I already know it makes me feel better. I already know it primes me for a great day. I already have read lots of reasons why I should, but yet I have not cemented a daily practice. I think because I expect myself to sit down for 30 minutes right away. My new expectation- 10 minutes every morning and night. I can do ten minutes.
So, if you want to improve at something, your best course of action is to teach it. So I’ve compiled my top 15 reasons why I will meditate daily from now on. I have 5 health reasons, 5 happiness and well-being, and five performance related reasons.
I loved a line by Emma Seppala, PhD – she says, it’s quite simply mental hygiene. It’s like keeping your house clean, but this is your insides.
So here they are in no order of importance, because it’s all important.
For my Health:
- It significantly reduces stress and anxiety. I tend to be a worst case scenario person, and I’ve been making huge steps in changing that mindset, but it takes true vigilance. I know that when I maintain this positive habit, those negative feelings creep in less. I ended up in a hospital 2 years ago because of a panic attack I misread as a heart attack.
- Research on Transcendental Meditation (TM), for example, has found reduced blood pressure and insulin resistance (useful for preventing diabetes), slowing of biological aging, and even a 48% reduction in the rates of heart attack, stroke and death. (link here for Medical News Today) Ok I know I can’t PREVENT death…that’s a funny statistic.
- It will keep me healthy and ward off pesky ailments. Studies show that mindfulness meditation can decrease symptoms of the cold and flu by 50%. Even without reading tons of medical journals, I have observed that my more self aware friends who have a meditation practice are virtually never sick. While those that seem to let more chaos lead their life are sick way more often!
- I’m a stress eater, and since meditation can help reduce stress and anxiety, I will stop sabotaging all my hard work exercising and having healthy eating habits whenever I let stress take over.
- I will be more focused and aware of my body, and be able to prevent strain and injury during workouts. Even by slowing down and not rushing, I won’t be tempted to be sloppy while doing strenuous tasks, (because there is no such thing as multi-tasking).
For my Happiness and Well-being
- So that I can love more fully and be loved more fully. Studies show that compassion for others, for oneself and the capacity to receive compassion from others improves with meditation.
- Because when you give more, you get more. By praying (I consider meditation to be prayer) for the well-being of others, we draw well-being to ourselves. Even just over 9 weeks, you can increase your experiences of positive emotions.
- When I become mindful of myself and my ego, I will err less on the side of my ego in my relationships, my marriage, my friendships. I can focus on healthy, loving transactions and keep my not-self from inflicting chaos and suffering.
- So that I can believe there is ENOUGH. My beliefs that I don’t have enough money or time are the same as believing there is not enough love – they are all the same. It’s a sign of my lack of faith in God’s abundance and meditation/prayer brings me closer to His abundant Love.
- So I can feel gratitude down into every cell of my body, and be able to share that Love and Faith with everyone I encounter. When I am mindful of my moods and my negative emotions, I can keep them from effecting others negatively.
To Be MORE and DO MORE:
- I used to believe in multi-tasking. I prided myself on my ability to multi task. And it ends up I was just a chicken with its head cut off running around in circles. As I have learned to slow down, what I DO is more effective and produces better results. Mindfulness meditation will further this growth.
- Meditation can actually enhance your brain and neurological system, strengthening and healing the myelin sheaths in our brains. This allows for more rapid cognitive functioning and decreases memory loss and neurological disorders. (see here)
- To increase mental functioning including executive thinking, cognition and attention (and who in this modern age doesn’t need a better attention span?) (see here)
- To decrease rigid thinking and be open to creative problem solving – so I can see solutions and opportunities in everything!
- Because being mindful will allow me to say what I mean, and mean what I say, to do things more quickly without being waylaid by random thoughts and rabbit holes in my brain. Meditation will allow me to communicate more effectively with others. In essence, by slowing down, I can speed up!