Meditation is becoming more popular. Yoga studios are now offering meditation classes and new studios focusing specifically on meditation are becoming more popular. There are even cellphone apps to help us easily integrate meditation into our busy lives.
What, though, are the benefits of meditating? We outline 3 here:
1. Stress Reduction
There have been a number of studies proving meditation helps to reduce stress. According to a study conducted in 2013, "mindfulness-based" meditation caused decreases in cortisol, the stress hormone.
2. Less Anxious
Along the same lines as stress is anxiety. People who stress less typically are less anxious as well. Additionally, those who suffer from depression, and are triggered by stress, may feel less depressed by sticking to a regular meditation schedule.
3. Improves Awareness of Self
Another reason people meditate, or should meditate, is because the process can help you get to know yourself better. Meditations focused specifically on self-awareness result in this outcome, but so does mindfulness in general. Surprisingly, you will learn a lot about yourself from stillness.
These are only a few of the positive outcomes of meditation. Others include more successful relationships, attention control, and enhanced emotion regulation (Alvarez and Emory, 2006). In many ways, meditation helps us to remember to "just breathe" which is a mantra we all need to repeat in this busy, bustling world.
While it may be challenging to take time out of your day to focus on mindfulness, meditation, and breathing, we are really investing in ourselves long term.