Did you know that meditation can:
1. Improve Your Health
It helps reduce inflammation,
Boosts your immune system (YAY!),
Can reduce cortisol (stress hormone) levels by 20% (from a study with a 4 day program on mindful meditation)
2. Boost Your Productivity
Improves your memory (especially great if you are not sleeping well!)
Makes you more attentive (it actually thickens the cerebral cortex, the part of your brain associated with attentiveness),
Boosts your creativity and problem-solving capabilities,
Improves your sleep quality (as we know, sleep is very important!)
3. Can Make You Happier
It reduces stress, according to a Harvard study. Meditation causes structural changes in the brain that positively relate to sensory, cognitive, and emotional processing,
Produces gamma waves. Gamma is the only frequency that affects the whole brain. So when you're meditating, you are essentially engaging your entire brain at once. This state of your entire brain being "in synch" is associated with contentment, being able to think more clearly, and improved focus.
4. Can Improve Your Social and Work Life
Helps regulate emotions - so very important in life! Deep breathing and counting, mainstays of meditation, are great tools to have in your Toolbox of Transformation.
Increases social connectedness. Practicing mindful and also loving-kindness meditation helps you to appreciate people around you, even strangers.
Super fantastic, right?! Yes! Okay, here's a very simple meditation to get you started. You don't have to get all fancy - just sit with your back straight, feet flat on the floor, and then close your eyes AFTER reading the rest of the instructions!
Okay, take a deep, slow breath in through your nose, as you count (mentally) to 4.
Hold your breath for a silent count of 4.
Exhale, slowly, through your nose, as you count (mentally) to 8.
Repeat 3 more times for a total of 4 cycles and then open your eyes.
There you have it! A one-minute meditation to help calm your system and center yourself. You can continue this on for 3, 5, even 20 minutes.
Consider making meditation a daily practice either first thing in the morning or right before you go to sleep. Hint: if before bed, do not do this in bed for you will most likely fall asleep. True story.
Enjoy the calm!