You’ve probably heard that meditation is good for you, but how good can it really be? Have you tried meditation, but end up falling asleep or get distracted thinking about other things?
Meditation helps calm the nervous system by forcing us to slow down and kick in the parasympathetic system.The parasympathetic nervous system is our “rest and digest” function. It promotes digestion, slows down pain signals, and improves our breathing efficiency.
Improving digestion helps reduce constipation, gas and bloating.
Pain thrives when we are in the “fight or flight” sympathetic nervous system. The sympathetic system increases the amount of signals and power of each signal from the body to the brain. That means that an experience that should be only slightly painful becomes extremely painful. Regaining the balance between sympathetic and parasympathetic helps our body to appropriately process sensations in the body.
Quieting the mind during meditation can help us gain focus and mental clarity which improves memory, cognition and sleep. We’re tapping back into that parasympathetic system and using it when we need higher cognitive processing and rest for the brain and body.
Breathing efficiency improves with meditation because you focus on slowing down your breaths and breathing deeper. This causes the lungs to expand more and transfer more oxygen into the bloodstream to carry to our body. Good blood flow with oxygen is vital for healing, and a healthy and happy body and brain.
Now that we’ve got a few reasons to meditate, we better figure out how to do it!
I recommend finding an app that you enjoy. I personally use Calm which offers free lessons and a paid subscription. There are tons out there so you may need to try a couple until you find the one you like. If you find a favorite share it here in the comments!