Research now proves that one of the benefits of meditation is the effects it has on the brain. People who meditate regularly actually transform and increase brain “grey matter” which is the wonderful stuff that stores our knowledge and helps us function. With MRI technology and scientific studies, they have discovered actual increases in brain activity levels on those subjects who were using meditation. The effects seem to linger after meditation as well.
Over the course of several months the group that mediated had physical and emotional benefits that the non-mediation group. They reported feeling calm, less reactive to stressful situations, more decisive, less worried and fearful. They also said they slept more restfully and felt more energetic.
Imagine if you could experience just ONE of these benefits. How would being less worried and fearful be for you? What would that feel like? Think for a moment about your biggest fear or worry in your life, and then imagine that feeling melting away. Meditation isn’t going to fix your problems but it will give you tools to deal with some of them, and a little help is better than none.
Meditation turns your thoughts inward and you gain more understanding and acceptance of yourself and others around you. Once you have greater acceptance and not as much criticism you will notice a change in the way people treat you. There is less agitation and more compassion. Meditation can begin to make a path for all those things to happen. The change really starts with you.
If you aren’t feeling better after you meditate chances are you may benefit from a little guidance from a person who is more highly trained than you are. You can start at home if you like and then when you feel comfortable you could join a small meditation group lead by someone who has more experience than you. It is a great way to learn and get ideas.
Trying different kinds of meditation will help keep it fresh. Like any activity, if you don’t work on it and practice it will just slip away. I think nature is one of the best inspirations for meditation. It changes all the time, the smells, colors and sounds create such a peaceful environment for deep mindful meditation. Get out there and try meditating on the beach or at the park or along the bank of a river or stream. You’ll get a little exercise and relax at the same time.