Christian Meditation; Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
Studies over the past couple of decades have demonstrated that meditation does indeed impact almost every facet of your wellbeing. Mindfulness meditation.
Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
Let’s talk about how to start meditation practice. First, you’re going to want to find a place where you feel at ease, and you’re relatively free of distraction.
This could be your bedroom. This can be a comfortable chair in your house. It can be out in your backyard or on a trail in a local park.
Once you find that place, you’re going to want to find something to focus your mind, and it could be one of three things.
First, that could be your breath. You can focus on the rise and fall of your abdomen as you breathe the temperature of the air as it enters and leaves your nose.
You could also focus on a mantra, a word or phrase that you repeat throughout your meditation.
Finally, you can focus on a natural area around you that offers those sounds; there’s plenty of YouTube videos.
You can listen to and plug your headphones in, or you can look at the many meditations that have those sorts of things available.
Once you have your mind fixed on whatever that focal point is, you want to try to keep it there as long as you can start with just a couple minutes, even just two minutes to begin, extend to five or 10 minutes, and maybe as much as a half-hour.
If you feel comfortable as you sit there focusing on your breath or the mantra or the sounds around you, you’re going to find that your mind wanders.
The mind does all the time. When it does that, just gently redirect your brain back to your focal point.
That mantra of the sounds is your breath. Every time you redirect your Focus without judgment, don’t beat yourself up over it.
It’s going to happen. Every time you redirect your Focus back, your mind gets more robust and better at focusing.
I know your brain is not a muscle, but it acts like one in this way. The longer you practice meditation, the better you’re able to do it, the better you’re able to focus on what you’re asked to focus on.
Actual physical changes that happened in your brain as a result of meditation practice. After only eight weeks of meditating for about 30 minutes a day, participants in one study showed significant changes in the size of four regions of their brains.
Changes in brain
Three parts of the brain grew in size, becoming larger and thicker.
First is the prefrontal cortex, which is located about where you’d expect in the front of your brain.
It’s responsible for planning for the future, making rational decisions, and making sure the rest of the brain works smoothly.
The second part of the brain that grows in size, it’s the hippocampus. This part is responsible for forming new memories.
Finally, there’s a temporal, parietal junction located towards the back of the brain, and it’s responsible for taking in and dealing with all the sensory info that comes our way during the day.
It helps us make sense of where we are with our physical environment, and it helps us shift her attention between all the different things going on around us.
One part of the brain actually shrunk a bit in size in the study. This part is the amygdala, and it’s responsible for the fear and worry responses to the fight and flight reaction to danger.
It’s great to have to work in Magdala, especially if there’s a physical threat; however, today’s modern world fight and the flight response may not be effective when dealing with working through an exam managing the responsibilities of a stressful job.
In those times, it’s better to have that prefrontal cortex running the show rather than the amygdala, hijacking things and getting in the way of clear, rational thought.
Having a slightly smaller Magdala in a world with more mental stressors and physical dangers is highly advantageous.
Benefits of Mindfulness Meditation
With all these changes in the brain’s physical structure come pretty radical changes as well in how the brain functions.
Increased Focus and concentration
Suppose you’re sitting there meditating for 30 minutes a day, focusing, concentrating on your breath, or the sounds around you or a mantra. In that case, you’re probably going to be better concentrating during other times of your day.
And that’s precisely what the studies show. Meditators have an easier time focusing on what’s going on in front of them than non-meditators.
Besides, the meditators also tend to have a faster reaction time, making decisions more quickly. This comes in handy while driving and at school or in the office as well as in athletics.
If you start meditating, you might find that your mind works more efficiently, that is, You can accomplish the same task throughout your day, but more quickly and using less mental energy.
That means if you spend 30 minutes in the morning meditating, the same task that you would usually have could be done more quickly and more efficiently.
And at the end of the day, when you come home, you have more energy for your hobbies, your family, and your friends.
The final brain boost is from the hippocampus; the hippocampus is responsible for the memories. And as you might expect, meditators do have better memories than non-meditators.
Meditation Alleviates Depression
The brain is also responsible for controlling our emotions. Your thoughts and studies show that meditation is as effective as medication in depression and anxiety and alleviating those symptoms.
Reduces Fight/Flight Response
Another benefit of meditation is that smaller and Magdala meditators have a reduced fight and flight response and the stress and social anxiety that might come from that heightened fight and flight response.
Helps in Managing stress
Finally, meditators do better when it comes to managing stress. Stress is a benefit to us when it’s in small doses.
When life happens in stressful situations come our way, they can strengthen us, and they can help us to push ourselves forward and to grow.
However, when we have too much stress in our life, as you well know, from your own experience, it could be detrimental, and it can freeze us in our tracks.
Meditation helps us to manage your stress, helps us to know what bothers us, and helps us to be able to become our best Selves under any situation.
And with all that negative out of the way, we have room for more positive in our lives. When we meditate, we might notice and be grateful. Live in the present moment.
More and more meditators tend to appreciate the relationships in their lives and the people who impact them. They also have more compassion for themselves and others.
Loving Kindness Meditation/Spiritual Meditation
In loving-kindness, meditation the meditator wishes themselves health and peace and love and all sorts of positive things and then extend those wishes to family and friends to those whom they’re not at peace with into the world at large.
This practice has significant benefits in creating compassion for self and compassion for the world at large.
Both mindfulness meditation and loving-kindness, meditation helps the meditator to be more focused on the present moment and to let go of stress, which are both things that can keep us from being the hands and feet of Christ in our world.
And although there’s no research done on this particular aspect of the spiritual benefits of meditation, I firmly believe that we are more chain with the Holy Spirit inside of us through meditation, and we’re able to do the father’s will daily.
If you meditate, you might also get a crack at a longer and healthier life. The telomeres, which are the ends of our chromosomes, where we age but in meditators, that wearing processes, stabilized slow down.
Besides, long term meditators have the same density in their brains as younger non-meditators, so the usual reduction in brain density eyes interfered with meditation can give you a younger, healthier pain.
Meditation has many scientifically-backed benefits. However, there are some situations you should be aware of, depending on your current life circumstances.
When you begin to meditate, you may find that your mind is just completely overwhelmed by very painful memories that have surfaced.
Often, we distract ourselves from these painful memories of the past, and when we give ourselves a chance to sit and be with them, they come up to the surface, which could be a difficult experience.
On the other side of meditation is freedom from those painful memories that we’ve been holding onto that have been in the back of our minds and wearing on our hearts without us even realizing it.
Besides, it’s essential to keep in mind that we are all created differently and uniquely. And while meditation may work beautifully for one person, yoga or walks in nature or different meditation types might work better for another. It is important to be in tune with yourself, know yourself, and embrace whatever way God has designed you.
Meditation has numerous benefits from improved concentration and reaction time to a more efficient mind, healthier emotions, and slower aging; the most important benefit, at least to me, is the ability to have more compassion for myself and others, helping me to be a better follower of Christ.