Stress less, accomplish more: the benefits of meditating for just one month.

I committed to a daily meditation practice this May. I'd tried it before, but never fully committed.

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- I'd like:
🌻- Less Stress.
🌸- Accomplish more.
🌼- Better sleep.
🌱- More creativity (by strengthening my right brain).
🌷- Deepen my connection with my own body.
🏵- Confidence in my intuition.

It's a lot to ask, but I think we underestimate the power of simply stopping and breathing for a few minutes of the day.

Meditation is no longer woo woo.  It’s become mainstream.  

Many studies have researched the effects of meditation and they show that it has many positive benefits.  In the minutes right after meditating, we experience feelings of calm and contentment, as well as heightened awareness and empathy.  And research shows that regular meditation can permanently rewire the brain to raise levels of happiness, lower stress, even improve immune function. 

After just 10 minutes a day over 10 days, meditation can change the structure of your brain.  Your amygdala (your brain’s fight or flight centre, which is associated with fear and stress) shrinks, and your pre-fontal cortex (your “higher” brain associated with calm reason, awareness and concentration, and the part of our brain most responsible for making us happy) becomes thicker.  

And it’s not just the impact on your stress levels.  There may be an impact on your body too.  In 1978, Robert Keith Wallace completed a 10 year study of meditators, evaluating their biological age via 3 indicators – blood pressure, hearing and near point vision.  He found that subjects who had meditated for 5 years or less were on average 5 years younger biologically, and that subjects who had meditated more than 5 years were on average 12 years younger biologically, e.g. 60 year olds had 48 year old bodies.  I want some of that!!!

But whilst meditation is a powerful happiness tool, it does need to be regularly used.  This means that to get all these benefits, we need to make it a part of our everyday lives.  The important thing is to keep showing up.

I committed to this small act everyday. If I've got time for social media ... then I have time to meditate.  NOT doing stuff for 15 minutes is not as easy as it sounds! If we have a spare 15 minutes most of us reach for our phones!

But now I've been consistently meditating for 15 minutes twice a day for one month!

I can honestly say I'm seeing changes in myself already and I highly recommend it for health and emotional wellbeing.  I'm sleeping waaay better.  I'm calmer.  I'm waking up earlier.

Overall I've GAINED time!!

I'll be honest though ... the un-stressing that comes with it is a bit like therapy; there's the messy stuff to move through to get to the other side! For me, the efforts are worth the gain.

It reminds me that even though we live in a world of instant gratification ... the things worth having still take time, effort, persistence.

So don't give up. Everything starts with small beginnings, and one little thing will lead to the next. It all adds up to a life well lived.

Bethan Louise