You find a quiet, peaceful location. You turn off distractions and relax in a comfortable position. You begin to focus on your breathing.
For a short time, you tune out thoughts of things that have already happened or that might happen soon. You take a break from your worries. You exist in the moment.
You’ve experienced a successful meditation practice.
But now what? What happens next?
You may be surprised to know that after meditating, things can seem a little different. This is because meditation has positive effects on both your mind and body that you may feel right away.
Here’s how a few moments of serenity can have an instant impact:
- Acceptance Of Your Present Experience
Many of us encounter times throughout our days and weeks when we feel stressed, anxious, or simply overwhelmed by what life has thrown at us. We might be facing something as seemingly innocent as a large pile of dishes to clean, or as risky as missing an important deadline at work.
Meditation can provide us immediate relief.
This is because meditation replaces the thoughts racing through our minds. As we become mindful and calm our bodies, we allow ourselves a break. Our problems won’t be gone, but we’ll emerge more collected and with a new perspective.
A few moments of meditation allows us to be present through our seemingly negative experiences, and we can calmly accept them without overwhelming emotions.
- Instant Improvements To Your Brain And Body
You may have heard that our minds and bodies are connected. This may be more than a turn of phrase. It turns out that the way we focus our thoughts through meditation can actually have a positive impact on our physical well-being.
One research study published in the Journal of Bio-Behavioral Medicine shows that mindful meditation can positively change both your body’s immune system and your brain. Another study published by the National Institute of Health (NIH) found that meditation reduces blood pressure. Both prove that meditation is a form of mind-body intervention for your health.
Longer-term meditation has even more benefits. Yet another NIH study found that it can actually change the brain’s physical structure, specifically increasing the brain’s thickness in the areas responsible for sensory and emotional processing.
So after you meditate, you won’t just have improved thoughts. You may actually physically feel better, too.
Improved Mood And Energy
That’s right. Meditation can actually make you happier and lead to better sleep.
According to research published in Science Magazine, one of the common causes of unhappiness is the tendency of our minds to wander. A study conducted at Yale University revealed that meditation is beneficial because it teaches living in the moment.
When our minds wander, we have an increase in activity in parts of our brain that lead to anxiety and lapses in attention. The study from Yale showed that meditation decreases activity in these centers. So we focus better and feel less anxious.
The same decrease in racing and wandering thoughts may also explain why research shows that people who meditate sleep better.
If you can find a few minutes to meditate, to focus, you’ll find your mood drastically improved, and you’ll have a more restful night.
So Let’s Recap:
Meditation doesn’t need to take a lot of time. But those few conscious moments can bring about incredible benefits to your mind and body.
You’ll exist more in the moment and accept experiences.
You’ll change your brain and immunity for the better.
You’ll have a decrease in your blood pressure.
You’ll feel happier, less anxious, and more focused.
You’ll get a better night’s sleep.
Meditation has an instant, mind-body impact. The second you meditate, you’ll be on your way to a happier, healthier, more balanced you.