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Meditation & Mental Health: Why They Go Hand-in-Hand

Meditation can help mend your mind, your body, and your soul. This is why meditation is one of the most positive practices that you can incorporate into your daily life to improve your mental health. Many question what relationship meditation and mental health truly have. Though the relationship is complex, there are many parts of it that can be explained.

Meditation and Your Brain

meditation mental healthWhile it may seem unbelievable, your brain actually changes under the influence of long-term meditation. Every day, if you are able to take just a few minutes to meditate, your brain will start going through changes that can improve your mental health. The long-term effects of meditation help relieve symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Meditation can also improve your social life, minimize daily stress, and better your concentration.

  • You will feel happier after incorporating meditation into your daily life. While you may not notice results on your first day, you will notice a steady increase in your mood over time.
  • You will have better focus over time, as well. Be patient, because this effect is not immediate.
  • You will improve your cardiovascular and immune health which can also provide you with peace of mind, especially if you struggle with medical stress.
  • You will age slower. This may seem like an impossible claim, but research shows that the changes in brain physiology associated with meditation can actually slow the aging process.
  • Your stress levels will lower. This can help combat issues like depression and anxiety.
  • You will be more self-aware. People that struggle with emotional issues such as anger will notice that they become more self-aware of these issues. If you are one of these people, you will have better control of your anger after you have incorporated meditation into your lifestyle for quite some time.
  • You will feel more connected with others. Meditation can help your social life by encouraging emotional intelligence. You can also become more connected with others by meditating with your loved ones.

Preparing to Start Meditation

As soon as you start your meditation practice, your brain, your body, and your loved ones will begin to thank you. You may not notice a difference right away, but if you stick with it, you will noticemeditation mental health gradual improvements. If you are new to the concept of meditating, there are a lot of ways that you can get started to combat depression, anxiety, and stress.

  • Start small. If you are entirely new to the practice of meditating, you can start small. This may mean downloading some applications for your phone or using online videos. Just a few minutes a day will get you started.
  • Use a reminder alarm. You can put it on your phone or an at-home alarm. Either way, this is to remind you to get in your meditation time.
  • Find a quiet location. Whether your quiet place is in the woods or in your living room, the quieter, the better.
  • Get a comfortable zafu. You will want to sit, since you are a beginner. You can try walking meditation another time, but for now, find a cozy zafu. You can find a zafu online. For inquiring minds, this is a traditional cushion that you use to meditate.

Meditation for Beginners

Meditating is new to you, so it is important that you don’t push yourself too hard. If you are meditating to better your mental health, stressing out over the act will help nothing. That is why it is pertinent that you pace yourself.

  • Learn how to sit. You do not have to perfect meditation the first time that you try it. Instead, learn the first step, which is how to sit. Remember to keep your back straight! This is the most important aspect of your meditating posture. Your legs can be crossed in any way that you feel comfortable and you are free to move your hands as necessary. Apps and online videos can help you if you ever are unsure about your sitting position.
  • Close your eyes. You can open your eyes to meditate, but closed-eye meditation is best for beginners.
  • Learn to focus your breath. You probably already know that breathing is crucial for meditation. Use an app or an online video to learn how to time your breathing. You may lose focus during the out breath, but don’t worry! You will overcome this over time.
  • Don’t think. This is the hardest part, especially if you struggle with your mental health. You will learn this skill over time. Some find that counting helps to keep them from focusing on other things. This method is recommended if you still find your mind wandering after you’ve been practicing meditation for a few weeks.
  • Ten-minute increments are best. You don’t need to meditate for an hour to reap the benefits. In fact, ten-minute increments are recommended daily. This helps you stick with it and keeps you from losing focus. Believe it or not, just ten minutes a day will be more positive for your mental health than an hour twice a week.
  • Remember that you don’t have to be perfect. Meditating is about relaxing. If you are worrying about how well you are doing, you can’t find your inner tranquility. Go easy on yourself and give yourself time to adjust to your new lifestyle. You don’t have to be a master meditator in the first month.

You can greatly improve your mental health by adding meditation to your daily life. Meditation can improve your focus, your ability to overcome depression and anxiety, and it can even improve your relationships! Start your meditation journey today, and soon, you will see the incredible benefits. As long as you go easy on yourself, you will notice positive changes in no time. 🙂

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