Ditch that cup of coffee for a session of deep meditation instead to kick-start the day. Morning meditation packs more of a punch than a mere cup of morning coffee, and the results that follow are astounding. Meditation is a technique of bringing the mind, body, and soul in balance, as life's stresses, situations, and personal health conditions ultimately reflect our spiritual being, the inner self.
To help heal our life situations and physical ailments, we have to first identify the root of its origin, which have planted themselves right in our minds, on our very own thoughts. This is where meditation steps in, to help you address each of those issues from right at their origin and heal them in the most effective way. So to help give you some motivation, here we list some top benefits of practicing morning meditation.
1. What Is Meditation?
Meditation is a method of positively transforming the mind. It is a deep process which helps you engage with your inner core, letting you realize your mind’s innermost thought patterns which influence your day-to-day life and impact your health. Meditation lets you calm the unnecessary mind chatter. It relaxes your breathing as you focus on it and eases the body and mind. Ultimately, as you progress, you cultivate positive and meaningful thoughts. A daily dose of morning meditation will awaken your inner-self and improve your overall well-being.
2. How Does Meditation Help?
Engaging in a daily ritual of morning meditation promises an improvement in overall well-being. The goal of a regular meditation practice is to calm the disturbed and distracted mind and bring the mind, body, and spirit in harmony with each other. Once that happens, the practitioner experiences improved physical health, better awareness, and a positive mindset.
From balancing unhealthy levels of blood pressure and distressing to boosting body’s immunity and improving mental capability, meditation is like a one-stop solution to all of life’s woes. It is a proven fact that meditation can prevent and in several cases, even cure cancer and other life-threatening diseases. It can enhance life’s longevity and boost youthfulness.
3. How Does Meditation Work?
Meditation works by slowing down the brain waves, gradually taking the practitioner to the level where it is at its optimally relaxed state. You might have already experienced yourself in a somewhat relaxed state of mind after a yoga session, or a stroll in the woods. You might have experienced slightly diffused awareness with lucid, reflective thoughts. This is when the brain experiences “alpha waves,” when both the brain hemispheres are in balance.
When we meditate our brain waves transcend to the “theta state” when we leave the thoughts to enter a deeper level of awareness. One might explain it as close to feeling drowsy. This is when you have a stronger intuition which opens your creativity to solve complicated problems. Seasoned practitioners like the great Himalayan sages or Tibetan monks, who have been meditating for decades, can reach the ultimate level of relaxation in meditation. Scientists call it the delta state when the brain frequencies drop even lower. This is a stage when the mind is at its calmest best, much like in a dreamless sleep.
4. Who Can Do Meditation?
Just about anybody can meditate. You need not belong to a certain religious faith or be of a certain sex, age, or experience level to meditate. One doesn’t have to have a life-threatening disease or be in depression to try out meditation and reap its benefits. All it needs is the eagerness to do it and the dedication to practice it every day.
5. How To Meditate?
The fundamentals of practicing meditation lie in focusing on the breath. To achieve this, sit comfortably in a chair or lie down on your back. The spine should be straight and the body parts relaxed. The next step is to rest your hands on your lap or just by your side if you are lying and close your eyes. The breath and mind function in tandem. So, as you focus on breath, breathe deeply as your body relaxes further and your mind calms down.
As you reach this meditative state, your brain waves slow down. While this is the simplest form of meditation, self-help gurus are constantly developing several new techniques to meditate which cater to specific needs and address specific issues like ambition, stress, work management, memory enhancement, etc.
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Why Practice Morning Meditations?
After detailed research of the various scientific studies and medical reports on morning meditation, we found that the practice has several benefits to count. Meditation can usher the most startling and positive changes in the life of any dedicated practitioner. Read on to learn more.
1. Reduces Stress
Several studies in the past have revealed that morning meditation lives up to its reputation of reducing stress. Stress, whether mental or physical, trigger a rise in cortisol, the stress hormone. This releases cytokines which promote inflammation leading to symptoms of sleeplessness, depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, fatigue, and clouded thinking.
Research shows that not only can one reduce inflammation caused by stress but also its symptoms. Stress is much often also the cause of symptoms like irritable bowel syndrome, fibromyalgia, and post-traumatic stress disorder. One can get relief from such conditions by regular practice of morning meditation. Interestingly, a study conducted on some 1,300 adults showed that the effect of meditation is even stronger amongst people exhibiting higher stress levels.
2. Relieves Pain
It’s your state of mind that causes any perception of pain in your body. In stressful conditions, pain increases. However, a dose of morning meditation regularly can gradually reduce the brain’s perception of pain. Meditation, when supplemented with medical care, is an effective tool in the treatment of chronic pain. Results by scientific studies encourage habitual meditation which eases chronic or intermittent pain. Daily morning meditation gradually opens the brain nerve centers, making you less sensitive to pain or helping you in better control and management of pain.
3. Increases Sense Of Well-Being
Multiple studies on mindfulness meditation showed how it eased depression in over 4,600 participants. Meditation is perhaps the best tool for improving self-image and gaining a positive outlook. Inflammatory cytokines released in response to stress affect mood and overtime, this habitual occurrence can lead to depression.
