2 Powerful Benefits of Daily Meditation

By: Megan Landean, M. Ed.

Breathe in…..breathe out…..How can something so simple be so powerful? How can closing your eyes and refocusing not only improve your mood, but also help decrease the symptoms of several physical diseases? There are many benefits to meditating, but we're going to look at the top two reasons why meditation is so powerful.

#1 The major benefit of meditation: STRESS REDUCTION.

These days, who isn't stressed out?? If someone asked me to write a list of what stresses me out or gives me anxiety I would tell them that writing a list of things that didn't stress me out or give me anxiety would be significantly shorter.

Before we dive into how meditation can aid in stress and anxiety, let's first talk about what happens when we get stressed out.

Mental (and physical) stress causes the increase of a hormone called cortisol. Cortisol is also known as our "fight-or-flight" hormone- it tells us if we're in danger. As you can imagine, this has its pros and cons on the body. One of the cons is that it releases inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. One thing we should all know is that, generally, inflammation means bad news.

Enter: meditation

Daily meditation has been shown in multiple studies to reduce stress and anxiety by reducing that inflammation response we just talked about. The less inflammation in our bodies, the better we feel and perform.

#2 Not only will your mental health improve, but your physical health will too.

As mentioned above, there is science showing that daily meditation can decrease levels of stress, anxiety and depression. This is great news for our mental health. But I have even more good news: daily meditation can also help with your physical health!

Daily meditation is shown to aid in the symptoms associated with:
- Asthma
- Dementia and cognitive decline with aging
- Fibromyalgia and chronic pain
- Heart disease
- High blood pressure
- Insomnia
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Tension headaches

BONUS BENEFIT: You will gain more control over your emotions.

We are all human. When we're happy, we radiate it. When we're angry, sad or stressed out, it's hard to show anything other than that. You have every right to feel how you feel, but sometimes lashing out only puts us further down on the emotion scale. If only there was a way to help regulate how we control and express our emotions.

Oh wait! There is!

One study found that 13-minute daily meditation for 8 weeks helped individuals, who beforehand had no meditation experience, control their emotions. Not only were they able to do this, but they were also generally happier and had less anxiety. Just think about how many situations you could improve upon with just 13 minutes of meditation a day!

Meditation is diverse.

There are so many different types of meditation out there. You can meditate to the sound of water, perform a guided meditation or even do meditation with chocolate (yes, you read that right!). Meditation doesn't just provide a variety of topics or ways to meditate, it also provides times to fit everyone's schedule. You can meditate anywhere between 5 seconds and 5 hours or more. The beauty of meditation is that is as diverse as we are.

Still think meditation might be too corny?

Okay, I get it. If you've never meditated before it can totally seem like some cult of crazy people! You don't have to do it every day for hours on end. Maybe just give it 2 minutes of your time. If that still doesn't do it, check out what Joe Rogan has to say about it.

The more we learn about meditation, the more we realize how beneficial it is for our minds, and our bodies. For more information, or to help figure out the best meditation plan for you, contact Trilogy today!