Is it just us or is everything that little bit more difficult at the moment? Whether its stresses at work or home, taking ten to stop and relax is not always part of our daily agenda. Yet with the increase of meditation courses and the development of a number of apps, we couldn’t help but be intrigued. Because we love learning (and trying things before you buy them), we sent Jane, our resident yogi, off to spend some time meditating.
It’s not often that I turn to Ringo Star for motivational quotes, but I couldn’t help but agreeing with this one – ‘At the end of the day, I can end up totally wacky, because I’ve made mountains out of molehills. With meditation, I can keep them as molehills.’ Science proves that meditation can have an effect on the brain, so with this I take my first steps into mindful meditation (focusing on one specific thing, such as the breath). Clearing the mind is not something you can master overnight, but here are six reasons why you really should be meditating.
1. Inner peace
Ever heard that saying, your mind is a muscle that needs to be trained? It’s hard to relax when you have thoughts spiralling round your head, so taking five or ten minutes to breathe and focus can give you a whole new outlook.
Back to those spiralling thoughts, meditation helps to give you clarity on what each thought actually means. At first it can feel a little overwhelming, but as you turn the rest of the world off you begin to deal with the problems stuck at the back of your mind.
3. Helps you to sleep at night
Did you know that one of the most common reasons for insomnia is the bombardment of thoughts in your head? Anyone who has tried counting sheep at night will know that insomnia can lead to feelings of anxiety, stress and depression. So take five, learn to meditate and be ready to curl up for a good night’s kip.
4. It makes you a nicer person
It really does. Studies show that daily meditation can help give an individual more compassion and improve their relationships with their peers. Nobody wants to be that stressed out friend everyone tip toes around do they?
5. Improve your memory
For anyone like me, who has a desk full of post it notes with scribbled reminders, meditation could be the secret therapy you have been searching for. Studies suggest that people who meditate are able to adjust the brain wave that screens distractions, thus improving memory and increasing brain productivity.
6. Can help slow down aging
Sounds too good to be true doesn’t it? Although meditation cannot be the secret to remaining forever young, it has been linked to large amounts of grey matter in the hippocampus or frontal areas of the brain, and is said to diminish age-related effects on said grey matter.
Feel ready to take a deep breath and try a meditation course? You’ve come to the right place – have a browse of the options listed on Floodlight and be ready to find your inner zen. You won’t regret it!
Adult Learning Editor, IDP Connect
Jane McGuire received her BA (English) from the University of Loughborough. A yoga enthusiast with a sweet tooth, in her spare time you will probably find Jane in the gym or online shopping.
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