3 Benefits of Meditation 

3 signs of meditation

If you could adopt a technique that helps you fall asleep faster and helps you stay asleep through the night, would you try it? That’s just one of the benefits of a regular meditation practice. Meditation or mindfulness can ease the stressors of daily life by simply focusing on breathing techniques. 

1. Improve Insomnia 

If you’re having a hard time falling and staying asleep, then it might be helpful to know that meditation could improve your insomnia. Research suggests long-term meditating can be as effective as sleep medication, both of which improve sleep quality. 

Longer exhales than inhales as the common meditation techniques, slows down the heart rate, which also calms the nervous system. According to the Sleep Foundation, a calm nervous system reduces oxidative stress and improves insulin resistance. 

2. Reduce Stress 

Stress is an inevitable part of life, but with proper meditation techniques it can be managed or significantly reduced. As your body detects stress, cortisol increases, resulting in an increase in your heart rate. Meditation lowers this stress hormone, allowing your heart rate to return to normal. 

3. Benefiting from A Friendlier You 

Meditation brings a new level of awareness that can generate a friendlier you. There’s a type of meditation, called Metta that affirms positive affirmations towards yourself. Research shows this type of meditation that focuses on positive affirmations, “May I be kind, May I be happy, May I be healthy” generates feelings of compassion towards oneself and one’s neighbors. 

Over a three-week period of practicing Metta meditation, those who successfully completed it had more positive emotions and showed more empathy towards other people. 

Start off your practice with a beginner’s 5-minute meditation. 

  1. Sit or lie in a comfortable position with hands gently relaxed on your lap. 
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. With no judgment, simply observe your breathing. 
  4. Bring your attention to each inhale and exhale (Longer exhale than inhale), then bring awareness to each rise and fall of your belly. 

While acute stress is normal and expected, chronic stress disrupting your day-to-day life is not. Know that you are not alone and there are resources available for you. Calm, The Percent Happier, and Headspace just to name a few are trusted guided meditation apps available for download. Reach out to a trusted friend, coworker or call the SAMHSA’S National Hotline 1-800-662-4357

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