I started meditating regularly back in 2019. It started off as a 30-day meditation challenge and turned into a lifestyle change. Prior to 2019, I’d meditated on and off a few times but it wasn’t something I stuck with. Once I started practicing meditation consistently, it transformed my life.
Meditation has helped me ease my anxiety, recover from heartbreak, work through trauma, improve my mood, and work on loving myself. It has been a key factor in my healing journey.
The benefits of meditation are endless.
For someone who’s a beginner, meditation can feel intimidating. You might have this image in your head where you have to sit cross-legged with your hands in your lap; however, there is more than one way to meditate.
If you’re looking for a few meditation tips for beginners, check out this post.
Once you start meditating, you’ll likely reap the benefits of the practice. Let’s take a look at a few of those benefits.
5 Benefits of Meditation
1. Reduces Stress and Anxiety
Practicing meditation can reduce stress and anxiety. Studies show that after just eight weeks of meditation, there was a decrease in stress levels. When you meditate, you’re focusing your attention on one specific thing such as your breath or a certain phrase. Meditation allows you to detach from your thoughts, letting them come and go.
It helps you feel more relaxed which eases anxiety. It also helps you focus on the present moment.
While we can’t eliminate stress and anxiety completely, regularly practicing meditation can help us learn to manage them.
2. Promotes Healing
As mentioned previously, meditation has been essential to my healing journey. I went through a tragic breakup in March of 2020 that left me drowning in trauma. Meditation assisted me in peeling back the layers of my trauma and working through it.
Because of meditation, I was able to sit with my painful emotions and eventually release them. Whenever I get triggered or feel those emotions creeping up again, I turn to meditation.
I’ve heard stories of how meditation has allowed people to heal from years of pain and I truly believe in the power of this practice.
3. Improves Self-awareness and Self-esteem
Meditation allows you to slow down and practice self-awareness. During meditation, you learn how to observe your thoughts and feelings without needing to act on them or judge them.
It can increase your self-esteem by helping you discover positive qualities within yourself. There are various guided meditations that are centered around self-love and building up your self-esteem.
4. Helps Foster Compassion
Certain types of meditation like loving kindness meditation can encourage extending compassion towards yourself and others.
During a loving kindness meditation, you’ll either focus your energy on yourself or someone you care for. If you’re focusing on yourself, you’ll repeat phrases. These may include:
- May I be happy
- May I be safe
- May I be peaceful
If you’d like to focus on a loved one, you can envision them in your mind and repeat similar positive phrases replacing I with you.
Loving kindness meditation can be challenging because some of us aren’t used to giving or receiving genuine love and kindness.
Imagine yourself showering others with love then turning that compassion inwards.
5. Better Sleep
Meditation may help promote better sleep because quieting the mind can be a deeply relaxing experience.
I’ve struggled with chronic insomnia for years and one thing I’ve noticed is that when I meditate before bedtime, I’m more relaxed and usually able to fall asleep.
Make your bedroom as relaxing and quiet as possible before immersing yourself in your practice.
With all the things you can gain from meditation, it’s definitely something to give a try. In order to truly receive the benefits, you should practice it often.
If you’re new to meditating, go into your practice with an open mind. Start with guided meditations or meditating for 5-10 minutes and work your way up to a longer amount of time.
If you notice your mind wandering, return to your breath. Take your time and explore the different forms of meditation.