Meditation 101: Why You Must Meditate And How To Easily Do It

Meditation 101: Why You Must Meditate And How To Easily Do It

You've heard of meditation and you may have heard of some of its benefits. The people you've met who meditate speak of their meditation time with a sense of peaceful euphoria that you wonder if you could ever feel!

When you think of meditation, the images that come to mind may be a dim-lit room with candles, incense, calming music playing, yourself sitting lotus position with your eyes closed lost in some zenned-out mental space.

But who has time for this? You have laundry, toys and work material everywhere, so where in your home does this meditation space exist? And what if you can't fold your legs like a pretzel in lotus position? Do all these things have to be in place for you to meditate?

The answer is no. And while creating a special space for your practice is great, the beauty of meditating is that it can be used by anyone, just about anywhere. It will also benefit you in ways you may have never thought.

This ancient practice dates back thousands of years and evolved under Buddhist teachings around 500 BC. By the middle of the 20th century, the calming waves of meditation finally reached western shores. Quickly, it has gained popularity for its many health benefits.

Benefits of Meditating

Among its top benefits, meditation has been reported to strengthen the parts of your brain that maintain cognition and store memory. This contradicts the old belief that we lose cognition as we age. Aging does not have to mean that you lose mental clarity.

While your brain was once thought to have a finite number of neurons, we now know that through meditation exercises, you can regenerate your neurons well into adulthood. Neuron cells are responsible for sending information through your nervous system so that you can respond to stimulus, or the things going on in the environment around you. Regeneration of your neurons happen through ‘neuroplasticity’. This is when your brain “sprouts” new nerve endings to connect with other nerve cells and to also reconnect neurons that may have been injured. Activity such as meditation is required to encourage this growth.

Like the beneficial effects of exercise on your body, meditating provides you the stimulus exercise needed to enhance various parts of your brain. Research has proven that those who meditate, strengthen the parts of the brain associated with healthy brain function. Meditating also has been found to shrink an area of the brain where emotions of fear, stress and anxiety are held.

It is within your ability to re-shape your brain and way of thinking through meditation!

Besides enhancing your cognitive ability and memory, meditation boosts your empathy, focus on present moment and helps regulate essential functions such as sleep, sensory perception and making facial expressions. Meditating helps release you from stressful feelings and furthers your ability to expand your consciousness.

How To Easily Meditate Every Day

Your goal in meditating is to connect to yourself and your environment in a non-judgmental way. As we mentioned earlier, regardless of whether you feel you have time or a space set aside for meditating, it can be done! Here are some simple techniques you can add to your everyday motions that help you achieve this goal:

  • When you are in the shower, try to focus on the feeling of the water raining down upon your skin. Notice the comforting warmth, the soft texture of soap suds and the way the steam looks as it rises around you. Allow your senses to take over in place of racing thoughts about the day ahead of you.

 

  • When you are on your commute, be immersed in your motion. Drive as if you’re driving to work for the first time. Be aware of the traffic, the signs, lights and direction you are headed. List them off physically or mentally as you go along to ground yourself to your task at hand. Too often our brains are not present while we are doing important tasks. Stay focused on the present so you can calmly and safely arrive to your future.

 

  • Be mindful during everyday chores. While you may not feel happy to be in the moment of changing a diaper or cleaning up the dishes for your family, be mindful of the time you longed for such things. Chores are often inevitable aspects of life that can be moments where we reflect on where we currently are in our lives.

 

For more information on Functional Medicine visit my website at KiranGrewalMD.com 

 

To Your Health,

Kiran

 

KiranGrewalMD.com 

 

References:

https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm

https://eocinstitute.org/meditation/history-of-meditation/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/meditate-on-it-147282062/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4895748/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6015474/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4712309/

https://eocinstitute.org/meditation/the-neurogenesis-guide-how-meditation-changes-the-adult-brain/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3004979/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1361002/

 

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