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The benefits of meditation

The Benefits of Meditation & Why You Should Meditate

Graham Whitehead Health

Meditation is something I have been doing and coaching people regularly for 4 years now, so today I wanted to share some of the benefits with you.

Techniques and tips for different types of meditation and how meditating can help you in life, at work, your brain function, reduce anxiety and much more.

A lot of people consider it to be airy-fairy hocus pocus for long-haired hippies that has no benefit. What I can tell you is that it was good enough for Arnold Schwarzenegger who meditates regularly (the Meditator not Terminator!).

Furthermore, take a look at some of the most successful business people in the world. In the Book, Tool of Titans by Tim Ferris he interviews and analyses world-class performers, icons, and billionaires. 80% OF THE PEOPLE INTERVIEWED IN THIS BOOK WERE REGULAR MEDITATORS.

Check out a video from Graham Whitehead to ensure you are breathing the correct way:

A correct breathing technique for meditation

Breathing Technique Video  from Graham Whitehead

Graham also recommends checking out the book ‘Meditation for Dummies’ as it offers you some simple and easily applicable practices to begin with.

Take a break from life’s chaos, you’ll soon reap the benefits and never want to stop!

What are the benefits?

  •  improves sleep
  •  reduces levels of stress hormone (cortisol)
  •  improves energy levels
  •  helps you think clearer to help identify your vision
  •  is great for weight/fat loss due to the fact that you become more insulin sensitive and your level of stress hormones reduce
  •  is a great anti-ageing practice
  •  prevents you from making poor decisions
  •  improves your self-awareness
  •  increases oxygen intake

There are many ways to meditate but you can choose to start off with this basic approach below. Once you have done this a number of times you may alter or find a more effective method that works best for YOU.

  • Begin with 10 minutes twice a day, but know the more often you do it the more benefit you will get.
  • Download some relaxing music, a guided meditation from YouTube or you use any of the meditation apps or podcasts. Some people don’t need any music. You are better downloading the music or guided meditation so you do not get disturbed while meditating. Ensure your phone is on airplane mode.
  • Lying down or sit up straight while listening to peaceful music or guided meditation take a deep diaphragmatic breath in as your belly expands, and then exhale out through the mouth. Repeat this for 10 minutes.

Different ways of meditating

Meditation is quiet time. It gives you a few moments of complete quiet.  The objective is to progressively defocus your thoughts. Make the activity in your brain less “active”. Chanting or noticing  your breath is the same principle as looking at a light in your mind’s eye or placing your hands together in prayer position and focusing on where they meet. All these “acts” have no meaning so it stills your thinking process. However, if you focus on your breathing or count or listen to music your brain is active, it is anticipating the next breath or note or busy counting. Yet, it is not actiely thinking those stressful or worrying thoughts!

Transcendental Meditation

The beauty of TM is finding a little quiet path out of Thought-ville. I believe it takes a long time before we’re able to hold onto the “quiet” for longer periods, you get better as you go along and some days it doesn’t work at all for me. I find I have been planning or daydreaming and suddenly my 20 minutes is up…. or have I? Maybe I did blank out, that is why the time flew by… It is still a relaxing time though because you are not been focusing your thoughts on work, etc. Being patient and not forcing it is the best way forwards I believe. After all, it is all about destressing!

Meditation should not be hard, so don’t be hard on yourself either.  I would also go so far as to say that to some people TM seems like a chore, almost an impossible task because of everything they have read and been told. I would recommend:

  • starting by taking time out of your day for some “quiet time”
  • lighting a candle
  • burning incense or oils
  • listening to calming music
  • holding crystals, etc.
  • choose a way that you like and go from there.

In the following video I (under my old pen name of Angelina Drake) discuss the benefits of transcendental meditation.

Add a mantra of your own or don’t add a mantra, focus on your breath or do a body scan. You could repeat “om” to achieve this – after all transcendental meditation is based on Sutra 28, where it states we should repeat a mantra that resonates a feeling of goodness within, repeating it until your thoughts return to your “source” and you lose your “ego” and enter the state of “being”.

Don’t stress about meditating!

The end game is to defocus and calm the mind, to lower our stress levels and improve our mental and physical health. I believe meditation is something you do because you want to, not something you feel compelled to do or have to do. The urge is a “want” not a “need”. Once it becomes a “want”, the time you dedicate to it will flow naturally. Don’t get too caught up in all the BS you are TOLD to do. Do what you feel is right for you. x

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