We’ve all heard it’s good to take time to meditate. But what are the benefits, really?  

Here’s 5 reasons why it’s worth your time and effort:

IT REDUCES STRESS – With all the studies showing the ill effects stress has on our bodies, (headaches, upset stomach, high blood pressure, heart problems etc etc) it seems anything we can do to reduce stress in our lives is worthwhile.

IT REDUCES AGING – Billions of dollars are spent on products to slow the signs of aging…one free resource is meditation! Harvard studies show meditation improves the functioning of your brain, improves metabolism (i.e. weight reduction), and increases immunity. Stress reduces the functioning capacity of your body and speeds the aging process.  When the nervous system is allowed to rest, the functioning of your entire body improves.

MENTAL BENEFITS – Bringing the brainwave patterns into a relaxed state decreases anxiety, and increases creativity, focus, clarity, happiness and peace of mind.   

EMOTIONAL BENEFITS – With a regular practice of meditation, emotional stability improves. Meditation allows us to feel inner expansiveness, calm and joy. Problems become smaller and we can handle the highs and lows of life more.

SOCIAL BENEFITS – When we are happier, less anxious and calmer, we operate with more harmony in our lives and that automatically has a positive effect on others and the world around us.  

If you’ve never meditated, here’s a quick “how-to”. Sit up straight with your feet firmly on the ground. Try to be in a quiet place with no distractions. Close your eyes. Then breathe. Start to notice your breath more. Focus on breathing in and out. When thoughts come in, let them float by like a wisp of smoke. That’s it! Truly, if you just take 5 minutes a day to do this and focus on your breath while quieting your mind, you will reap benefits! It’s just that simple.  

If you’re a seasoned meditator but have fallen away from your practice…come back! You know it’s worth the effort. AND if you weren’t that crazy about the style you tried before, choose a different one. There’s active meditation (taking a walk), chanting meditation, guided meditations, etc etc. You will find one that suits you.  

OR please come and join us on Wednesday nights at 5:30pm at the Live Well Clinic in La Quinta to learn about meditation and practice it with a group leader who has been meditating for more than 20 years!  

Leila McCauley is a Certified Personal Coach and a Marriage and Family Therapist with a focus on Spiritual Psychology at Live Well Clinic in La Quinta.  For more information regarding best practices for self-care call us at (760)771-5970.