Meditation isn’t just for yogis. It’s a practice that has gained in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. Meditating for just five to ten minutes every day can have enormous physical and mental health benefits. If you want to reap the benefits, set aside five minutes every day, sit in a quiet place, and focus on your breaths. Notice your inhales and exhales. It’s OK if your mind wanders–just bring it back to your breath when it does. Still not convinced that such a simple activity can have such major results? Here are 7 Reasons to Start Meditating.
1. Improve focus and concentration
You’ll find that the more often you meditate, the less your mind will wander. You’ll be able to keep your focus on your breath for longer and longer periods of time. This focus extends past your meditation–you’ll also be able to stay focused longer at work, on the book you’re reading, or on any of your other daily tasks.
2. Be more productive
People who meditate in the morning are more productive during the day. Spending a few minutes focusing on your breath clears your mind of distractions, which allows you to work diligently.
3. Manage stress and anxiety
Meditation is a fantastic stress reliever. Stress and anxiety can be accompanied by quick, shallow breathing, and meditation helps you to slow and deepen your breath while eliminating some of the thoughts causing your stress.
4. Learn to be kind to yourself
Meditation improves self-awareness, and when you’re self-aware and mindful, you’re less likely to be hard on yourself for things outside your control. You’ll learn to be more in tune with your mind, your emotions, and your thoughts, and will start to give yourself the love and kindness you deserve. Guided meditation is especially helpful for improving mindfulness. You can go to a meditation class or download an app, such as Headspace, Calm, or Omvana.
5. Support your weight-loss journey
Stress is connected to weight gain and, since meditation helps relieve stress, daily meditation is a good idea if you’re trying to lose weight. Since meditation improves your focus and awareness, it can also help you stay aware of your decisions and focused on making decisions to support your goals.
6. Strengthen your immune system
Studies have shown that meditating boosts antibodies and stimulates the parts of the brain that command the immune system.
7. Sleep deeper and longer
Meditation is a fantastic way to improve the quality of your sleep. It helps you relax your body and clear away the thoughts that keep you awake.