The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
If you asked someone if they knew what meditation was they would almost certainly say yes. But if you asked someone if they actually practised mediation on a daily basis – they would almost certainly say no. Most people are under the misconception that meditation involves locking yourself away in a room and thoughtlessly staring at a wall for 5 minutes a day. Perhaps this misunderstanding is the central reason as to why people are ‘too busy’ to meditate or don’t see how it can actually help.
So here is a list of reasons why you should practice mediation daily:
- It reduces stress
Both mental and physical stress can cause an increased level in Cortisol – the stress hormone. Too much cortisol can cause health risks such as heart attacks and strokes, as well as mental illnesses such as anxiety and depression. An eight-week study showed that meditation significantly reduced the inflammatory response responsible for the health risks above.
- It can help with addiction
A growing number of studies have shown how meditation can help people recover from addiction, given its effects on the ‘self-control’ regions of the brain. A particular study showed that smokers who practiced mindfulness were more likely to have given up smoking compared to those who don’t.
- It improves concentration and attention span
The practice of meditation involves a strong focus of attention on one particular object. It is therefore not surprising that studies have seen a significant improvement in cognitive skills
- It reduces social anxiety
Meditation has been shown to give people more power over negative self-beliefs, helping instead to foster self-compassion and self-esteem.
- Meditation can be practiced anywhere at anytime
Meditation can be incorporated into your daily routine anywhere and at any time – you can never be too busy to find 5 minutes to meditate! Although it’s ideal to be in a peaceful space, you can even meditate whilst walking to work or campus. Depending on your busy schedule, mediation is best done in the morning or at night – but the most important thing is making it a consistent daily habit.
No matter how pressed you are for time with the busy aspects of daily life, taking 5 minutes a day to meditate will actually reduce your stress and anxiety and make you more productive, more efficient, and happier!