Meditation is a practice that requires an individual to use particular techniques to increase attention and awareness. The methods used in meditation include mindfulness or focusing on a specific activity or thought. As you may already know, meditation is a practice that has been in existence for centuries. Its roots can be traced back to the Hindu traditions. It is something of great importance to take time to meditate and reflect during a busy day.
Different cultures have varying takes on meditation based on their traditions and religious beliefs. One factor that remains constant in all the different cultures is the fact that meditation is a path towards enlightenment and self-realisation. Currently, it is practised by different people in society to reduce stress, anxiety, pain, and, in some cases, depression. Let’s look through some of the benefits of meditating and how it can help you.
Benefits of Meditation
It makes you Happier
According to a post by MindWorks, people who partake in meditation lead happier lives than those who don’t engage in the practice (1). Thus taking even 5 minutes of time in your day to meditate no matter how busy is worth it! The reason for this is that meditation tends to enhance the natural flow of constructive thoughts, as well as positive emotions. There is also some scientific proof that meditation helps bring forth a feeling of happiness as it influences the functioning of the pre-frontal cortex. This is the part of the brain that is associated with happiness.
It helps to enhance Mental Wellness
Stress, anxiety, and depression are significantly impactful to your mental health. One of the major benefits and reasons why most people partake in meditation is that it helps to alleviate such issues. What happens is that when you are meditating and doing the different exercises, you are training your brain to remain calm. This especially helps when you are in a stressful situation. The calming effect that meditation has on the brain also helps to reduce anxiety and the side effects of depression. Meditation also helps to declutter the mind in situations that are stressful, hence minimising the chances of depression due to stress. It also enhances self-awareness.
Meditation helps with Sleep issues like Insomnia
Stress and depression are major causal factors of insomnia. Insomnia is a condition that leads to a lack of sleep, and these sleepless nights can result in both health and mental challenges. Insomnia can start as a mild issue and grow into a medical condition that may require medication to treat. Meditation can help significantly with insomnia. Harvard Health posted an article that states the importance of meditation to sleep (2). In the article, they state that meditation helps to trigger the relaxation response, hence allowing people to fall asleep much easier and faster. Some participants have commented that they were able to get over their insomnia as soon as they began meditation exercises.
Meditation and Memory
Memory loss is not just a condition that older people suffer. Young people, including kids, can suffer temporary or acute memory loss. Sometimes, it is triggered by medical conditions, accidents, and other times it is a result of lack of mental wellness. The role of mindfulness meditation is to train the body and brain to remain aware of the present moment in a manner that is not judgmental. Meditation, therefore, can help enhance memory by improving concentration. The fact that it helps to eliminate distractions also works for the benefit of memory maintenance and concentration building.
Meditation and Addiction
Meditation helps to enhance mental discipline, which is very important when it comes to breaking additions and dependencies. What happens is that it increases your self-control and self-awareness levels. Therefore, it helps you to become more aware of the triggers to addictive behaviours, hence giving you the chance to address them by redirecting your attention. Meditation also helps to increase the will power to control emotions and impulses.
Physical Benefits of Meditation
Below are some of the main physical benefits of meditation:
- It promotes calmness
- It soothes and comforts the body
- It helps to energise the body
- It significantly improves self-confidence and posture
- It promotes personal growth
How to Take Time to Meditate when You Are Busy
While most people may want to partake in meditation, sometimes busy schedules make it impossible. However, this should not keep you from meditation entirely. Below are some ways you can fit meditation into your tight schedule;
1. Wake up 10 Minutes Earlier than Normal
Meditation is not a practice that takes hours to complete. It is possible to get some quality meditation done in just five minutes. If you cannot create time during the day to meditate, you can easily make it part of your morning routine before you go to work.
In such a case, make sure you don’t get out of bed fast. Wake up, then remain seated on your bed for some time before you continue with your usual morning routine. You can take care of your bodily functions before starting the meditation routine. Ten minutes may sound like a long time, especially if you did not get to sleep for as many hours as you would like. To make it easier, you can start with shorter five-minute sessions. Once you have successfully made morning meditation part of your routine, it will be easier to increase the time in the long run.
2. Take Advantage of your Work Breaks
It is easy to pair your meditation with activities like lunch. It only requires that you get a quiet place that you can practice self-awareness and introspection. This will help you feel better and improve the quality of your work after the breaks.
3. After Work
You can also get some meditation done before you leave for home from work. Audio apps for meditation would come in handy here. With such an app, all you need to do is spare a few minutes in the car before you hit the road. You must do this before you start driving as meditation is more effective when you give it maximum concentration. You can also spare some time immediately you get home before you embark on your evening routine. However, the first option may work best because it will help ease the transition between home life and work life. You can also spare a few minutes to reflect and meditate right before you go to bed. Doing this will help you fall asleep faster.
4. Schedule Meditation using Mobile Apps
Work is not the only thing that can keep you from meditating. There are stay at home parents who also do not get the time to meditate. In such situations, you can benefit from making meditation part of your schedule.
Make sure to schedule at least a ten-minute break off other activities in your day. You can create a reminder on your phone that will help you know when it is time to meditate. Meditation apps on your phone are a great way to make this happen. These apps will help create custom meditation routines that you can complete in the comfort of your home.
5. Use an App for Meditation, Mindfulness and Relaxation
Some people can find it a little challenging to sit on their own and reflect with their thoughts and the sound of silence. So why not consider an app for mediation? There are plenty of apps out there offering guides, calming stories and words of reflection to help you on your way to a more peaceful place, even if just for a moment.
The Final Word
A busy schedule does not have to keep you from meditating. You can create time to meditate right when you wake up, before you get back home from work, during breaks at work, before bed, and in between tasks at work or home. This practice offers many benefits and should be part of your daily routine.