Why should you meditate?
Well, there are innumerable benefits of meditation. It may be hard for you to believe in the beginning, but mediation really has so many benefits.
It is just that it is very difficult to get started on the meditation. Also meditation has a bad reputation. People still believe it to be a voodoo art, which only spiritual people carry out.
If anything the last decades research has shown it is that the meditation really works and there is solid science behind it. We may not completely understand all the mechanisms, but the efficacy of the meditation is proven scientifically beyond doubt.
People who are spiritually oriented definitely use meditation to ride their spiritual aspirations. However this does not mean that it is only for the spiritually oriented. As we discuss more and go through the benefits of the meditation it will be obvious that meditation is for everyone.
If you ever read article 'What is meditation', you may know that meditation is an attention training to cultivate concentration. It is a method to improve our concentration. Which leads us to the obvious benefit of improving our attention and concentration.
By default our mind can not concentrate easily. What ends up happening is that the mind likes to wallow in past events and possible future worst case scenarios. And it is extremely tough to prevent our mind from doing this just by willpower.
Concentration helps our mind engage less in such random worst case scenario analysis. In reality once you start the concentration training you actually become calmer.
The reason is that you concentrate your mind on just one object or one thought and not let it sputter randomly with all types of thoughts and distractions. As such concentration also brings calmness along with it. This is crucial in reducing anxiety and worry. As such there are direct benefits of meditation to reduce anxiety and worry.see it here https://www.schoolofpositivetransformation.com/meditation-and-mindfulness-teacher-training/
If you just think of the meditation as an attention practice for improving concentration, it may not make sense to you how it can have benefits that I am going to list. The reason is that the definition of meditation being attention training is not the complete definition.
It is just its first step. The ultimate goal of the meditation is to train you to be in the present moment. First you learn to concentrate your attention. Later you train to use this concentration to attend to the present moment with full acceptance.
There is more to meditation than just the attention training. But you have to take baby steps while trying to comprehend what meditation is all about.
I will devote future articles to explain further about the meditation. But for now to get an idea about what there is for you to start meditating, I will outline the benefits that it confers.
Stress is the feeling of being overwhelmed because what is demanded of you far outpaces what you have to offer. By helping you be more centered and be in the present moment, meditation helps you address the stressful situation.
Given that meditation also entails the cultivation of acceptance, it also helps become less agitated and composed. When you are calm and composed you are less likely to become angry and worried. Meditation helps you control your anger.
We naturally cling to what is pleasurable and reject what is unpleasant. Unfortunately unpleasant things are a fact of life. This leads us to continually reject those unpleasant experiences and make us sad. The most extreme form of sadness is depression.
Meditation can help you overcome depression as well as occasional sadness.
Similarly we suffer when we are in pain. Suffering doesn't have to follow with pain. It is just that we do not like pain and want to reject pain, which leads to suffering. Meditation can help deal with pain in a better way than just taking painkillers.
Meditation makes you calm and centered person. More importantly meditation helps you slow down your reactions. You may not realize but much of our negativity is reactive. Especially we reactively judge people a lot and get angry.
It will help you not react easily. This has tremendous implications. This makes you a better parent, as you won't be easily flustered with your children. You become a better spouse as you will not be that much judgmental. You become a better coworker, again for the same reasons. Just think about the implications!
It helps you be better aware of your emotional and mental states. This leads one to make better choices. By being more present in the moment and being more aware of your emotions and thoughts one can avoid bad choices, make better choices.
In a similar way it also helps with addiction.
At the core of meditation is the idea of acceptance. You learn to accept reality as it is, not the way you want it to be. This helps people deal better with old age and death. This helps people increase their self-esteem.
Ultimately it can lead to what people refer to as enlightenment or the nirvana. But it is your choice. You can practice meditation just to enjoy the simple benefits that I listed above.