If your mornings are anything like mine, your alarm goes off, you stumble through your morning routine of getting ready for work, and hopefully scarf down a haphazard breakfast and hurried cup of coffee.
On your morning commute, you think about all the tasks you need to do today. At the end of the workday, you try to fit in as many productive things as possible: making dinner, laundry, groceries, meeting a friend, etc. After all, you're BUSY!
Although most Americans follow this very same routine daily, experience has taught us it's not the best idea. It's making us more stressed, exhausted, and depressed. But how can you be calm and happy when there's so much to do?
Science has shown that taking time for yourself can do wonders, and actually increases productivity. Meditation is one way of achieving this, and it can easily be added to your morning routine!
Here are some of the many health benefits you can get from meditation:
1. Makes You More Alert than Drinking Coffee
Are you one of those people whose mornings are fueled by caffeine? You might want to swap out your morning coffee for a few minutes of meditation. Whether you notice it or not, caffeine activates your sympathetic nervous system, which is part of the "fight or flight" response. While you might feel energized, the caffeine is only sending your body into a state of anxiety.
Meditation activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which provides a calmer, more sustainable source of energy and alertness.
2. Strengthens the Immune System
Heightened stress levels come with our hectic lifestyles, and this unfortunately leads to bad eating habits. Eating the wrong foods and higher stress can cause inflammation in the body and digestive tract, which in turn break down the body's natural immune system.
The calming nature of meditation brings breathing and thoughts back under control, boosting the body's ability to fight illness.
3. Cures Insomnia and Promotes Restful Sleep
Caffeine, exposure to TV and phone screens, and racing thoughts can all disrupt normal sleep patterns. Even after you've put away your phone for the night, your mind may be spinning with thoughts from the day.
Meditation helps correct this by routinely practicing choosing not to think about tasks and stressful situations. Your ability to be more intentional about your thoughts will lead to better relaxation in the evenings.
Go to the next page for more health benefits!