Meditation rips depression from its bud by decreasing cytokines. It stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system which automatically boosts heart rate, regulates breathing and normalizes blood pressure. A regular practice of morning meditation can help balance your mind, body, and spirit and this naturally translates into overall well-being.
4. Controls Anxiety
In 2009, a study in the Journal of Clinical Psychology reported that meditation reduced anxiety and boosted optimism amongst participants. Yet another study done on cancer patients revealed that those who regularly meditated for as little as seven weeks were reportedly less anxious and depressed than their non-meditating counterparts.
Regular practice of morning meditation reduces anxiety disorders like social insecurity, paranoia, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, phobias, and panic attacks. Job-goers who are often victims of job-related anxieties are most encouraged to follow a morning meditation regimen to cope better in high-pressure work environments.
5. Lengthens Attention Span
Morning meditation is an incomparable tool for boosting mental strength and increasing the endurance of attention. Recently, a group of participants underwent an eight-week long mindfulness meditation workshop. The result? The training improved their attention-related behavioral patterns by boosting the specific subcomponents of attention.
The participants became more receptive and alert and could remain attentive for a longer time. In a similar study, human resource workers who were regular meditators experienced better ability at remaining focused for longer. Meditation is useful for anyone suffering from mind-wandering and attention-deficit problems. Effects show after as little as four days of meditation.
6. Helps With Insomnia
The University of Minnesota conducted a study on patients suffering from primary chronic insomnia. These patients underwent a three-month-long meditation program from home, and by the end of the program, the patients exhibited their improved ability to fall asleep faster and sleep better. Learning the various meditation techniques can help one relax and calm the mind chatter.
The constant play of thoughts interferes with sleep, disrupting its quality besides making it challenging for some to fall asleep at the very first place. Practicing morning meditation every day can help calm the constant mind chatter and help you reap the fruits of a restful sleep.
7. Enhances Self-Awareness
Certain modern meditation practices help in delving deeper as in exploring the inner depths of your being. A self-inquiry meditation, where the meditator focuses on the question “who am I” explicitly aims at addressing the soul. Spiritual teachings say the body is merely the outer clothing of the soul. When one goes deeper into this sphere of self-discovery through meditation, the enlightenment of soul may gradually occur, changing his or her perception of himself and life around.
You realize that you are on the path to true self-discovery through your morning meditation practices as you stop dwelling on self-defeating thoughts. Such practices have shown to improve self-esteem in cancer patients. Practitioners have reported reduced feelings of loneliness. The good news is that you even become a conscious eater, mindfully choosing the foods that benefit your body. Better self-awareness always means improved alertness and multi-tasking ability, which means, you become a better driver.
8. Decreases Blood Pressure
Often, increased stress and aging body can make the heart to overwork for pumping blood. We know this condition as high blood pressure, which weakens the heart. This contributes to several other diseases like the narrowing of arteries, making the subject prone to heart attacks and strokes or diseases like atherosclerosis. Morning meditation sessions regularly can improve physical health by lessening the strain on the heart.
Meditate regularly to relax the nerve signals which coordinate the functions of the heart. This will help lessen tension in blood vessels. You will experience elevated levels of alertness during stressful conditions, thanks to the "fight-or-flight" response which gets a boost through mediation. Thus, you keep heart attacks and strokes at bay with daily morning meditation.
9. Improves Memory
Include “Kirtan Kriya” in your morning meditation practice to boost your memory. This meditation technique involves chanting “mantra” with a repetitive motion of the fingers. This process helps in focusing on your thoughts. Kirtan Kriya meditation has shown to improve attention with a clarity of the mind. Participants showed an improved ability to perform memory works in various studies. Besides, regular meditation can boost your memory. It has shown to sharpen memory in dementia patients.
10. Enhances the Immune System
A study reported in the Archives of Internal Medicine cited patients with coronary heart disease who went through a meditation program lasting 16 weeks. The patients showed improved heart rate and blood pressure level. Yet another study showed atherosclerosis patients practicing meditation for six to nine months experiencing an 11% decrease in risk associated with a heart attack and a 15% decrease in that of stroke.
Meditation may not be an alternative for medical treatment, but studies, repeatedly, have proven that meditation is an effective method in increasing the body’s overall immunity. With meditation, one naturally develops a better approach to pain control and management. The body and mind come more in harmony, and the body’s immunity rises several folds. One mind is more in peace, which automatically balances the body's hormones. Besides, the bodily functions like metabolism, digestion and various other life processes get a boost. Thus, naturally one becomes healthier with a better ability to keep ailments at bay.
Is Morning Meditation For You? The Verdict
One of the most important things we found from our research is that meditation helps improve one's overall well-being. Practice morning meditation to give your life a positive boost by balancing your mind, body, and soul. A daily dose of morning meditation will only strengthen a healthy body. However, if you are going through a serious life situation or a health condition, meditating regularly will help you cope with it in the most efficient way and heal you in ways you never knew was possible.