I arrived late at the meditation party. Born in the sixties and raised in the seventies and eighties, many of my friends and relatives had jumped on the bandwagon way before I did. Transcendental Meditation, Buddhism, Hinduism, stonedism… even though I always had hippie tendencies, it still was just a bit too “floaty” for me.
Then I discovered Headspace and everything changed. Headspace advocates meditation that had nothing to do with religion or spirituality and everything to do with mental and physical health. Along with this video by news anchor Dan Harris, Headspace made meditation something real and attainable by actual people as opposed to gurus. It showed me that there is science behind the assertion that meditation is seriously good for you. On this page, Headspace shows many different areas that meditation is good for your mental health.
I could put together a technical blog outlining some of the research that explains exactly what scientists are finding, but it’s probably way about my head. I know because I tried. There were words being thrown about like neuroplasticity, cognitive control and amygdala. But basically, it’s like this: When we practice mindful meditation, it physically changes our brain and has a number of positive outcomes. One study found that meditation helps increase the brains ability to pay attention… according to the study a “wandering mind” is indicative of lower levels of happiness. Individuals with an increased ability to “live in the moment” instead of regretting the past or worrying about the future are over all happier. Meditation helps with that.
Another article on Forbes that suggests that meditation may actually rival medications in treating depression…without the side effects.
I’m a total believer. I feel as if meditation has increased both my focus and my creativity. I take twenty minutes out of my morning to meditate and I feel the effects for the rest of the day. By being able to focus more fully on each task, I not only accomplish more but I enjoy it a lot more, as well.
And that, is a very, very good thing.