There are quite a few benefits to meditating, whether you meditate every day or less often.
One big plus point of daily meditation is that it’s more likely to become a habit then if you meditate less regularly. And if you miss the occasional session, you’re still being quite regular with your meditation habit.
There are lots of different ways to meditate – my personal favourite (and the one I use almost every day) is with binaural beats as they make it easy but you can use guided meditations, a breathing meditation or focus on a single point. Use whichever works best for you – they will all have very similar benefits.
Practicing meditation regularly can help you to relax generally and helps reduce the pressure that stress creates in our lives.
And if you’re more stressed than usual for whatever reason, take a few minutes out to relax into a meditative state – the program I use only takes 12 minutes to do this, so you can even fit it in to a short break in your day.
This sounds surprising and it wasn’t until I checked this study that I had scientific as well as circumstantial evidence about this. It studied a particular style of meditation (these kind of studies do that quite often as it’s easier to monitor changes rather than have too many variables to consider) and found that memory levels and other things improved.
This is another positive side effect of meditation. Maybe because you’re a bit more relaxed anyway. I tend to play my daily meditation session just before I go to sleep as I find it helps me to relax into a nice, deep sleep. If your sleep patterns aren’t as good as they should be, it’s certainly worth investigating that as a method but if that doesn’t fit your routine, other people find their sleep improves even if they’ve done their meditation session a lot earlier in the day.
This benefit alone makes incorporating meditation into your daily life a good decision. Even if you think the idea of meditating is too “new age” and hippie for you!
Improved attention span
Various studies have shown that meditation improved attention spans. These studies were only done over a few days but they still showed a lot of benefit.
There was less mind wandering in most of the people studied. So if your mind has a tendency to drift further than you’d like, that’s a good reason to incorporate meditation into your daily routine.
May help control pain
Different people have different reactions to pain (and different parts of the body can generate different reactions as well, which you’ll know if you’ve ever stubbed your toe) but one experiment I’m glad I didn’t take part in measured the pain areas of the subjects mind whilst inflicting painful stimuli.
The patients who meditated coped better with this experiment.
A larger study – covering over 3,000 participants – found that those people who meditated suffered less from chronic or intermittent pain. So if you’ve got more pain in your life than you’d like, it’s definitely worth investigating this.
Likely reduced blood pressure
If your blood pressure is higher than it should be – and you may even be taking medication for it – then meditation is well worth checking ou.
This study says “meditation techniques appear to produce small yet meaningful reductions in blood pressure” which is good news. You’re not likely to stop taking medication (and obviously shouldn’t without taking professional advice) but it can help as high blood pressure has all sorts of nasty side effects.
Probably boosts your immune system
I’ve used the word “probably” because the study I found had the usual scientific caveat that more research is needed. Maybe I’m cynical but if I was a scientist looking for another grant, that’s the line I’d use.
The study showed evidence of reduced inflammation, improved immunity and a reduction in biological aging. Which has to be good news.
There are lots of benefits to meditating daily (or as close to daily as you can manage).
If you choose a meditation technique like the one I personally use. there’s no learning curve (all you have to do is download an audio file, put on your headphones and press “play”) and it takes less time than a typical coffee break.