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Perks of Meditation and why you should be doing it right now?

In today’s fast paced turbulent life, we come across a new crisis every day. May it be personal or a socio-economic issue affecting everyone as a whole, it takes toll on our mental health bit by bit. The pandemic has pretty much sucked the soul out of each one of us and drained our minds due to unforeseeable circumstances. The only way to deal with this and avoid going on a downward spiral is to inculcate the practice of meditation in our day-to-day life. It may sound boring at first and honestly, it does take a lot of patience to overcome the mental chaos nevertheless that’s the first step to reach ultimate Zen.  

  • Mental Wellbeing 
  • Most of our generation suffers from mental disorders like depression, anxiety, stress-related issues which are responsible for making our life a living hell. Whenever we encounter a difficult situation, it sets off our body’s fight-or-flight response. This in turn causes increased levels of stress hormone, cortisol. One of the harmful effects of stress is release of an inflammatory chemical called cytokines. These chemicals disrupt sleep cycle, promote depression, increase blood pressure and contribute to fatigue as well as cloudy thinking. 

    In a study it was found that people who practiced “mindful meditation” daily for 8 weeks should extremely low levels of cortisol in their blood stream. Furthermore, research has shown that meditation may also improve symptoms of stress-related conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia and fibromyalgia.

  • Self-reflection
  • Meditation should always be practiced in a calm serene environment where you have to sit alone with your thoughts. This helps us to think about everything we have encounter, everything we have done and said till date. It gives us a clear reflection of our true self which can be scary at times. To achieve peace of mind, one has to dig deeper and introspect. It has proved to be extremely essential in building self confidence and self-esteem. You learn to be accepting of yourself, your mistakes and your regrets. Everything happens for a reason; your true purpose lies where you find the most comfort. Practicing positive affirmations every morning is a huge success, according to studies.

  • Attention span
  • In order to increase the strength and endurance of your attention, focus-attention meditation is the way to go. A study found that a person who listened to meditation tapes throughout the duration of it while focusing on the vibrations showed improved attention and accuracy while completing a task as compared to the one who doesn’t indulge in meditational practices. It gets our mind back on track, avoids mind-wandering, worrying and poor attention. Dedicate at least 13 minutes of your day to practicing meditation and there will be an evident increase in your concentration. 

  • Empathy and kindness 
  • There are certain genres of meditation which enhance the feeling of positivity and kindness towards yourself and others. Through steadily practice, people tend to generate kindness one step further each time starting with yourself, then friends and family and then your foes. Loving-kindness meditation practiced by 100 students showed a rise in their feeling of empathy and expressing kindness towards one another. 

  • Fight against addictions
  • One study focusing on recovering smokers found that people were more likely to have quit smoking by the end of their 17-week meditation program as compared to those undergoing conventional treatment. This may be because meditation pushed you to focus on your thoughts and go through the grim wave of addiction withdrawal until it passes. Embracing your flaws and working to improve yourself is a part of meditation process. 

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