One hundred and eighty-four countries are working day and night to contain the COVID-19 outbreak, with over 1.3 million confirmed cases, as per Johns Hopkins University and Medicine’s live updates. Around 20 percent of the world population is under lockdown. Streets are empty, hospitals are full; the global economy is vulnerable, and so is life. For every individual who is at the centre of this chaos, finding calm is becoming more and more difficult.
The fear of contracting the virus, the concern for the safety of our loved ones, and living in self-isolation for weeks have made us live our worst nightmares. Various organisations around the world have reported a sharp rise in the cases of anxiety, stress, and depression in people since the outbreak. We have doctors and researchers fighting the COVID-19 virus, but only we can heal our mind, fortunately for which the cure is already there—meditation. If you are one of those who practice meditation daily, you are aware of its power. For those who haven’t meditated ever, now is the time to do so.
The gentle touch of meditation not only calms the whirring mind but helps you become more optimistic. It heals you from within and helps you rejuvenate—as if you are born again with a quiet and calm environment in front of you. The rewards that come with meditation are plenty. Let’s take a look at a few of them:
Keeps you calm
When you begin your day with meditation, you remain calm for the entire day. Regular meditation releases dopamine and serotonin (the happy hormone) in the body, which reduces the release of stress hormones and helps you stay calm.
Streamlines thoughts and emotions
Daily meditation helps you acknowledge and comprehend your thoughts and emotions better. When you are in sync with your emotions, you’re better equipped to recognise your thoughts, your inhibitions, and the emotional walls you may have erected between you and your loved ones. Researchers from the University of California-San Francisco have found that meditation helps people control their negative expressions, as opposed to those who do not meditate; resulting in better interaction between people.
Improves your sleep pattern
These days, getting the recommended eight hours of sleep is quite uncommon. Especially when most of us spend substantial amounts of time in front of the blue light, just before sleeping. Not giving proper rest to your body and mind can make your day irritable and groggy. Research proves that meditation is beneficial for chronic insomnia. Just 10 minutes of meditation before bed not only relaxes your mind but also releases—as studies claim—melatonin, the sleep hormone.
When you start your day with mediation, it increases the oxygen and blood flow to your brain, alerting it and preparing you for the day—improving your daily productivity and efficiency. With increased focus and productivity, you get more done in less time.
A Harvard Medical School study demonstrated the changes in brain waves through meditation, drastically improving the brain’s functionality. Dr. Fred Travis, a neuroscientist and Ph.D. in Psychology at the Maharishi International University, using the Harvard study noted the relationship of an integrated brain with success. Simply put, daily meditation can help you achieve your goals and find success.
Meditating daily increases the brain’s ability to adapt to new challenges and environments. It helps the brain’s ability to store more information, enhancing your cognition and learning ability. Daily meditation improves focus and aids in effectively dealing with disorders like ADHD, PTSD, substance use disorder, disruptive mood dysregulation disorder, and anxiety.
Awakens your intuitive abilities
Daily meditation allows you to listen to your inner self. When your inner self is awakened you become more intuitive. In a study led by the Wake Forest University, researchers observed the brains of 15 volunteers before and after just four days of mindfulness training. In addition to a host of other brain enhancements, the freshly minted meditators increased the activity and inter-connectivity in their ventromedial prefrontal cortex—the axis of intuition. What does this mean for you and me? Daily meditation hits the switch on our brain’s axis and links us directly to our ultra-powerful, yet elusive, sense of inner-knowing.
The whole process of spiritual awakening could be described as seeing life for what it really is and living every moment with that knowledge. When you are able to clear the everyday rush from your mind and listen to yourself, your consciousness will start shining through. You will be able to see how beautiful and blissful life really is. Enlightenment and deeper meaning in life are not religious or esoteric, but very practical states accessible to everyone.
It is typically advised to begin your day with meditation, but meditation can be done anytime, even before going to bed. Whenever you choose to meditate, you must keep a few things in mind: Ensure you are in a quiet environment. Put your gadgets away and sit in a straight posture. If possible, meditate at the same time every day to turn it into a habit and draw maximum benefits from it.