Zen. It’s a word you’ve heard before, but what does it really mean? Webster defines it as a Japanese sect of Mahayana Buddhism that aims at enlightenment by direct intuition through meditation. It’s a word often used to describe a state of calmness. Meditation has been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety as well as to increase your overall health. Check out our top 5 reasons why you should welcome “zen” into your life and start meditating now.
- Improve your physical health: Studies have shown that meditating for a short time daily can lower the stress hormone cortisol. This means you’ll be better able to adjust to day to day stressors in your life. Obviously when stress decreases your overall health will improve. For example, if you’ve been suffering from headaches, insomnia, irregular blood pressure or other various health ailments you may find that taking a few minutes every day to zen yourself will offer some relief.
- Improve your mental health: Meditation has been proven to boost your memory and overall focus. It reduces anxiety, depression and quiets your mind. So if you find yourself lying awake at night with a million different thoughts racing through your mind (we’ve all been there) then it’s time to give meditation a try.
- Improve your relationships: Meditation creates mindfulness. It allows you to be in touch with your own emotions as well the emotions of those around you. By being more aware and in touch with these emotions, you will be better able to communicate your needs to those who are important to you.
- Increase happiness: A recent study has shown that meditation causes brain signaling in the left side of the brain, which is responsible for positive emotions, to increase while activity actually decreases in the right side of the brain which is responsible for negative emotions. Meditation also increases acceptance and self-awareness which in turn contributes to overall well-being and happiness.
- Learn to let go: Do you “sweat the small stuff”? Do you find yourself hung up on a harmless comment a friend or co-worker made days ago that you just can’t let go of? We’ve all been guilty of this at one point in our life. It’s human nature to take a small thing and magnify it in our mind to a larger issue. Meditation allows us to see the bigger picture and live life in the here and now. It trains our mind to let go of yesterday and be present today.
Are you sold yet? These are only a few of the reasons why introducing a little zen into your life is beneficial. If you are interested in starting meditation, I would suggest you find yourself a nice guided meditation to begin with. The guided meditation takes off a lot of pressure for beginners and allows them to focus on the voice guiding them over the recording.
How has meditation changed your life? I’d love to hear from you.