The health benefits of adding meditation to your routine
Just when you think there already aren’t enough hours in the day, we’re going to add something new to the list.
But trust us, this one might help make the rest of the hours in your day a bit more relaxing.
It’s meditation, and despite being thousands of years old, humanity has only relatively recently started to understand the genuine benefits it offers.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a relaxing activity where the goal is to completely clear your mind and focus on a single thing.
There are different forms of meditation, some of which are designed to help you deal with stress, others of which are made to help you reduce anxiety, or simply relax.
Here are some of the main meditation styles you could try:
- Body-centered meditation: For this style, you will keep your focus on the physical feeling and sensations of your body
- Mantras: Many people prefer the mantra style of meditation, where you repeat a phrase or saying over and over, either out loud or in your mind
- Mindfulness meditation: This type simply requires you to focus on what’s happening in the moment and letting all other thoughts and concerns float away
- Emotion-centric meditation: This kind requires you to focus all your efforts on a single emotion. For example, thinking about what makes you happy
Generally speaking, you will be sitting or lying comfortably while you meditate. You can meditate for just five minutes, half an hour, or even longer, depending on how long you have spare and how long you can hold your focus.
Key health benefits of meditation
Here are some of the potential key health benefits studies have been able to uncover:
- Mindfulness meditation programs showed in a 2014 review, moderate evidence of improved anxiety, and moderate evidence of improved depression
- Mindfulness training has been shown to have the potential to improve working memory – while reducing mind wandering
- Another study from 2016 found that ‘mindfulness-based stress reduction’ may assist in reducing inflammation
- Mindfulness-based stress reduction may be effective in reducing acute respiratory illnesses
- A 2017 study suggests that meditation may be able to reduce cravings and facilitate healthy eating
Research is still undergoing, but there is evidence that various meditation techniques can have positive effects on health. And you never know, all that reduced stress and anxiety could be the secret to a longer life.
How to incorporate meditation into your daily routine
So, when the day is already so full, how do you find the time to fit meditation in, too? The good news is that even five minutes is better than nothing.
Here are a few tips:
- Set up a dedicated space for meditation to make it more inviting
- Start small with just a few minutes a day and work your way up
- Download a meditation app to keep you motivated
- Make it the first thing you do each day when you get up
- Don’t let yourself start scrolling on your phone until you’ve meditated first
- Make it the last thing you do each day before going to bed
Give your loved one’s peace of mind
Not sure what to meditate on? Here’s one contemplation-based meditation topic: Life insurance. Try spending some time considering the benefits of having a life insurance policy in your back pocket, which can include a little peace of mind for you and your loved ones.
21 Feb 2023