When the meditation stool seems a trifle hard on the buttocks, that’s the time to remember what it’s all for. I’m reading David Michie’s Hurry Up and Meditate, an easily digestible, down-to-earth overview which has me wondering why I let my meditating lapse when things seem dull, arduous or anarchic.
As David says, the busier you are, the more you need to meditate, because the more you meditate, the more you get done! He helpfully divides the many proven benefits into two categories: physical and psychological.
I’ve picked out my favourite five to share with you. So when skepticism raises its cynical head and looks askance at your aching bottom, put things into perspective with these Five Fabulous Meditation Motivators:
Motivators: 1. Look and feel younger
Regular meditation slows ageing. I know – it sounds ridiculous. But it’s true. Meditators have much younger biological ages than non-meditators. Studies show that meditating elevates the hormone DHEA, which usually declines with age. Elevating DHEA has a host of marvellous knock-on effects which are implicated in increased health and longevity.
2. Less stress
Meditation is a highly effective stress buster. The body relaxes in a way that does not happen with normal resting. Meditating releases endorphins which make us feel good. It lowers blood pressure.
3. A stronger immune system
Meditating daily boosts your immune system and helps fight off those wearing winter colds and flus. Think of all the time, tissues and misery that saves.
4. Healthy thinking
Meditating changes the way you think. Being able to watch the workings of your mind helps you replace negative thinking and catastrophising with more positive, detached thoughts.
5. A happier brain
Meditating changes your brain, rewiring it for greater happiness. Scans show that meditation increases activity in the part of the brain (the left prefrontal cortex) associated with positive mood. This mood shift is generalised – positive mood increases overall, not only during meditation itself.
After writing that list, I’m off to my meditation cushion. Here’s to meditating for youth, health, peace and happiness!