Meditation helps us release the fear and shame we carry within us and replaces it with love and compassion for ourselves and for others.
Life in the 21st century has made everything within our reach. Technological advancements have allowed us to connect with people all over the world, to conveniently find information with the push of a button, and to access all of these in the palm of our hand, any time we want.
While these conveniences have greatly improved the way we live, they have also created a fast-paced culture that often leads to heightened stress levels and anxiety.
We are expected to respond quicker, get things done faster, look great while doing it, all while comparing ourselves to our peers on social media. This instant gratification and comparison model, when not balanced efficiently, could lead to a lot of insecurity, stress, and various mental health issues. Because there’s always something new for us to do, learn, experience, and accomplish, we put our minds in a constant state of “fight or flight”, which doesn’t allow our bodies to recuperate from day-to-day stressors.
This is why it’s extremely important for us to drown out the noise and be still so that we can enter the “rest and digest” state, letting our minds and bodies recover and get stronger. In a world full of noise, this is where meditation comes in.
A brief introduction to meditation
Meditation comes from the Latin word “meditatum”, meaning to ponder.
Meditation practices have been traced back as far as 5,000 BC. It originated in India and has been practiced in Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Jainism.
Greek philosophers Plato and Aristotle are also believed to have developed their own meditation techniques. It has been used in philosophy, religion, medicine, and celebration for centuries, leaving a profound impact on those that practice it.
Today, meditation comes in a plethora of modalities, used to encourage mindfulness, to embody loving kindness for ourselves and others, to quiet our thoughts, to see things as they really are, to practice gratitude, and so much more.
No matter the intention, there’s a form of meditation that resonates with every individual. If you still need some convincing, here are a few benefits of meditation, and why you should get started today:
It decreases stress levels and relieves anxiety
Stress and anxiety usually stem from a barrage of uneasy thoughts that seem to have too much power for us to control. Most of the time, these thoughts don’t really resolve problems but are nagging worries that don’t provide any real solutions. Meditation gives us the space to pause, quiet our minds, and take a look at those thoughts in a different light.
It helps us experience these negative thoughts differently by letting us realize that these notions are neither fact nor a part of our core selves. Through this, we are able to separate ourselves from the panic and anxiety brought about by these worries. With practice, we can train ourselves to let go of these debilitating thoughts as they come.
Meditation enhances focus and concentration
Research from Columbia University has found that meditation actually alters the structure of the brain that allows better focus and concentration. When the mind is in a meditative state, we are able to let go of any thoughts that distract us.
The constant practice of meditation reminds us to be mindful in our daily lives and allows us to focus on the task at hand completely.
Meditation ignites self-love
The art of meditation empowers us to let go of our limiting beliefs that affect our self-worth. Just taking a few minutes out of each day to meditate and quiet our mind is already a great form of self-care in itself.
There are also forms of meditation that include mantras and affirmations that help us embody our strength and worthiness. This helps us release the fear and shame we carry within us and replaces it with love and compassion for ourselves and for others.
It is used in ceremony and celebration
Modern Japanese tea ceremonies still include meditation as a very important part of celebration. Meditation and mindfulness are usually included in tea ceremonies that celebrate new seasons, give thanks for previous harvests and welcome new ones, unify people in ceremonies, and practice gratitude.
All these ceremonies include tea, usually matcha, and combine the sacred art of tea preparation with the stillness of meditation. The combination of matcha and meditation is said to be a transformative practice, even until this day.
Start your meditation journey today
Whether you’re suffering from chronic stress, need to improve your concentration, are working on feelings of worthiness, or just want to take a break from the clutter of life, meditation is definitely for you. It brings about a myriad of benefits that have long-term positive effects on your health and wellbeing.
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If you’re interested in meditation, wellness, and improving the overall quality of your life, join our growing community of individuals that are thriving through the holistic nourishment of the mind, body, and soul.