look into the research behind how meditation works to calm our minds and bodies. You will then be given several resources to help you start implementing this ancient practice into your everyday life.
Research showing the benefits of Meditation
Several studies have been conducted showing the benefits of meditation for several conditions such as; high blood pressure, irritable bowel syndrome, anxiety, depression and even chronic pain in people with MS and Arthritis. Although the exact mechanism behind how meditation helps with all of this is unknown the results speak for themselves. Meditation decreases cortisol secretion,decreases brain activity, decreases resting heart rate as well as helping decrease sympathetic nervous tone and increase parasympathetic nervous tone. Here's a great study showing the beneficial effects of meditation. Even if you do not suffer from a health condition or a mental health disease; do not rule out meditation. Meditation is essential for just allowing you to have a few moments of still and calm within each day. High performers such as Tim Ferris, Arianna Huffington, Tony Robbins, and the legend himself Tom Brady, all swear by meditation as a way to clear their minds, increase daily focus, increase mindfulness and perform optimally.
How You Can Start Meditating Today
Most of us have an extremely flawed perspective on what it looks like/the effort it takes to meditate each and everyday. If you are anything like i use to be you probably picture meditation as a monk in a full robe sitting on the crest of a mountain “ommmming” for hours on end. Great news, meditation is much simpler than you could possibly imagine. There are great apps such as Oak, and headspace which take you through guided meditations ranging from 5 minutes to one hour. I'm sure all of us can find 5 minutes a day to sit still and do absolutely nothing. Just 5 minutes a day could change your life. Download one of the above apps and give it a try , what do you have to lose?