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There is an old saying that goes “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day, unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”
Who has time for that?!
I’m sure you have heard about the endless benefits of meditation, and maybe even have been recommended to participate in it by some, but the idea of you sitting and doing nothing just seems incomprehensible. I mean, come on, you’ve got so much to do!
That is why today we are sharing this simple one minute meditation you can do anywhere, anytime to relieve stress and anxiety, and come back to your center.
But first off, why should you meditate in the first place? Is it really that necessary?
Studies say yes, and for more than one reason.
1.Meditation Makes You Less Stressed
This is the most well known benefit of meditation, and one of the most common reasons why people try it.
Meditation has been shown to substantially decrease cortisol levels, otherwise known as the stress hormone, which is responsible for you “fight or flight” response.
A study done on 30 medical students tested the effects of mindfulness meditation on cortisol levels. They took blood samples before and after four days on mindful meditation and compared them.
After only four days of mindfulness meditation, their cortisol levels decreased by almost 20%.
2.Meditation Makes You Healthier
Decreasing your stress levels is extremely important for your overall health. It effects your blood pressure, your pH balance, and inflammation levels in your body, which all play a huge role in heart disease and other disorders such as GERD and IBS.
When extra cortisol is secreted throughout your body due to being in “fight or flight” mode, your body’s pH becomes more acidic, which can lead to a condition called metabolic acidosis.
This makes your body not absorb nutrients as well due to it being highly acidic, leading to bone degeneration and and other disorders caused by lack of nutrients.
Plus, having elevated cortisol levels causes you to crave comfort foods with high fat and sugar content, leading to weight gain, and no one wants that!
The awful thing is, being stressed can cause you to have these conditions, then having these conditions can lead to more stress, exacerbating the conditions!
It’s an awful, ugly cycle. But you can prevent it by implementing simple methods into your life, meditation being one of them.
3.Meditation Makes You Happier
There are multiple studies that back the positive effects meditation has on reducing depression.
Meditation promotes mindfulness and thought awareness, so instead of identifying with your thoughts, you are able to observe them and look at them for what they are: thoughts.
Implementing meditation into your routine can also substantially change the way you brain operates. According to Harvard, scientists have shown that the “me” center of your brain, known as the medial prefrontal cortex, is hyper stimulated in depressed people.
This causes you to associate any feelings of anxiety or fear you have with there being a problem with yourself, and your mind assumes you are the problem or you are in danger.
When you meditate on a regular basis, the connection between your “me” center and your body breaks down, and your brain is able to associate these emotions more appropriately, you no longer associate every feeling you have of anxiety or fear with there being something wrong with you.
4.Meditation Gives You More Time
I think it’s safe to say the majority of people have a problem with procrastination at one point or another in their lifetime.
It’s hard to stay focused, and the attention span of society just keeps getting shorter and shorter.
This leads to productivity levels decreasing, and people spending more time doing things they don’t need to spend that much time on instead of doing things they love to do.
Meditating regularly is like weight lifting for the mind. It makes your mind stronger and able to concentrate for longer periods of time.
A study showed that just meditating for four days can substantially improve your attention span and improve your memory.
This is due to the way meditation reprograms your brain and can actually reverse old patterns and replace them with more effective ones.
5.Meditation Makes You Live Longer
Stress, blood pressure, disease, it all affects your quality of life, and in some cases, your longevity as well.
A lot of things affect life span, including genes, which we have no control over. But we do have control over our stress levels and how we handle the stresses that come into our lives.
As you’ve learned, people with higher stress levels have higher cortisol levels, and too much cortisol can cause a lot of harm to your body, including decreasing your immune system, which puts you at risk for developing other diseases.
People with higher stress levels have been shown to adapt unhealthy habits into their lives such as drinking, drug abuse, and smoking, which can all substantially impede life span.
Meditation promotes adaptation of healthy habits into your life, and helps you manage the stresses that come with life better.
But with that being said, ain’t nobody got time to meditate an hour a day.
And that’s okay. You need to be realistic with yourself and what you can fit into your schedule. It is much better to meditate one minute a day then to meditate for 30 minutes every two weeks.
Your mind develops a habit and soon you will be able to meditate longer without even realizing it.
This one minute meditation can be done anywhere. You can be sitting, standing, walking, with your eyes open or closed.
So let’s begin.
You will feel noticeably lighter after practicing this meditation.
Try implementing this into your day at least once, no matter where you are. It only takes one minute, and will make your day better by spending the time doing it.
You don’t need to have hours of free time a day to improve your life, you just need one minute.
Let us know how you felt after practicing this meditation in the comments below!
Ally is the co-founder of GroundedPanda.com with her fiance Victor. She began practicing yoga at the beginning of her career as a Registered Nurse to cope with the physical and mental stress it put on her, and fell in love with it. Her goal is to help beginners develop a fulfilling practice without the intimidation. Besides managing this website, she loves hiking with her loving fiance and cuddling with her two silly cats.