Most of us walk through our days with thousands of thoughts going through our heads, driving us crazy. Some are beneficial and help us feel good. Some are unpleasant, put us in a bad mood, and don’t serve us in being the best version of ourselves.
This is where meditation comes in. Meditation releases dopamine, a major neurotransmitter that’s a key factor in motivation, productivity, and focus. It provides the zest for life and is in charge of our pleasure-reward system. With optimal levels of dopamine, we experience feelings of satisfaction, bliss, and even euphoria.
Meditation has also been shown to increase melatonin, serotonin, GABA, DHEA, Endorphins, Growth Hormone, and more. Additionally, the analysis of MRI scans have found increased gray-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, as well as in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection.
Two ways to meditate:
1. Follow a guided meditation. Apps like Insight Timer and Headspace are great for this. Oprah & Deepak also have online 21 day guided meditations that are very well done.
2. Simply follow your breath. Feel your inhale, then your exhale. Breath deeply & slowly. You can listen to calming music in the background such as rain drops or the sea shore, or sit in silence wherever you are comfortable and won’t be disturbed.
There is no need to sit cross-legged on the floor. Pick your favorite chair and make yourself comfortable. Eliminate distractions. Then just sit.
The key to meditation is consistency. It’s like a multi-vitamin for your brain. It’s good to take everyday. Thoughts will come. Allow them to pass like the clouds in the sky. Be gentle with yourself when it comes to this. It can take weeks, months or even years to calm our usual monkey minds. Allow yourself whatever time you need. No judgment.
Other great benefits of meditation include:
- A calm mind
- Good concentration
- Better clarity
- Optimal blood pressure
- Lower levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
- Decreases any tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
- Increases energy levels, while gaining an inner source of energy
- Emotional stability improves
- Increased Creativity