The Science on Why Meditation is the Beez Kneez
Pretty much, no matter what life stage you’re at, you’re always going to have the up’s and downs of life’s natural ebb and flow. Life is amazing one min, and can also be f*&king stressful the next…but one ten min-a-day activity you can do to live your life with a sense of clarity, confidence and calm is practising meditation.
FYI: Mindfulness meditation activates the ‘rest & digest’ part of our nervous system which helps with stress management.
Firstly Why Meditation is Beneficial
Meditation helps you sleep
Meditation Boosts Melatonin. One powerful neurochemical, “melatonin” is critical to the falling asleep process. Manufactured in the brain, melatonin is a hormone whose levels peak just before bedtime, ensuring you get a night of deep, restful sleep
Meditation makes you smarter
Meditation transforms the prefrontal cortex area of the brain. The “prefrontal cortex” — the front part of your brain, also called the thought orchestrator, happiness centre, and “CEO” of the brain is a key area meditation transforms. A study by Harvard neuroscientist Dr Sara Lazar discovered that meditators had much more density, thickness, and neural activity within their “left prefrontal cortex” — and it just so happens they discovered this from Albert Einstein’s actual brain.
Meditation makes you happier
How? -Meditation Grows the Brain’s “Happy” area
Meditation is now scientifically proven within the neuroscientific and psychological research communities as the “holy grail” for a variety of mental health issues, including anxiety and depression. Thousands of brain scientists have stated – the more you meditate, the happier and healthier you will become.
Meditation makes you respond better to stress
Meditation transforms your stress response system in the brain. Known as the anxiety, stress, and fear centre of the brain, an overactive amygdala can lead to a whole host of problems, including the unnecessary initiation of our “fight or flight” response. Meditation naturally transforms the structure of our brains, resulting in a major stress response upgrade.
Meditation boosts endorphins
Meditation induces the same happy feeling as running. Responsible for the all-encompassing sense of happiness we sometimes feel, endorphins are a category of neurotransmitters that the body uses as an internal painkiller. Joggers have coined the term “runners high” to describe how wonderful the endorphin rush feels after a nice, long run. This happy, zen-like, alert state of bliss. Several studies have shown meditation also induces this mind-state with consistent practice.
FYI: ACCORDING TO NEUROSCIENTISTS, your brain actually reshapes itself as you continue to meditate, even though you’re not aware of it.
A Few Simple Ways to Get Started with Meditation
Getting started with mediation is as easy as downloading an app and allocating just 5 – 10 mins each day. Once you find you’re getting into it you can start to increase your timing and frequency – however, you don’t need to either.
Learn to Meditate with Headspace (free for 10 days)
The Headspace app is by far the best to learn the foundations of meditation. It offers a 30 day guided meditation course with 10 min sessions each day. You then have the option to purchase an annual subscription with access to loads of different themed sessions; including, focus, sleep, compassion, clarity & productivity.
Spotify & iTunes Music (monthly subscription)
With your monthly subscription to either iTunes or Spotify search ‘meditation’ or ‘guided meditation’ and you’ll find several options to stream.
There are loads of meditation based podcasts, as above, simply search a term related to meditation and trial anything you like the sound of.
Insight Timer (free)
InsightTimer is a free app with more than 7,000 free guided meditation, music tracks, talks and courses.
Youtube is home to sooo many different meditation videos, some great and some not so great but simply search ‘guided meditation’ and experiment with any of the options that speak to you.