Table of Contents
Meditation can greatly improve your mental health. It’s a practice that allows you to observe your thoughts and feelings without judging them or trying to change them. This skill requires time and patience to master. With consistency, you will reap endless benefits.
Benefits of Meditation
If you’ve been wanting to start meditating but are unsure of what you might gain, here’s a look at six benefits of meditation:
#1 Helps Manage Depression and Anxiety
Meditation teaches you to focus on the present, which helps ease anxiety. It allows you to detach from your thoughts while focusing on your breath.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is a leading cause of disability worldwide. Individuals struggling with depression must find coping methods. Oftentimes, depression and anxiety co-exist. Anxiety can be a significant trigger for depression. Meditation can change how your brain responds to anxiety and depression.
#2 Reduces Stress
Regular mindfulness meditation can lower the levels of cortisol which is a stress hormone, helping you feel more relaxed. This makes meditation an effective stress-management tool.
We all deal with life stressors such as work, school, finances, or family issues. Stress is a part of life but can have serious repercussions on our health. Setting aside time daily to meditate can help manage stress.
#3 Improves Self-Awareness and Self-Esteem
Meditation encourages you to slow down and practice self-awareness. It also allows you to do some self-reflection which can help you discover positive qualities about yourself. This can improve your self-esteem over time.
#4 Promotes Healing
Meditation is a powerful tool that can help you begin to heal from mental and emotional pain. Certain guided meditations are specifically created to help you work through trauma or other situations that can cause difficult emotions. You’ll also be able to manage triggers and release painful feelings.
#5 Better Sleep
Sleep is vital to managing your mental health. Meditating before bed can relax your brain and body and help quiet the thoughts buzzing around in your mind. It also releases melatonin levels, which can help you get a more restful sleep. However, before you meditate, make your bedroom as quiet and relaxing as possible.
#6 Improves Focus and Concentration
During meditation, the goal is usually to focus on the present, which can improve concentration in other areas of your life. One of the most effective meditation techniques for improving focus and concentration is mindfulness meditation. This form of meditation involves accepting what is and focusing your attention on your breath. It teaches you to observe your thoughts without allowing them to control or take over your mind.
Tips for a Better Meditation Practice
If you’re new to meditation, it may feel a little intimidating. You might have a certain image in your mind of how you’re supposed to meditate; however, there is more than one way to begin a meditation practice.
Here are a few tips to get you started.
Create a Safe Space
It’s important to find a quiet, comfortable place to meditate where you won’t be interrupted. You can also gather any items you’d like to help set the mood.
Find a Position That Works Best for You
When you think about meditation, you may envision a person sitting cross-legged with their hands in their lap, but you don’t have to do this if it doesn’t feel good to you. Some people like to meditate while lying down or even standing.
Choose the Right Type of Meditation
There are various ways to meditate. Some people sit down and close their eyes while others do a movement meditation or use journaling as a form of meditation. It’s about choosing the style that’s right for you.
Use a Timer
As a beginner, you may find it difficult to meditate for longer periods. When you’re first starting, try setting a timer for five to 10 minutes and gradually increasing the length of time you spend meditating.
Utilize Guided Meditations
Guided meditations are great if you’re new to the idea of meditating. You can search online for a range of topics and choose one that resonates with you.
Focus on Your Breath
It’s normal for your mind to wander. If this happens, direct your attention back to your breath and focus on each inhalation and exhalation.
Allow Yourself to Feel
Sometimes during meditation, painful or difficult feelings may arise. Instead of trying to stop these feelings or judging them, allow yourself to feel whatever comes up.
A common misconception some have about meditation is that all of your thoughts will completely vanish. Meditation is about learning how to manage your thoughts and emotions. It’s important to stay consistent with your practice and have patience. While you may notice the effects of meditation immediately, it could also take time before you see any benefits.
Start Meditating Today
When it comes to meditating, it’s best not to overthink it. Start off with a simple practice and work your way up to more challenging techniques if you feel the need to. You won’t know if it’s beneficial to your mental health until you try it.
Meditation is a great tool for improving your mental health. For some, meditating first thing in the morning sets the tone for their day. Others prefer to meditate before bed to help them have a more peaceful sleep. It’s about doing what works best for you and even if you don’t see any improvements after your first try, stick with it.
There are many tools you can utilize to improve your mental health, and meditation offers countless benefits. With all the ways meditation can boost your mental health, it’s worth giving a try. If you struggle with getting started, these tips can help you get the most out of your practice. If you need a safe space to work on bettering your mental health while engaging in holistic practices like meditation, Alter Wellness Care is here for you. We take pride in ensuring our clients have a wonderful experience at our mental health program. We treat a range of mental health conditions and offer various treatment options that are individualized to meet your specific needs. We’ll be by your side every step of the way as you work on becoming a healthier you. If you need comprehensive mental health care, call us today at (866) 311-3510.