Between going to work, raising kids (and dogs), getting to the gym, going to the grocery store and meal prepping, it can be hard to catch a breath and take stock of life. Meditation is a great way of clearing your head and making sense out of any confusion, and taking it up isn’t as complicated or difficult as you might think.
It can fit into almost any lifestyle, as a few minutes a day is enough to start seeing positive effects. And you don’t need to join a class or invest in special equipment—some time alone in a peaceful place is all you need.
But what exactly are the benefits that meditation can bring? Here are seven of the most important.
1. Better Decision Making
Meditation helps equip you mentally for living in the moment. You’ll learn to more easily sift out the static and focus on what actually matters. This leads to better decision making in daily life. You’ll be able to concentrate on your choices with greater clarity and consider your actions without obsessing over past mistakes or future risks. This more rational way of making decisions can bring deep benefits for both your personal life and your career, as you reduce errors and take a more productive path.
2. Lower Stress and Anxiety Levels
Being more decisive is an excellent way of reducing the stress you’re under. You won’t spend hours worrying over every choice you need to make and letting your indecision nag away at your self-confidence. But that’s not the only way that meditation can help you deal with stress. By being able to increase your inner awareness at will, you can take yourself out of stressful situations for a short time to give your mind a moment’s respite. Even a few minutes of calm can push stress and anxiety back into a more realistic perspective.
3. Better Concentration
As you grow more accomplished at meditation techniques, you’ll find your concentration span increases, and you can focus much more deeply on difficult tasks. This can have significant benefits for your professional life, as you’ll be able to solve problems more quickly and make more of your time. It will also help you master any new hobbies or skills you’re trying to learn.
4. Higher Quality Sleep
Insomnia is a common problem in today’s 24-hour society. Meditation gives you the mental tools to switch off from the chaos, put your worries to one side and slip more easily into restful and restorative sleep.
5. Greater Self-Awareness
Meditation can help put you in touch with your deeper thoughts, so you can get to know yourself better. This can lead to great emotional benefits as it reduces the conflict between who you really are and who you think you should be. You can learn to recognize your talents and abilities and to make the full use of them. Just as importantly, you can learn to accept your faults, while working to reduce the damage they can do to your life.
6. Physical Benefits
Mind and body are inextricably linked, and a calmer mind translates into better physical health. Clinical studies have shown that meditation has a measurable impact on lowering blood pressure, controlling weight and managing pain.
7. Stay Younger Longer
And lastly, meditation is thought to help keep your mind younger for longer. Studies suggest a link between meditation habits and reduced memory loss with age. It can also maintain mental sharpness, and even offset some of the effects of age-related dementia.
Meditation doesn’t need to be complicated, and it doesn’t need to take over your life. But once you try it and see the results, it’ll definitely find a place in your daily routine.
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Featured photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash
Melody Lowe is the Director of Content & Strategy for Blender Networks, Inc. When she’s not managing blogs for FitMinutes, The-E-Tailer, Cartageous, InStyleRooms, NurturedPaws & Shoelistic, she’s rearranging her bookcase at home in Culver City, CA, getting her fix of breakfast tacos and Topo Chicos in her hometown of Austin, TX with her fiancé and rescue dog or managing her own blog, Mustache Melrose.