Today’s best meditation courses aptly show students how to live mindfully, minimize stress, increase focus, improve compassion, and boost one’s overall sense of calm. And unlike some alternative healing options popular today, meditation is universally accepted by virtually all medical professionals as a smart, daily therapeutic practice that can help anyone feel better in no time. If you’re looking for the best meditation courses available today, there are numerous options available – ranging from basic apps (many of these are inexpensive, though still highly effective) to extensive in-person meditation courses that can be truly life-altering.
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Searching out a top meditation course online or in-person can help in numerous ways. The art of daily meditation helps individuals create an emotionally calm state that reduces stress, minimizes anxiety, can lessen pain, and offers a sense of self-regulation that is an empowering tool in today’s fast-paced world.
What are the real-world benefits of meditation?
Think meditation is only good for relaxing? Think again! Recent studies from Harvard University indicate that long-term meditators show elevated levels of gray matter in the vital insula and sensory areas of the brain, as well as the sensory and auditory cortex. The following list includes numerous physical and mental benefits related to meditation.
Physical benefits – Meditation allows the body to shift from processing an onslaught of information to simply resting in a relaxed state. This permits the nervous system to slow down and shift important bodily functionality to other areas of need – and that often manifests as better physical health. Take a look at some of these documented, physical health benefits related to meditation:
- Minimizes blood lactate levels, reducing the onset of panic attacks and anxiety-related episodes
- Boosts serotonin production to elevate mood, positive thoughts and behaviors
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Gives the immune system a kick, helps the body fight off infection, and reduces the severity of common illnesses
- Helps minimize pain related to tension or anxiety, such as ulcers, tension headaches, joint or muscle issues, insomnia, and more
- Spikes energy levels and increases general motivation
Mental benefits – The mental benefits of meditation are numerous, as meditation-related activities reprogram brainwave patterns to allow for a greater connection to the inner self. Many therapists consider meditation as the ultimate low-cost, easy-to-do self-care activity and prescribe it alongside other treatment methods to better regulate the individual. Here are several mental benefits that result from meditation:
- General peace of mind and clarity is improved
- Enhanced focus leads to a better ability to handle adversity
- Overall emotional stability is improved
- Happiness and general sense of joy is increased
- Creativity is increase, leading to better performance at home and at work
- Problems become easier to manage, and anxiety decreases
What should you know before introducing meditation into your life?
Meditation has been around for thousands of years, yet its ancient roots tend to make some people feel that it is still an “alternative” form of healing. Meditation has been proven to help people heal both emotional and physical wounds quite effectively, while taking virtually no time at all and costing almost nothing. If you’re ready to get started, keep the following tips in mind before committing to a meditation regimen:
- You don’t have to sit like a Yogi or hold your hands in some wild posture – just get comfortable.
- Be prepared to get sleepy, as you’ll feel a sense of relaxation that is only typically felt during meditative episodes.
- You should plan on meditating every day – in fact, do it as often as you brush your teeth! (A minimum of twice a day, right?!). Meditation only takes minutes – there is always time for it.
- Don’t expect a Zen-like state any time you meditate. In fact, your goal shouldn’t be an “empty mind” during meditation – rather, focus on something and don’t be alarmed if your mind drifts.
- Meditation is a learned practice, and not something that you master on your first time around. Partner with a reputable meditation-focused organization to boost your ability to meditate effectively.
- Even just a few meditation sessions can rewire your brain – in a good way! Studies show that the brain operates in a unique manner during meditation, and that enhanced levels of connectivity between important regions of the brain are a positive byproduct.
- Meditation is very mainstream. You don’t have to prescribe to any specific philosophy to reap the benefits of meditation. Oprah does it. Hugh Jackman does it. Madonna does it. Katy Perry does it. You don’t need to feel like you’re taking up some sort of alternative practice just because you’ve decided to give meditation a try.
Meditation has been touted as one of the most important self-care activities one can commit to, and numerous virtual and in-person meditation courses are available today to make it easier than ever to increase this self-awareness practice.