Our lives today are filled with distraction, stress, and sensory input that can take a real toll on your emotional well-being and ability to cope with the day-to-day of life. Most of us have little solitude or pay no attention to how these influence our feelings and behaviors because we are so busy and distracted.
As scientists, doctors, and researchers grapple with the medical and mental health problems of today, they are increasingly examining alternative and complementary therapies that can help combat the forces and stressors of modern life that influence health and well-being. Among these are meditation, a practice that is gaining attention for its ability to improve mental health and encourage better wellness outcomes in many people.
Mediation is a way to escape all this noise and learn to focus on yourself and your emotional health. It does not require much time or effort, but regular meditation can have a significant impact on your overall wellness.
What is Meditation?
Practicing meditation involves sitting or lying comfortably while mindfully focusing your thoughts on either an object, thought, or activity. Meditation trains you to control your awareness and attention, which can help you to achieve mental clarity, emotional stability, and an improved mental state.
Mindfulness meditation is a form of this practice that teaches you to focus on your breathing and then bringing your attention to the present without allowing thoughts of concern or worries about the future or past encroach on your mental state.
What are the Mental Health Benefits of Meditation?
Meditation Reduces Stress
When you are meditating, your body enters a state of deep relaxation. When you learn to relax your mind as well as your physical form, you will experience a decrease in levels of stress hormones that are affecting your physical as well as mental health.
Stress makes it more challenging to manage your thoughts and emotions. It also worsens mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, and neuroses. Meditation gives you tools and resources for learning to cope with stress.
Meditation Can Combat Anxiety
Anxiety is a persistent worry about what has already happened or what could occur in the future. Those with anxiety and panic disorders live with elevated stress levels from this constant anxiety that can be very distracting from their daily activities.
Meditation helps you first learn to differentiate between helpful, problem-solving thoughts and nagging, unproductive ones and then enables you to see how ideas only have as much control and power as you allow them.
Meditation Makes You More Adaptable
Practicing meditation regularly helps you learn to let go and accept more in your life while being able to go with the flow of life more. This makes you more adaptable to the ever-changing circumstances of life and less likely to feel panic, fear, or mental anguish when life throws you a curveball. Plus, when you are more adaptable, you are better able to adjust to setbacks and failures, which builds your resiliency, too.
Meditation Changes Your Brain
When researches study the brains of people who meditate regularly, they see changes in EEG patterns, blood flow, and brain activity. By meditating often, you allow your mind to activate new and different areas, and you increase the oxygen supply to your neurons. These show that meditation does not just make you feel better, but it actually improves your brain with practice.
Meditation Can Improve Psychiatric Illnesses
When it is used in conjunction with other forms of mental health treatment, meditation can be an effective strategy for improving the symptoms of many mental health disorders. Research shows improvements in therapies for depression, aggression, anxiety, addiction, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, to name a few. It can also help to relieve sleep disorders, which profoundly influence mental health. It offers so many secondary or tertiary benefits that it’s a practice well worth getting in to.
What are the Emotional Health Benefits of Meditation?
Meditation Offers You Perspective
When you meditate, you focus on yourself, and you push away all the mental clutter and distractions of busy, modern life. When you learn to calm your thoughts and notice your feelings, it helps you realize what is important and what is simply “noise” that has no real influence over you. Meditation helps you go more deeply into your subconscious thoughts, where you will see what is really behind your ideas and values, which can shed new light on what is important to you.
Meditation Can Be An Escape
When your negative self-talk or painful emotions are getting you down, meditation offers a respite and refuge for your emotional self. When you meditate, you are transported to another part of your reality, where you can focus on just your breathing and let go of the negative thoughts and feelings that can plague your daily existence. When you meditate, you learn to focus on what is positive and helpful.
Meditation Teaches You To Be Present
Living in the moment and not worrying over the past or possible future helps you to have stronger emotional health. Meditation teaches you to be more present and to live in the moment, which is hard to do today. Carrying around emotional scars or baggage makes daily living feel like a chore, and meditation teaches you to release these emotions and focus on what is positive and enjoyable in your current life.
Meditation Teaches You to Control Your Emotional Reactions
When you learn to meditate, you also learn to control your breathing, your physical response to stimuli, and your emotional reaction to various circumstances in your life. Meditation teaches you to monitor yourself and become more aware of how events and incidents are affecting you, then act in a more controlled, reflective manner.
Meditation can help you achieve a calmer response to emotions while focusing on gaining clarity about what you are feeling and why.
Meditation Can Help You Visualize the Life You Want
Meditation involves a tool called visualization, which can help you see the positive, stable emotional self you want to create. Learning to visualize can help you get off the emotional roller coaster you are experiencing and learn to live the life you have always wanted, instead.
Meditation Can Improve Your Self-Esteem
When you meditate, you focus on your strengths and what brings you peace. When you focus on these things and learn to tune out the negative criticisms of your mind, you feel more confident and capable.
Boosting your self-esteem has a tremendous impact on your emotional health, and meditation and visualization are essential tools for learning to deal with turmoil, upset, and disappointment productively. It does not cause your self-esteem to plummet every time something goes wrong in your life.
The emotional and mental health benefits of meditation are extensive. Because you can enjoy better awareness, lower stress, improvements in your ability to be present, and more emotional stability, your overall wellness will increase substantially. Meditation is the perfect tool for improving your chances at self-actualizing and for making your dreams turn into reality.
By helping, you control your thoughts and their influence on your emotions and behaviors, meditation can be a powerful tool for improving your mental health. Meditation, when practiced regularly, teaches your mind to become more open and receptive to ideas and less controlled by your emotions and worries.
The impact of decreased stress alone is enough to convince everyone that meditation should be a part of your daily routine. Ready for a new mental health practice? Why not give meditation a try?by