While taking care of your body is super important, it’s equally as important to take care of your MIND as well. More times than not, we’re so focused on how we can optimize our physical body, we forget that the mind plays a HUGE role in our ability to feel balanced. When it comes to self-care for the mind, there are so many different methods of flexing that muscle, staying sharp & centered, which leads me to one of my favorite rituals, meditation!
Meditation has been proven to positively impact so many different areas of your life. Everything from decreased stress, improved control over your reactions & overall emotional stability. Meditation can be something you incorporate into your morning, nighttime, or even mid-day routine!
While it may not be easy to make it an everyday habit, you do get better at it over time. I always like to think of meditation as exercise for the brain. You have to take care of your mind just like you take care of your physical body. It takes practice, but the more you can integrate it into your daily routine, the more it will come naturally and you’ll really come to enjoy it. A false assumption when it comes to meditation, is that “you’re doing it wrong,” if your mind isn’t completely clear the whole time. Meditation isn’t about staring into the abyss with a blank mind – there are so many different techniques to it! For me, I like to meditate in a way that really lets my thoughts come and go! Focusing on breath, until I get to a space where my mind is more clear. This is a technique i always encourage people to try if they haven’t meditated before. Another great way you can get into Meditation is through guided apps, like HeadSpace & Calm which can help walk you through the process of relaxing & connecting to your thoughts.
With time, jumping into meditation does get easier, and your thoughts will start to flow more freely.
Here are some of the great benefits of making a meditation practice part of your routine:
- Meditation led to a thicker brain size: A Harvard study found that the brains of experienced meditators are thicker in the areas that deal with attention and sensory input.
- Meditation was linked to better control of emotions & memory: A mindfulness program showed significant increase in grey matter in their brain, specifically in the hippocampus region of the brain associate with memory and emotions.
- Meditation has been shown to have a positive effect on genes: Another study showed the switching off of genes associated with chronic inflammatory response & on genes associated with energy function and insulin relegation.
- Meditation led to a decrease in the size of the amygdala: AKA the part of the brain associated with fight or flight, anxiety, fear & stress got smaller.
Making mediation a priority can be a game-changer for not only your mental health, but it can greatly affect your physical health too! Healthy mind, healthy body! Have you tried meditation? If so, I’d love to hear what works best for you!