Five Ways Meditation Will Enhance Your Life

These days with our high stress and hectic lifestyles, meditation is often advised as a method of unwinding and stress relief. And while it undoubtedly helps in those areas, there are several reasons that are just as important why a daily meditation routine will bring great rewards to your life.
Philosopher and CEO Brian Johnson outlines five of these reasons in his video ‘How to Meditate without moving to the Himalayas.
1. Strengthen your mind. Brian calls it ‘going to the gym for your attention muscles.’ Being able to focus your mind where you want it is paramount to achieving your dreams in life. Our lives are crammed with so many diverse factors all requiring our attention– work, family, friends, social media– that our minds are constantly jumping from one thing to the next– monkey mind, it’s called. Meditation will improve your concentration skills and assist you learn to focus your mind on one particular topic, which leads to greater productivity and also a greater sense of calmnes and contentment.
2. Build willpower. Scientists have discovered that how much willpower a person has is a more reliable predictor of their success in every area of their life than any other factor. Even if you think you fall short in that department, willpower can be cultivated, and like other qualities, the more you do it, the better you get at it. This follows on from number one, as while you’re strengthening your attention muscles, you’re also building your willpower muscles.
3. Optimize your immune system. With many of us on the go from morning to night, our adrenal system, which manages our stress hormones, is constantly overworked. This means our immune system is not working effectively, which results in not only a greater susceptibility to illness but also tiredness, low energy and even depression. Just as little as 10 minutes meditation a day can relax the body enough so that your immune system has a chance to revitalize itself.
4. Change your DNA. Yes, you can actually do that. Contrary to previous beliefs our genes are not fixed and scientists have uncovered that in a process called epigenetics, our thoughts, behaviors and environment influence how our genes are expressed. They’ve also discovered that a regular meditation practice can alter our genetic expression, with as little as 12-15 minutes of meditation in 8 weeks. In practical terms this means that someone who is genetically predisposed to being extremely anxious can change that– ie become less anxious, by a daily meditation routine.
5. Connect to something bigger than you. This doesn’t automatically mean God, it may be the universe, life force – whatever you want it to be. It essentially means tapping into the spiritual part of you, however you view it. With our lives very much in the real world and a million different things to sidetrack us, it’s very difficult to get a sense of ourselves as a part of the universe. Being able to feel a connection to something outside of ourselves helps to obtain a perspective on our lives and feel more connected to others.
The most important thing to bear in mind is that meditation doesn’t have to involve sitting for an hour each day humming “Omm.” As little as 10 minutes a day of sitting in a peaceful spot and slow, deep breathing can have a dramatic effect on your life.

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