With the COVID-19 pandemic changing life as we know it for the foreseeable future, properly managing stress is more important than ever. Stress causes many ailments we suffer from, such as depression, high blood pressure, digestive issues, and memory problems. It can also weaken our immune system, which makes us more susceptible to coronavirus. This is precisely why it is so important to take time out every day for yourself and meditate. Meditation time can be as simple as laying down with your eyes closed for 10 min and just focusing on breathing and clearing your mind. It is an important time to slow down, feel your body, and not stress about all the little things you worry about every day.
Here are reasons why Health Fitness Revolution believes you should incorporate meditation into your daily lifestyle routine:
- It leads to neuroplasticity and improved concentration: This is your brain’s ability to change, something very important as you age. The act of sitting still itself requires a lot of focus on the mind, so over time, it should also improve your concentration while working from home. Better concentration means better attention to what you might be lacking in your personal or social life. The Buddha is one of the most influential pioneers for mindfulness meditation, where he is known to have meditated under the Bodhi Tree for 7 days without moving.
- It increases gray matter: This is associated with attention, memory, and decision making. It also means your brain is aging at a slower pace. Meditating for just 8 weeks has been shown to alter the brain’s gray matter, which explains why practitioners experience notable improvements in memory, sense of self, empathy, and stress, according to a new study led by Harvard.
- It can be better than sleep: A study tested alertness levels of people who had napped, meditated, and watched TV. Those that had meditated were 10% more responsive and alert than the two other groups.
- It lowers blood pressure and promotes better overall health: In a three-month study, 80% of those that meditated every day saw a reduction in blood pressure. Studies show that meditation can lower blood pressure, help cardiovascular and immune systems regulate better, and also can help prevent arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression in mothers to be, anxiety and panic disorders, and get better sleep at night.
- Helps create acceptance within yourself and others: In a society that can be driven by social groups, it can be hard to find yourself in this world. Meditation can help create acceptance about yourself and remove the stigmas of trying to be perfect or putting pressure on one’s self. It allows you to be relaxed in a safe zone where you can be yourself.
- Promotes emotional well-being and reduces stress: If you are stressing out with the COVID-19 pandemic and related uncertainties, or struggling with depression because of it, studies show that meditation can improve that current state and increase more optimism and relieve mood tensions. A Harvard Study also showed that regular meditation can improve the stress receptors in the brain.
- Improves sleep quality: The deep relaxation technique has been shown to increase sleep time, improve sleep quality, and make it easier to fall (and stay) asleep. Sleep is also a great immune booster– which is paramount in fighting viruses- such as COVID-19.
- Increases happiness: Meditation is a powerful tool that allows you to tune into your inner consciousness that might not always present. We all lead busy lives, especially during this pandemic when we are balancing work, homeschooling kids, and maintaining our interpersonal relationships. It can be hard to be present in the moment and taking quiet time out encourages you to submerge yourself in the present moment and be self-aware of things that you could achieve with the right mindset.
- Beauty benefits: We can try all the beauty products and face creams out on the market, but there are benefits to meditation that truly enhances both inner and outer beauty. By meditating, we are getting fresh oxygen in and out of our respiratory system when focused. This eliminates the buildup of bad toxins and aid in releasing chemical and/or hormonal imbalances. Also, a good meditation practice increases blood flow circulation to the surface of the skin, creating a nice subtle glow for the face.
- Meditation can be practiced at home and it is free: The best thing about meditation is that you can practice it anywhere at any time, by finding a quiet space at home, or even in your car (if you need a little distance from the family while in quarantine). Also, meditation is free! There are no costs to meditation as long as the effort and focus are put in, you can enjoy all the benefits of meditation!