Benefits of

Meditation & How it works

Practising meditation helps us live more mindfully and the benefits of meditation and mindfulness include:

 

Benefits of

Meditation & How it works

Practising meditation helps us live more mindfully and the benefits of meditation and mindfulness include:

 

Physical

Benefits of Meditation

As you become more aware of your internal and external body sensations, the physical benefits of meditation include:
  • Decreased restlessness (as you learn it’s okay to be still and do nothing).
  • Released muscle tension, body aches and pain (as you begin to tune into your body’s needs and what it’s trying to tell you).
  • Enhanced sleep (as you learn to switch off the mind chatter).
  • Developed ability to tune into your senses (providing greater enjoyment of day to day experiences).
  • Increased productivity at school, work and sport (as your body is rested and refreshed).
Emotional

Benefits of Meditation

As you become more aware of your feelings and emotions and how you react to them, the emotional benefits of meditation include:
  • Developing the ability to feel and process emotions without being overwhelmed by them (as you practice allowing and accepting them rather than trying to avoid them).
  • Increased self-esteem and resilience (as you learn to accept and not judge your own thoughts and feelings).
  • Improved ability to react in a more thoughtful, calm and less reactive way in challenging situations (as you learn to pause and engage other parts of your brain).
  • Building peaceful and harmonious relationships with friends and family (learning about your own emotions creates empathy for others).
Mental

Benefits of Meditation

As you become more aware of distracting thoughts and your stress triggers, the mental benefits of meditation include:
  • Learning to quiets the mind chatter and excessive thinking (by staying present and not thinking about the past or the future).
  • Relieving stress and increasing the ability to cope with stressful situations (as you get to know yourself and begin to build your inner strengths and resources).
  • Enhanced focus and concentration (as you learn to regulate your attention).

In everyday life meditation can help you to:

  • Relax physically.
  • Relieve and prevent mental stress.
  • Promote peaceful and harmonious relationships.
  • Increase productivity and performance at work, home and sport.
  • Enhance focus and concentration.
  • Cultivate self-confidence.
  • Connect with your intuition and insight.
How it works 

Meditation

Excessive thinking and prolonged states of stress are becoming more prevalent in everyone from kids and teens to adults, contributing to a range of mental and physical conditions. Our minds and bodies continue in fight, flight or freeze mode (or just constant busyness) instead of relaxing into a comfortable state of well being in between stressful events or just the pressures of every day life.
Put simply, meditation:
 
  • Brings the body back into a state of rest and stillness (homeostasis).
  • Gives an anxious mind something else to do.
  • Turns the stress response off.
Science

Brain Regions

  • Prefrontal cortex – connects the brain regions and balances the brain with the body, e.g. personality, behaviour, social skills.
  • Amygdala – processing of emotions and our response to them, e.g. fear.
  • Hypothalamus – keeps the body balanced, e.g. temperature, hunger/thirst, body fluids, emotions, sleep.
  • Hippocampus – memory, learning and motivation.

When we get stressed or scared or just overwhelmed with constant busyness, the Amygdala hijacks the Hypothalamus preparing the body to fight, flee or freeze. It sends the flow of blood to our limbs preparing our bodies to run away or defend ourselves. Without an actual physical threat to use this excess energy (e.g. being attacked by a shark!), staying in this response mode for prolonged periods causes wear and tear on the body and mind.

 

Practicing meditation can shrink the Amygdala, make its connection weaker; recognise and neutralise the fight or flight response mode; and enable a more thoughtful response to stress via other parts of the brain (by engaging the prefrontal cortex).

Meditation and mindfulness create a mental space or pause between impulse and action. This enables us to replace unconscious and rushed habits or reactions with more conscious and thoughtful responses and reactions.

Meditation aids in cognitive functions such as learning, memory and problem solving, by focussing our attention on something. Paying attention literally lights up the mind – turbo charging the neurons in the prefrontal cortex.

Sustaining that attention is necessary not only for optimal learning but also for developing relationships. In addition, research has shown that practising being still for long periods of time can not only develop new brain cells in the Hippocampus region but also preserve and lengthen our telomeres (the protective caps on the end of chromosomes which carry our DNA/genes) which usually shorten with age and can make us more susceptible to diseases like Alzheimer’s (dementia).

  “Set aside the usual distractions of the day and bring 100% of yourself to your meditation practice.  Be open and enjoy the stillness.” (Michelle Eckles)