Want to have healthier relationship with others? Meditate. Want to look and feel younger? Meditate. Want to strengthen your immune system? Meditate. Want to lose weight? Meditate. Want to improve your brain function and memory? Meditate. Want to feel less stress? Meditate. Want to manifest magic in your life? Meditate. Getting the picture? I've got mad love for meditation and I think that absolutely everyone can benefit from establishing a daily meditation practice. With that in mind, I thought I'd share 5 reasons that meditation is worthy of becoming a part of your daily routine.
1. FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH: Dr. Vincent Giampapa, an anti-ageing researcher and former President of the American Board of Anti-Ageing Medicine found that regular deep meditation affects production of three hormones which are key factors of our physiological age. Meditation gives a dramatic boost to DHEA, melatonin and cortisol. DHEA, A.K.A the longevity molecule (which can dry up as we age - and have been found to be directly linked to mortality) get a big boost from meditation. In fact, Dr. Giampapa found that meditators have more than 43% more DHEA than non meditators. The icing on the cake for meditators is a 98-300% increase in melatonin (which helps you snooze sweetly, hello beauty sleep!) and up to 47% decrease in cortisol - the stress hormone which you can thank for muffin tops, thinning skin and inflammation. Sounds like the fountain of youth to me - and it's a lot cheaper than that jar of night cream made from pearl dust, unicorn tears and Himalayan dewdrops. Just sayin'.
2. HAPPY HABIT: Speaking of hormones, meditation is also a habit that can actually pump up feel good hormones that make you, well, happier. The brain's production of serotonin - which is hormone that is key to a positive outlook on life - has been shown to get a major boost from meditation. And let's not forget the all-time feel-good favourite - endorphins! You might think that the only way to get a daily dose of endorphins is to become a marathon runner. Good news if running isn't your jam - a study published in the Biological Psychology Journal found that running and meditation both increase endorphin levels similarly. I could go on, but I'd rather be meditating. So to sum it up: meditation literally bathes brain cells with a cocktail of cheerful chemicals, which makes it a happiness habit you can really feel good about.
3. INTUITION BOOSTER: Meditation enhances your connection to your intuition, giving you access to the solution to every dilemma, challenge, or question that arises in your life. Osteopathic Doctor, Author and Clinical Instructor of Family Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences Dr. Habib Sadeghi writes that "the solutions to our problems are intuitive in nature, not intellectual. The power we possess through our connection to universal consciousness far exceeds our intellect, and we access it through the practice of meditation." In other words - get that tush on your meditation cush and you'll get some high vibration solutions. Doctor's orders!
4. HUMAN BEING: We're called human beings, not human doings. Meditation is an invitation to disconnect from all the white noise and distractions of the day and connect with your higher self. It's an opportunity, an invitation to turn inward. To step out of doing and step into being. Author, meditation teacher and psychologist Tara Brach says that "meditation is evolution's strategy to bring out our full potential." How could you possibly turn down an invitation like that? Add to that - our ability to connect and be intimate with others is in direct proportion with our ability to connect and find intimacy with ourselves. Which brings me to my next point...
5. PRESENCE IS THE BEST PRESENT EVER: If ever there was a magic bullet for creating meaningful intimacy in our lives, it's meditation. What would you say are the key ingredients for connection, for building bonds and relationship? Presence, eye contact, quality time, curiosity and interest in the other, Being present with your whole self (and not off on an intergalactic adventure in your mind, creeping on Instagram, or pretending that you're listening but actually rehearsing in your head what you're going to say next.) Peeps know when there's no one home and it makes them feel unheard, unloved, unimportant, disconnected. Meditation is a practice in presence - with yourself and as a yummy flow on effect "off the mat," with others. As Simone Weil so beautifully put it, "Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity."
If you haven't already kicked off a meditation practice, maybe it's time to start! Make sure to download my free guided meditation app, Heavily Meditated, now. Plus, my book Heavily Meditated: Your Down-to-Earth Guide to Learning Meditation and Getting High on Life will teach you everything you need to know to make meditation into a habit that sticks!