You might have heard many times how meditation can increase productivity & focus, make you happier, cultivate a sense of gratitude and help you quiet the constant chatter in your mind.
But what are some other, not so self-evident, benefits of meditation?
Finding balance in body & mind
One of the benefits of meditation is that it's a great tool to actually find balance. Many people think that it's only about quieting your mind and sitting in silence, when in reality, in the modern day it can be more about getting a break from your busy mind, connecting with your inner self and finding the balance between busy-ness and being.
Getting a break from your busy mind and relaxing your nervous system allows you to reduce the stress hormones in your body and increase the feel-good hormones. Reducing stress creates space in your life and makes it easier for you to focus on the things that really matter. And yes, you read it right, some of the benefits of meditation are actually physical!
Quieting negative self-talk
One of the most important benefits of meditation is that it helps you to cultivate kindness towards yourself and quiet your inner critic. Did you know that on average, 90 per cent of your approximately 60 000 thoughts a day are negative? Negative meaning fear, worry and stress. So getting a break from your busy mind and focusing on the present moment through meditation can help you break that cycle and allow you to channel your energy into positive self-talk whilst cultivating more self-confidence.
Enhancing cycle awareness
As mentioned, connecting with your inner self creates balance in your life and helps you recognise the things that you truly desire and things that you're ready to let go of. It also makes it easier for you to recognise when it's time to restore energy for other days, and when it's time to be super productive. So basically, meditation not only helps you connect with your inner self but it can be used as a tool to enhance your cycle awareness and notice when you should just take it easy and when it's the best time to hustle.
One of the benefits of meditation is creating clarity - clarity to recognise what you want, clarity to see the bigger picture and clarity to stay on the right path. Focusing on the present moment through meditation improves your focus. You get a break from all the stimulation in your life and can give yourself a permission to actually just focus on one thing - no matter what it is. Your brain gets to rest for a little bit and becomes filled with clarity to make better decisions.
That's why you might have heard stories of people having hunches during meditation and all of sudden having a clear picture of what direction they should take.
I think that with meditation, there's no "one size fits all" method. We all have our preferences: some love visualisations, others prefer breath awareness and you might find body scan your favourite technique. But I also think that your preferences change throughout your cycle. When you are feeling a bit tired during the Winter phase, you might need some extra love whereas in the Spring you're ready to visualise your goals, intentions and dreams.
Needless to say, there are so many benefits of meditation. Some might be more self-evident than others, and some might take longer to notice. All in all, meditation is an amazing way to reconnect with yourself, find balance, quiet the negative self-talk, enhance cycle awareness and become more clear on what you desire.