Why Women Meditate.
I was recently asked by a friend of mine why so many more women than men are in meditation classes, and why women seem more interested in meditation these days.
Did you know that more than half of all women report that they have trouble sleeping due to stress and anxiety? Women suffer from clinical depression and serious anxiety problems more than twice as often as men.
Jeanne Ball writes about this from her perspective as a meditation teacher for the last 25 years.
Why Women Meditate
Stress levels among women have been rising steadily for the past five years, outpacing men’s, says the American Psychological Association’s 2010 survey. Fifty percent of the women surveyed say they lose sleep at night because of stress, and report that fatigue interferes with their willpower to exercise, choose better eating habits or make healthy lifestyle changes.
Other surveys have found that nearly twice as many women than men are affected by depression and anxiety. It’s no wonder that closing the eyes and diving within — to a place where stress and fatigue melt away — has gained such widespread appeal among women.
Common Reasons Why Women
Learn To Meditate
Women attending my weekly introductory talks on the Transcendental Meditation technique are of all ages and backgrounds. Most are indeed seeking relief from daily stress, but they also come for help with depression and chronic anxiety. Some are struggling with addiction. Others were sent by their doctor because of hypertension. Many seek to connect with a deeper part of their being — something sublime within them that they intuitively know exists, if they could just find a way to access it.
The beauty of meditation is that it serves all of these women.
During meditation, the mind can transcend its busy, agitated state and experience inner silence; the body relaxes and deep-rooted stresses dissolve. The transcending process takes one’s attention to the mind’s deepest level, one’s inner source of energy and intelligence. As a result, all outer aspects of our life are enriched. It’s like when you water the roots of a flower: the petals, the stem and the leaves all get nourished from within.
Another way of understanding it is by way of brain function. Research in neuroscience has found that during TM practice, your brain becomes more coherent and integrated — all the different parts of the brain work together better as a whole. Your brain regulates all other bodily systems, say neuroscientists. More efficient brain functioning naturally results in a healthier mind and body, better able to cope with and overcome stress.1
The Ultimate Me Time — And It’s Totally Unselfish
I find that women these days do not have to be convinced that they need more rest and rejuvenation. But many do need assurance that it’s okay to take the time.
The flight attendant tells us, “Put your own oxygen mask on first and then assist your child.” For the same reasons, as women we need to take time to meditate and nourish ourselves from within, so we’ll have the wherewithal to care for and give to others.
We all know that meditation is a powerful stress-buster, and that when we’re less stressed we’re more emotionally available. But more important, research shows that effective meditation can beneficially impact high blood pressure, high cholesterol and insulin resistance, the three main risk factors for heart disease. Research funded by the National Institutes of Health found, astonishingly, that people practicing the TM technique had 50% fewer incidents of heart attack and stroke, compared to controls. Because heart disease is the number one cause of death among women, here’s another obvious case of how meditation can help ensure you’ll be there for others. Original story here.
These women briefly tell their stories about the benefits of meditation and why they learned to meditate.
Did this article and video help you to understand a little more about the various reasons why women meditate?
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