Meditation is one of those practices you have to experience to appreciate its effect. It can be difficult to understand how transformative it can be because change isn’t something tangible.
Just hop on Instagram and you’ll see posts from yogis sharing their experiences on how much meditation changed their life. It’s not a current craze or trend. There’s been countless studies showing how meditation actually changes the brain.
What is meditation?
First, let’s define meditation. There are various ways to meditate but two of the most common ways are ‘focused-attention’ and ‘mindfulness’. You focus on one specific thing – your breathing, a sensation in your body or a particular object, for example. The aim of this exercise is to help you focus purely on one point and continually bring your attention back to that focal point when it wanders.
The other type of meditation is ‘open-monitoring’ meditation. Here, you pay attention to all of the things happening around you. The goal here is to notice everything without reacting.
So, what’s actually happening in our brains when we meditate? Scientists have discovered the overall difference is that our brains stop processing information as actively as they normally would. We start to show a decrease in beta waves, which indicate that our brains are processing information. Even after the first experience of a single, 20-minute meditation session.
From a health perspective, we are more focused and creative, less anxious, experience improved memory and show greater compassion.
Essentially, we’re happier and less stressed. It’s important to look at meditation from a long-term perspective. Yes, you’ll feel the benefits of it immediately, but it’s continual practice that’ll change your life. You’ll find yourself in less anxious moments as your mind is conditioned to always remain calm.
Try these top meditation apps
Download Headspace and have the app guide you through 10 minutes of meditation every day. You don’t have to do anything. Just sit down, open the app and let it work its magic.
Buddify has over 80 custom-made meditations to do on the go. Either app will work perfectly for you if you’re just starting out.
Our mind can be both our best friend and worst energy. Make sure it’s on your side, by investing in daily meditation.