I've been meditating on and off for a few years now, and whenever I do, I notice the difference: my mind is clearer; my ability to focus is noticeably better and I feel calmer - read: it’s a great way to reduce my anxious tendencies!
There are a whole host of benefits a regular meditation practice can offer us, but one of the most significant is being able to use it as a tool to help calm our mind and provide us with greater clarity in order to think clearly (and make better decisions); improve our creativity; and ultimately thrive in life.
Meditation is simply about allowing our minds and bodies to completely relax and just be. Not thinking about our to-do list, or washing we need to do - but being completely present in this moment and giving our minds an opportunity to be completely still.
The benefits of meditation have been widely documented, and I find it fascinating to note that all of the top successful entrepreneurs including Tony Robbins, Tim Ferris, Pat Flynn - all swear by it.
Here are five awesome reasons why you should consider adding it to your daily routine:
1. A Calm and clear mind.
Its amazing what we can achieve in a day with a clear mind. In a world that is always 'on' and endless stimulation it is no wonder that our minds are experiencing information overload on a daily basis.
Mediation allows us the opportunity to still our mind and focus on the present moment - not the past or the future.
Being able to silence our minds is not the goal of meditation - it is simply to become aware of our thoughts and not get attached to the stories associated with them.
A clear mind provides us with a renewed sense of energy to take on our day.
2. Improved productivity and focus.
Meditation offers us a way to improve our productivity and focus as it teaches us the skill of being able to focus our mind and putting us back in the driver seat.
We have countless distractions that we're presented with on a daily basis, but through meditation we can train our mind to focus on the here and now.
This sounds a lot easier than it is, I will admit - but regular practice will help to master this skill which is when we start to see the hugely transformational benefits begin to filter into our life.
3. Increased self-awareness.
A busy mind makes it much harder to be able to hear our inner guide and the subtle nudges it sends us. Having a calm and clear mind allows us to tune into this voice much more easily and meditation creates the space for this.
I know I can get caught up in my own head at times and find meditation really helpful for ‘clearing the mental clutter’ so to speak.
4. Reduced stress.
Studies have shown that when we give our minds and bodies the opportunity to unwind through meditation, our stress hormone levels decrease, reducing the risk of stress related diseases.
Meditation also helps us to build up our resilience towards stressful situations, meaning we can be less-reactive given we're strengthening our ability to deal with these circumstances with a calm and clear mind.
5. Improved sleep.
When we have a busy mind that won't shut off this makes sleep often difficult. I know that I've definitely struggled to fall asleep on more than one occasion and putting my meditation skills to use has been incredible.
To help increase my own knowledge and understand more about the mindfulness philosophies behind meditation, I’ve been going weekly meditation class which has been super helpful to learn and apply the techniques to my own practice.
I first started out with 5 minute meditations, but have now increased this to 10 minutes each morning. The difference it makes is noticeable and when I skip a day I can tell!
The great thing about meditation is that it’s a mindfulness tool available to everyone and we can do from anywhere.
There are no barriers to entry and while there are definitely tools and apps that we can pay for to help us understand more about it and help deepen our practice - essentially we can practice for free!
Here are some of my favorite tools to I highly recommend + use all the time:
The lovely Tahlee is the genius behind Sonessence and has created beautiful meditation music based on the concept of meditones, which are designed to stimulate relaxed neural activity.
They are super powerful and leave you in a state of pure bliss and are like nothing you’ve heard before. In a word: they are magic.
I’m a big fan of Connie’s work and she has created a gorgeous series of 8 meditations for inner transformation that focus on a few different areas including embracing your emotions; manifesting your desires and opening your heart. Check out the samples here.
Buddhify is a great little app has loads of different guided meditations and is brilliant if you’re just starting out. There are meditations specifically dedicated to different scenarios like waking up, going to sleep, starting your day with intention and dealing with emotions like anxiety and stress.
What I love about the app is that you can choose to do a quick 5 minute mediation or a longer one depending on how much time you have.
I'd love to know - do you have a meditation practice? What are your favourite apps and tools you use?