Meditation is a practice that has been around for centuries. The practice itself draws many parallels to religious practices and even mental health practices in that the primary focus of the practice in about mindfulness, self-control, and loving-kindness. This article is about the benefits of meditation.
If you are interested in learning more about how to meditate and types of meditation read this article called What is Meditation? In that article, I cover a high-level overview of mediation.
There are many benefits to meditation. In this article, I will describe several benefits of meditation that I think are the most important including patience, relaxation, and focus.
The most obvious and practical benefit of meditation patience. Meditating is literally the practice of being patient in some ways. I cannot think of many situations in life where you actually seek out to be more patient. You may be forced into being patient while you are stuck in traffic or you are waiting in line, but when do you sit down to practice patience?
Patience is the quality of being in which you are able to be still without stress or worry. Patience can also be the quality of being able to wait for something, without being stressed. Practicing this state of being is the only way to get better at it. If you practice patience, when a situation arises in which it requires your patience, you will be able to adjust to the situation easier.
An example in which practicing patience can be beneficial is waiting in line. Let’s say you are catching a flight to Hawaii. You get to the airport two hours early and what do you see what you go to check-in? A line of 100+ people. Now, your practice of patience will pay off. You may be surprised and a little stressed at first, but throughout the time waiting, the situation is not stressful. You are naturally more comfortable with time.
The next important benefit of meditation is relaxation. We live in a stressful world with so many distractions that it is important to find time to relax. Humans need to relax to rejuvenate and restore energy so that they can function the best.
Through meditating you teach your body how to relax by practicing relaxation. Being able to relax is a really important skill because the pressures of modern society can take a toll on your body and mind. Just thinking about all the things you need to keep up with can be stressful.
An example where learning to relax is helpful is when you get on that airplane to Hawaii. The flight gets delayed, and then you have to sit on the plane for hours. Your practice of deep relaxation really helps you now because you can put that skill to use.
Probably the most important benefit of meditating is the increased ability to focus. When you meditate, you are practicing focus. Focus or concentration is one of those skills that people don’t think about much because it seems obvious. By focusing on your breathing or being a passive observer of thought, you train your mind to become more focused.
The ability to focus is one of the more important skills in life. Dandapani makes this point clear in his TedX talk:
Tips for Getting the Most out of Meditation
- Be Consistent – Meditating every day helps you keep meditating
- Start small – Meditate for short 10 minute sessions
- Not a goal – Meditation is about the process, not the result
Although there are many benefits of meditation, it is important to know that it takes a lot of time for a person to see the lasting effect of meditating. Meditation is not a quick fix for a problem, it is more of a tool your mind can use to grow stronger. By meditating consistently, you teach your body how to relax and your mind to be patient and focused. These human qualities make you a better person. Thanks for reading!