These days, it feels as though everything is a race: A race to get all the boxes on your to-do list checked off. A race to make it to the next rung of the professional ladder. A race to keep up with and perhaps even beat out “the Joneses.” A race to make sure your children have the perfect academic, extracurricular, and personal qualifications so that they can get into a good college. A race to make sure all of the bills get paid, even though you’re on a reduced budget.
However, instead of building the perfect lives we want, what we’re really doing is racing each other into the ground—and over the edge. If this last description of manic modern life sounds all too familiar, it’s high time you stepped off the merry-go-round (for at least five to ten minutes), sat down in a quiet place, and participated in a simple practice that has been around for millennia: meditation.
“When people operate on low margins with time and money (which is everybody I know right now), their stress levels can go through the roof,” points out Stephan Bodian, author of Meditation For Dummies®, 3rd Edition. “In many ways, meditation is the perfect antidote to the postmodern predicament because it effectively reduces stress, increases energy, and enables you to enjoy better overall health, and much more.”
Bodian, who is a licensed psychotherapist, served as the editor of Yoga Journal for many years and has also practiced and taught meditation for more than forty years. He has packed a fascinating array of facts and best practices into this easy-to-read volume, which also includes a foreword by Dean Ornish, MD.
“Since our culture programs us to expect a perfect life that is impossible to achieve, our best efforts only cause us to become overstressed, overscheduled, overstimulated, and overtired,” explains Bodian. “This is all compounded by the fact that your body and mind have been ‘programmed’ to respond to life’s inevitable ups and downs with stress, anxiety, and dissatisfaction. But you have the power to change all of that through meditation. You can program yourself to experience inner peace, harmony, equanimity, and joy.”
Before any false assumptions you’re harboring cause you to give up on meditation before you even begin, Bodian assures that you can keep it simple (you’ll see positive results after just five to ten minutes of meditation a day) or explore the practice’s subtleties in great depth. It’s entirely up to you.
If you’re intrigued, but still not entirely sure that meditation is for you, then read on for eleven more reasons why this ancient practice can help you live your best, most healthy and fulfilling life—and improve your mental and physical health. Meditation’s numerous benefits include:
- Lower blood pressure.
- Quicker recovery from stress.
- Fewer heart attacks and strokes.
- Reduced cholesterol levels.
- Muscle relaxation.
- Reduction in the intensity of pain.
- More happiness and peace of mind.
- More loving, harmonious relationships.
- Enhanced creativity and self-actualization.
- Reductions in both acute and chronic anxiety.
- Heightened perceptual clarity and sensitivity.
…and much more!
Source: DeHart and Company