It’s stressful to make your own path. Being a freelancer, artist, or entrepreneur isn’t easy. Hell–it isn’t easy to work for someone else either. Although stress and worry is often a daily part of our lives, it doesn’t have to be. Meditation has been shown to reduce stress, even when done by relative amateurs. Let’s look at the benefits of meditation, and find some great books, and even free guided meditation sessions, to help you bring calm into your life.
Meditation Fights Distraction:
It’s never been easier to get distracted. Facebook, Kanye West live streams, Snapchat, celebrity gossip and iPhones all conspire to keep us distracted and detached from the present moment. Meditation has been found to be effective in reducing distractions, with one study reporting,
“Our results suggest that cultivating mindfulness is an effective and efficient technique for improving cognitive function, with wide-reaching consequences.”
Meditation Keeps You Young:
The brain starts to deteriorate after your mid 20’s (!!!) That’s scary, but there’s something you can do about it–and no, drinking your troubles away won’t help. One study found that the brains of meditators aged more slowly than the brains of those who did not meditate. It may not quite be a fountain of youth, but if it keeps your brain younger for longer, I’m all for it.
Meditation Fights Anxiety and Depression:
For some of us, anxiety always seems to be around the corner. It’s a tiring cycle, and sometimes it seems like we can never break free. Indeed, many people get anxious worrying about getting anxious. Depression can be even more severe. While people suffering from severe anxiety or depression should consider seeing a doctor, peer-reviewed studies suggests that meditation may help some people fight off these symptoms.
One study found that the beneficial effects of meditation were felt three years later, concluding, “intensive but time-limited group stress reduction intervention based on mindfulness meditation can have long-term beneficial effects in the treatment of people diagnosed with anxiety disorders.”
Other studies have shown that mindfulness actually rewires your brain, helping you become calmer and more focused.
How to Get Started:
Want to get started? Free recordings of guided meditations are available here, and here. While each person has their own favorite meditation books, some popular ones are: Buddha In Blue Jeans and 10% Happier,
Its has been said by mindfulness enthusiasts that if you are busy, you should meditate once a day. But if you are really busy, you should meditate twice. This seemingly paradoxical statement underlines the fact that to be productive, to be happy, and to be grounded, we need to make time for it. Getting caught up in tasks is no way to be productive, calmly evaluating and completing them is. Meditation is a great way to stay grounded while improving your quality of life.