Meditation has been an important part of my personal and spiritual growth ever since I began silencing my mind a few years ago. At that time the idea of “meditating” was still a very esoteric topic, however more and more people are becoming aware of the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits of devoting a few moments of their time to a daily meditation practice. In the past few years celebrities like Oprah, Russell Brand, Katy Perry, Miranda Kerr, Hugh Jackman, Eva Mendes and many more have openly shared how valuable meditation has become in enhancing their overall well-being. Russell Brand states, “I’m quite a neurotic thinker, quite an adrenalised person. But after meditation, I felt this beautiful serenity and selfless connection.” Additionally, Hugh Jackman has recently stated, “Meditation has changed my life.” Jackman has been meditating for 15 years, and has even credited his meditation practice for helping him overcome Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. As if these weren’t enough reasons to start a meditation practice today, recently the Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll let reporters in on a few of the techniques he uses on his team that he believes helped them win the Super Bowl, those techniques are mandatory meditation and yoga sessions for all of the players on the team. Offensive Tackle Russell Okung recently stated in an ESPN interview that “Meditation is as important as lifting weights and being out here on the field for practice,it’s about quieting your mind and getting into certain states where everything outside of you doesn’t matter in that moment. There are so many things telling you that you can’t do something, but you take those thoughts captive, take power over them and change them.” Could meditation, relaxation and visualization be the secret to these celebrities and Super Bowl winners success?
So what are some of the common health benefits of a daily meditation practice? Meditation is said to reduce stress and the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, help irritable bowl disease and aid in weight loss, create clearer skin, improve the immune system, lessen cold and flu effects, increase bone density, reduce rheumatoid arthritis, combat chronic pain, improve sleep, regulate blood sugar levels, increase fertility, as well as enhance memory and attention. Meditation is also reported to reduce anxiety, depression, PTSD, help regulate emotions and improve academic performance and mental clarity. All of these are reasons to begin meditating today! However, you may be questioning how and where to begin a meditation practice? The following chart will show you how!