My first real encounter with meditation was at a new church. Before the service, they did a 20-30 minute silent meditation, and it was one of the oddest things I’ve experienced.
A room full of people actively not thinking, or in my case, it was me thinking about how I shouldn’t be thinking about what others are thinking about me not thinking.
And of course all the intense, existential questions floated through my head.
Why is that person coughing?
Why didn’t that guy call me back?
Why is it so cold in here all of a sudden?
Who decided this was a good idea?
Why didn’t I eat before we came?
It seemed like an impossible task to slow my brain down, so I started practicing in moments. 5 seconds at a stop light. 1 minute on the elliptical, 15 minutes before I went to sleep. Slowly and surely it became easier and quicker to quiet everything, and it paid off. I was less frazzled, more energetic and decisive. It was easier to concentrate, and I’m pretty sure I ate less snacks ( the jury is still out on that.)
Other people have also experienced amazing results from meditating, and here are the top 6 reasons every millennial should be meditating.
Don’t hit the snooze button: Improved sleep
Studies show that people who mediate enhance their slow wave sleep pattern, and that helps lessen insomnia. Also, you are able to clear your mind and close out any leftover tasks or lingering thoughts of the day. This means you aren’t going to bed stressing about what you didn’t finish at work or what someone said on their Instagram story.
Summer bodies are made in the meditation room: Release excess weight
When you’re stressed, you produce cortisol. When in excess, too much cortisol can lead to increased abdominal fat, decreased muscle mass and dampened thyroid action. On top of that, add in stress eating, and none of this leads to a sexier you. Reduce your stress, reduce that waistline.
What did you say?: Better focus
People tend to lose focus because their mind is filled with too many options, tasks, and decisions that feel like they need to be handled right...now. Meditation allows you to clear your mind and focus on one thing at a time, which helps you to be way more productive.
Worrying is praying for what you don’t want: Be solution focused
When people continually focus on problem and it’s cause instead of switching to the solution, it can cause them to get stuck on the negative and see it as immovable obstacle. Those who are solution focused are able to see and acknowledge the issue, and are able to move through it, or see it as an opportunity. Obviously, those who tend to be problem solvers instead of problem stumblers tend to be more successful in all areas of life.
Let’s get it on: Better relationships
Ever date someone who says they are confused? Oh, I hear you, and I have also been that person. The better you understand your values, feelings, and emotions, the easier it is to communicate it to your partner. It’s easier for you to ask for what you want when you actually know what you want.
Nine dots: More creativity
Researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands studied focused-attention and open-monitoring meditation to see if there was a change in creativity afterwards. For those who practiced the open-monitoring type, they did better on tasks that asked them to come up with new ideas then the focused-attention group. Creativity is vital. This is how new technology, new companies, and new processes happen, and unfortunately, our current education system isn’t focused on helping people learn that talent.
What do you think about meditation? Sound off below.