Meditation Insights + 4 Reasons to Meditate Today!
I am a huge advocate of committing to a daily meditation practice because of the everyday impact it has had on my life. Through meditation I’ve learned more patience, contentment, + had some insights that have helped me on becoming my best self. The first of those insights was; I am not my thoughts — in fact most of the thoughts that run through my mind in a given day aren’t true. This is something I had heard many times before, but didn’t really understand it until I spent time alone with my thoughts. This acknowledgement – that the narrative of my life isn’t always true + that I am more than it, has helped me feel more content in the day to day as well as find a better sense of humor about the stories I tell myself sometimes.
The second insight I’ve had, my feelings/mood/emotions do not have to control my actions – I can choose to respond rather than to react. One of my all time favorite quotes is, “Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom” – Viktor Frankl. This quote epitomizes one of the reasons I come to my seat everyday – to identify the space between reaction and response + to make sure that my actions define me – not my emotions, thoughts, or moods.
Those are two of the biggest insights I’ve had so far [hopefully of many more!], but if my positive experience isn’t enough, let me share a few facts that might help you with prioritizing your own meditation practice!
Yes – you read that correctly + for those of us who are post-grads, go ahead + trade the expensive anti-aging creams for a meditation cushion! Just kidding [kind of]. While it doesn’t necessarily slow our skin’s aging process – meditation has been shown to change brain physiology to slow aging + increase grey matter in the brain [aka – more brain cells]! Read the full HuffPost article here…. But, slowing aging sounds like a great thing to me!
Is there anyone out there who doesn’t want less stress? According to the Positive Psychology Program, “meditation can alleviate stress through improving through improving emotion regulation, leading to a better mood and better ability to handle stress.”
In this study, women were assigned to either a meditation intervention group or a control group to see how self-compassion meditation could affect body dissatisfaction. Those in the intervention group received three-week self-compassion meditation training, while those in the control group received nothing. Compared to the control group, the women in the intervention group “experienced significantly greater reduction in body dissatisfaction, body shame and contingent self-worth based on appearance, as well as greater gains in self-compassion and body appreciation.”
According to the American Psychological Association, meditation positively affects the ability to focus attention + suppress distracting information. When you commit to a practice of meditation + mindfulness, you begin training the muscle that is your mind ++ learning how to work with your mind rather than against it!
Hopefully this post has helped you understand [+ maybe overcome!] some common roadblocks to meditation as well as learn why meditation could be beneficial to implement into your life!