Five Reasons to Add Meditation to Your Daily Routine

by Gayle Cottrill

Meditation is believed to have originated in India thousands of years ago, although that is only where we have found the first documentation of the practice in writing and images. It could have started even earlier, its instruction passed on by word of mouth.

It wasn’t until the 20th century that meditation became popular in the west. Since the 1960s, studies have been done in the United States to understand the health benefits of meditation, and today it is widely accepted that the practice can help us physically as well as psychologically. Here are five ways that meditation can help your mind and your body.

Meditation helps your brain.

Research has found that meditation helps your brain stay healthy. Meditation increases blood flow to the brain and frequent meditation helps keep your mind sharp and aids in memory retention, even as you age. There are different types of meditation practices you can follow, and depending on the benefits you would like to focus on, you can choose the type that will help you the most.

Meditation helps fight stress and stress-related symptoms.

Probably one of the most well-known reasons people turn to meditation is to help reduce stress and anxiety. The most basic way to meditate keeps you focused on your breathing and clearing your mind. Continued meditative practices lower levels of cortisol, more commonly referred to as the “stress hormone.” Reducing this hormone in your system in turn decreases stress, which can also prevent conditions that are byproducts of that stress. 

Meditation helps your heart and body.

As you allow your body to relax through meditation and lower stress levels, your body naturally focuses on taking care of other important matters. Your immune system can receive a boost with added attention being given to it. Tensed muscles are allowed to relax, potentially preventing injuries from muscle strain. Meditation also reduces your heart rate and blood pressure. 

Meditation helps emotional stability.

Meditation is a way to practice mindfulness and a way to become more self-aware. As you reflect upon your life, you may find your self confidence building. Feeling less stressed and understanding how you handle stressors can pave the way for more optimism and better decision-making. Meditating consistently also can boost levels of serotonin, a hormone that, when lacking, can cause low energy and negative feelings.

Meditation is easy and affordable.

There are many free apps and online videos that you can access for guided meditation sessions. Depending on your experience or ability, you can choose the type and length of meditation that is the best fit for you and your lifestyle. Even a 10-minute meditation break can help you feel recharged and ready to tackle the next part of your day. For an exercise with so many health benefits that is painless, free, and doesn’t take up a lot of your day, meditation can be a great addition to your daily routine.