10 life changing meditation benefits that will convince you to give it a try
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Are you ready to channel your inner zen?
So you’ve heard of meditation. But do you know the many benefits of meditation that can calm and switch off your mind?
Probably not, as there is a whole host. When actor Chris Hemsworth introduced a whole new meditation offering in his fitness app Centr, we selected Hannah Hempenstall, the meditation trainer who works with Centr on mindfulness content.
The Thor actor is a fan of mindfulness himself and says, “With a few quick meditations, you’ll feel calmer – and sleep better, in no time. If you only listen to one meditation every day, you will feel the benefits. “
Hempenstall agrees, adding that if you treat it like any other habit – taking some time each day and being consistent – it will very likely improve your mental wellbeing. “It’s no different than improving any other element of your health – the more you invest, the more you get back.”
Keep scrolling for an exclusive meditation from the app, along with an expert explanation of what meditation is, how you can benefit from the practice, and how to do it at home.
Meditation: your knowledgeable guide
So what is the definition of meditation?
In short, meditation is a relaxation tool, explains Hempenstall. “The techniques are geared towards achieving specific results – think less stress, improved focus and performance, and better sleep, to name a few.”
Meditation has its roots in Hinduism and Buddhism and is documented in the Bhagavad Gita, which dates from 400 to 200 BC. According to the meditation expert. “The ancient texts describe a form of sedentary practice in which a deer skin was placed over soft grass and performed in a sacred place,” she explains.
Over time, the practice was adopted and developed in Early Buddhism, she continues. “This is where mindfulness arose, which is considered one of the oldest styles of meditation and is still relevant today.”
How is meditation used in the western world today?
As Eastern practices became more widespread from the West in the 1960s, meditation began to invade the Western world.
“Transcendental Meditation (TM) became a movement largely promoted by the Beatles and other celebrities of the era,” explains Hempenstall.
Today you will see meditations in apps like Calm and Headspace and practiced by the likes of Adriene Mischler from Yoga with Adriene.
“We see many different types of yoga practice – some involve pranayama, a type of yoga breathing meditation, and others involve mantra chants designed to help us connect with higher powers as well as more accessible styles,” she says.
What are the main benefits of meditation?
Are you wondering how meditation or mindfulness in general can affect your everyday life?
“There are tons of studies that show the benefits of regular meditation, including reducing anxiety, anger, and depression,” she said.
It also has physiological benefits, including decreased muscle tension and reduced injuries, she continues.
Other benefits include coping with stress, increased self-esteem, increased attention span, and an increase in both your creativity and concentration.
Ultimately, how you benefit from it will be unique to you and your commitment to your practice. As Hempenstall points out, it is important to exercise regularly. She warns against meditating and becoming superhuman: “Just like strength training in the gym, you will reap the benefits from consistent practice.”
“It can take a few sessions before we learn to relax deeply as many of us are so tense without even realizing it. Perseverance is the key. “
A quick step-by-step guide to meditation for beginners who do it at home.
1. Find a guided meditation to follow – Centr is one.
2. Find a comfortable position.
3. Follow your breath three to five counts.
4. Scan your body for tightness or tension. Stay there until you feel it dissolve.
5. Return to the breath.
6. Counting down from ten and then starting over is another simple tool to use when you feel excited, overwhelmed, or stressed out.