Studies have shown that a regular meditation practice can increase your mood and overall happiness by 75%.
Meditation has been given a bad rap over the years. Dan Harris, ABC’s television reporter for Good Morning America writes that after his meltdown on national television, a regular meditation practice made him 10% happier. Science is actually showing the benefits to be much more profound. Recent studies are showing us some staggering numbers. A regular meditation practice goes a lot further than just making you a chill dude. It actually changes the cells in your body and the neural pathways in your brain. Greatly decreasing depression, anxiety, heart failure, inflammation and physical pain while increasing grey matter in your brain, improving focus, memory, and emotional intelligence. They have the MRI scans to prove it too. Recent studies have shown as much as a 75% increase in overall happiness and mood. This is a significant number if you think about it. We can all relate how good we feel when only one thing in our life is going great, well how about an improvement in three-quarters of your life. Now that’s a big shift.
“But I’m not good at it” you might say, or “I just sit there trying to think of nothing and my mind keeps spinning.” This is exactly what the practice is designed for. I was like you and couldn’t sit for even 30 seconds without running through what I needed to get done tomorrow, or how I could design the parking garage at work to be more efficient. The brain runs, it’s what it does and too many of us associate with our thoughts or get frustrated. First and Foremost lets get something clear, you are NOT your thoughts. You reside underneath them, and that’s why it’s so important to calm the mind and find ourselves again.
Believe me, sitting in silence with my overactive brain was like being stuck in the car on a cross-country road trip with an angry Kathy Griffin sitting shotgun, giving me a play by play of everything we encountered and how it was all my fault. Not relaxing, to say the least. Meditation is a practice and so is quieting the mind. The more you do it, the easier it gets. If I handed you a violin you couldn’t just play a tune right away without practice. Learning to quiet the mind is the same. Most of us have allowed our brains to run flat out, no policing or parenting. So the mind continues to do so. The object of meditation is to notice you are having thoughts, then to redirect without judgment back to stillness or back to the voice of your guided meditation host.
That IS the practice. Observe, lovingly redirect without judgement and continue. As time goes, you will improve and this improvement starts to enter into your daily life. You begin to notice your thoughts that just run, you disassociate with the ones that are unsupportive and dismiss them as just thoughts. All too often we have thoughts and make judgements about ourselves based on them. The brain runs and holds thoughts all the time and that’s it. No need to read into everything al the time. In conclusion, meditation is a work in progress, don’t get frustrated, you will get better at it and the effects of a daily practice will absolutely begin to improve daily life. Happy practicing and enjoy your free guided meditation.
by: Josh Ritcher
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