The Benefits of Meditation in Everyday Life I mean it was always meant for the mind, and the intention behind it lies with the meditator. Pre-historically it started as early as 1500BCE in India, who would have thought at the time it would still be around? That in itself maybe a message of the power of meditation and its’ ongoing benefits for the modern day stressed out individual to embrace. Why learn to meditate? Life is sometimes very difficult and this year 2020 has been a historic year for mankind, Covid19 reared its head and every human being has had to deal with some form of stress, anxiety, worry and frustration and loss. While we cannot control what happens around us, we do have the potential to take control of our own emotions and the potential to transform the way in which we relate to these things. If you have always wanted to try meditation or are curious then there are many platforms and sites that can give you an excellent path to trying it out. You can meditate for 1 minute, 1 hour or 1 day if you wish, the choice is entirely yours! Below are some of the amazing benefits of embedding a meditation practice into your lifestyle. Meditation soothes your nervous system When a person meditates, their body starts to go into a state of rest and relaxation, this activates the parasympathetic nervous system (our body’s natural rest and digest response) and meditation calms the body and soothes the nervous system. This has amazing benefits for the body and helps with reducing blood pressure, lowers the heart rate, decreases the stress hormone, cortisol to name a few. The parasympathetic nervous system supports the body to enable all its organs to function at their best, keeping you healthy and happy. Meditation helps you to lose weight Meditation gets your body and mind to connect by raising awareness of the mind body connection. In essence your mind becomes more in tune with your body and what it needs and when. Mindless eating is the biggest cause of weight gain and through meditation one can start to become very mindful and practice learning to tune into the appetite and potentially prevent over eating. The more in touch you become with the mind, the body connects and it’s easier to stay healthier, eat right and maintain or lose weight. Meditation helps you to sleep (better) When the mind is calm, the body will follow! Meditation really supports in calming down the nervous system so your body can relax and fall asleep at night. Meditation can help you deal with turning down the racing mind and the chitter chatter of the day. Meditation helps you to train your mind to let your thoughts go and this helps you to find more tranquillity. Yoga nidra is another form of meditation also known as a yogic sleep and a short – guided session can feel like you have had six hours of sleep. Follow the link below to listen to one of my personal favourite guided meditations by Jason Stephenson. Meditation makes you a happier and more peaceful person There’s a reason behind the laughing and smiling faces of Buddha statues and figurines; meditation makes you happy and feel content and at peace. Meditation allows you the space to process your thoughts and gives you tools to release stress and negativity. Meditation allows you to bring things into perspective and see the bigger picture and also to let go of stuff that doesn’t serve your mind. When the mind is calm, the emotions are calm, and you end up feeling happier and more peaceful. Notice yourself, maybe you don’t react to things like you used to before…maybe you just let that stuff go! Meditation shows… ‘YOU ARE NOT YOUR MIND’ The mind is something other than what you truly are, we tend to identify with the constant voices in our heads and believe those voices. Our mind is full of thoughts and feelings, and we can use meditation to make space and to choose the ones that we react to. When we have the space in our mind, we can distinguish thoughts that are realities and start to eliminate the ones that are just a human experience. Meditation teaches us to watch our lives like a movie unfolding around us, and we play the leading role in the movie. This detachment from our experiences helps bring us greater peace, knowing that we don’t have to take everything in our heads so personally or seriously! Eckhart Tolle is a sought after public speaker and published author and is widely regarded for his influential spiritual books on practising meditation and living in the present. You can follow the link below and check out his wisdom here. Meditation is not about emptying the mind or stopping thoughts. The mind’s nature is to think. We meditate to see our thoughts more clearly. Meditation is not checking out or escaping your problems or duties. Meditation is a form of self-care and in the modern world we live in it can help with easing anxieties and stresses. I hope this article gives you some inspiration to try meditation as a tool to support your mental and emotional health. Written by Kam Bola, Wellbeing Life-Coach, Yoga and Meditation teacher. Kam is Birmingham based and has been an educator for 19 years, working with adults supporting mental, emotional and physical health. Kam teaches in a number of yoga studios across the city and you will find her working in grass roots communities empowering women to be the best version of themselves. Kam works at ACP The Family Wellbeing Centre in Birmingham. Follow her on Instagram acp.birmingham and @kambola.lifecoach.