Think of mental health as a partner with physical health. What you eat helps, but what you think and how you act are also contributors to your overall health. Mental health, especially in today's society, is crucial to a holistic life. One way to improve our mental health is through mindfulness meditation.
Why Mindfulness Meditation?
It's easier to do. Anyone of us can practice mindfulness meditation, no matter our religion, culture, or mindset.
Most of the time, we're replaying the same thoughts over and over in our mind. With mindfulness meditation, we can see the thoughts as they are, then let them go. It's a non-judgmental way of looking at life.
The primary focus of meditation is to try. Meditation is the effort put into clearing the mind and understanding our thoughts. That train of thought we have all the time will come and go, but it's all about starting over and repeating the process. Breathe in, breathe out, and when we lose our focus, we come back to the breath.
Also, science has evidence supporting the benefits of mindfulness meditation.
Benefits to Mindfulness Meditation
1) More aware
Mindfulness means being more aware of our surroundings. As humans, it's good to get into a rhythm. We can create positive habits like brushing our teeth and eating quality food. Sometimes, these habits can negatively affect our lives, and we don't notice these habits slowly killing us.
We can see our habits without judging ourselves for having those negative habits. Through meditation, we can change those habits towards a positive and healthy life.
2) Clear minds = clear thinking
With a clear mind, we think clearly. Mindfulness meditation removes the fog from our thoughts. Sometimes we can get down on ourselves for thinking negative thoughts. For instance, we feel guilty for feeling guilty, or ashamed for feeling ashamed. We're human. Thoughts and feelings make up who we are as human beings. That's in the contract we signed at birth.
Once we recognize our thoughts and feelings as normal behavior for humans, we have a clearer understanding of the world around us.
We can improve our sense of self-worth and mood through meditation. Once our mood improves, then we can focus more on the task at hand. Emotions would stabilize, letting us make better decisions.
4) More empathy and compassion
With meditation, we can understand other people's struggles and pain. We can be there for our friends and truly listen to their problems. Instead of focusing on our own problems, we can help our friend with their problems by listening.
5) Better physical health
Having problems with weight loss? Meditate. Can't sleep at night? Meditate. Worried about your immune system? Meditate.
If you're worried at all about your physical health, focus on your mental health through meditation. Studies have shown meditation links with physical health. Meditation enhances your life, along with a healthy diet and proper exercise.
As we meditate, our brain changes. We start to notice the world in a different lens. Because our brain adapts to this new reality, we are more creative. We can solve unique problems and create better works of art if we focus on our mental health.
7) The more we know, the more we don't know
Even the experienced meditators haven't solved all of life's problems. Meditation is a long process, but in the process we will find that life is life. Nothing more, and nothing less. We will appreciate the small things in life more. Grass clippings can fill our nose and give us life (unless we have outdoor allergies). We see a beautiful rose, so we stop and smell it.
Meditation -- a cheap alternative to drugs, alcohol, and comfort food -- can help us live a more holistic lifestyle.