Top 11 Benefits of Meditation

When tinnitus first came into my life I was coming into 3rd year of my studies. Not only did I struggle to concentrate, but I was also exhausted and struggled to get to sleep early. I was terrified it would keep getting worse and felt desperate and helpless.

This is when I began to give myself space to meditate every evening before bed, and believe me I longed for the time when I didn’t have tinnitus, as I thought it would be so much easier without it. But the truth is that without T, I don’t know if I would have persevered as much. Over time, the results have proven to be long lasting and hugely beneficial. Not only has it helped me to deal with tinnitus, but it has also helped me to have a much healthier relationship with myself and i feel much stronger and calmer for it.

Below, I share with you some of the top benefits that I have experienced that demonstrate that meditation can profoundly change our lives for the better. These are just a few of the benefits that appear naturally through consistent sitting with yourself.

 

1. Stronger focus:

The power of the mind lies in its ability to focus. Strengthening our focus or concentration gives us more power over where we direct our attention. Tinnitus can take a lot of our attention- this is one of the biggest issues we have with it. It can make it difficult to concentrate on things when a part of your mind is constantly aware of it. It can even make it seem like we won’t be able to meditate because of it, but this is not true. Through meditation we strengthen our focus which makes it easier to concentrate on other things, helping tinnitus to fall away to the back of our awareness.

Meditation practice actually gives us something productive to focus on. It enables us to help ourselves when we are suffering, through discovering that there are ways of using our focus that can help us to move towards balance. Strengthening our focus has lots of other benefits too, as it generally strengthens the mind.

 

2. Relaxation and sleep:

Meditation teaches you to relax the mind and body, no matter what is going on externally or what tinnitus is doing. I cannot stress the significance of this skill enough. Anxiety and stress contribute to physical imbalances and can make tinnitus worse, so a big way we can help ourselves is to train the body to relax. The ability to induce deep relaxation is also the key to falling asleep with greater ease.

The techniques are simple but very effective, for example; slowing and deepening the breath slows down your heart rate, counteracts the bodies stress response and helps to quieten the mind. The practise of sitting with your breath in this way is very effective and is a good practise to start with in meditation.

 

3. Increases your ability to be with yourself:

Tinnitus can feel awfully uncomfortable, and the feeling of no escape can make it difficult to be at peace with ourselves, making us restless and anxious. Although it can sometimes help to distract ourselves, meditation gives us the deeper benefit of increasing your ability to be with yourself in discomfort, and then transforming the discomfort into peace.

When we have uncomfortable feelings, the thoughts that can be triggered can cause further mental reactions on top of the primary source of discomfort and lead towards deepening discomfort. Most of our discomfort stems from reactivity in the mind that is resisting, judging or far too identified with some part of our present experience. By taking a good look at what actually goes on inside, we can greatly reduce our suffering.

Through meditation we begin to observe the cause and effects that occur between thoughts, feelings and actions. We begin to see that many thoughts are untrue and gradually become less involved and less affected by draining mental activity. Through a clearer mind, and connecting in with our heart, we begin to develop wisdom which helps us to act in nurturing ways which help to increase balance and reduce suffering. This is the way to inner peace.

The predicament is that most people respond to the suffering with feelings that they did something wrong, or somebody did something wrong and that’s why it occurs. And that’s the psychological stuff people are afraid of, that’s it.

To have pain in your body is to have pain in your body, but all the psychological stuff that rides along with the pain in your body like, “I deserve it,” “I’m not good enough,” “I’m failing, dah dah dah,” “I didn’t eat right”, “I didn’t do the right thing,” That stuff is what’s doing you in. That stuff will do you in.

What my own personal experience has been is that as I have gone from identity with ego to identity with the Soul or the Witness I have found a space and a way in relation to the mystery of the universe that allows me to be with the suffering that lives on this plane, mine and others, in a way that doesn’t overwhelm me.
— Ram Dass

4. Less anxiety:

Meditation brings you to dwell in the present moment, and because anxiety often comes from focusing on fear of future outcomes, letting ourselves know that the present moment is all we actually ever have to be with can help. If we can relate well with the present, we will have no problem as time goes on! If the anxiety is physically in the body, through our presence we can have a soothing conversation with our self, breathing deep into the heart and assure ourselves that we will be okay. Connecting in with our heart helps to transform the energy of fear and allows us to grow faith.

Through the practice of soothing ourselves, we can train ourselves to relax in situations that would normally induce a fear response. For example, when tinnitus peaks we may become tense and panic. Knowing that this type of response actually feeds tinnitus and doesn’t help, we can respond in a more helpful way through breathing deep, clearing the mind and inducing a deep relaxation, which will assist the noise to calm down as soon as possible. Through training the mind to become more still, this allows us to let go of agitation and resistance and calms and balances the entire body, which has profound health benefits!

 

5. Prevents spiralling into fear states such as despair, and helps you to pull yourself out if you have already spiralled:

Meditation can become a great anchor throughout life, anchoring you into into your own being and true self. It is a vehicle to connect with a sense of a truer aspect of yourself of pure, peaceful awareness, this is where practises bring you too, and you learn that you can always come to this place within. Having a stronger connection to this place within yourself makes it much easier to navigate challenging internal states of being.

You learn that you are not your thoughts or your feelings, they are just a part of your state of being. When you begin to see the cause and effect going on between your thoughts and state of being, you can begin to intercept the process of spiralling by bringing your focus elsewhere.

Meditation stills the mind and pulls you back from being so involved in it. With a quieter mind, it becomes easier to witness thoughts as mind activity rather than reality. Wisdom will tell you that your fear is not the truth, and gradually it does not have to take such a strong hold on your being. Meditation helps to bring us down from the mental realm, into the body and heart which makes us become more present. Our mental faculty is only an aspect of our being, the heart is a powerful healer and source of medicine. It will bring us patience and faith which bring stability and nurture and will strengthen the more you practise.

 

6. Balances and energises the physical body:

The stress response causes tension and releases stress hormones into the blood stream, which over time depletes our energy and causes fatigue. On the other hand, deep relaxation causes a state of coherence within the body which brings a greater flow of energy.

Thoughts have a great deal of influence over our energy levels- Energy follows thought. Through meditation we become able to reduce our reaction to negative thoughts and not engage with them as strongly.

Through your clear focus and simply bringing your awareness into the body during meditation, you can relax tension and draw towards yourself vital energy which helps to rejuvenate the body. A clear and quiet mind can energise your entire being!

 

7. Connects you to your source of internal power:

Whether this is your will power, your inner light, or your unchangeable pure awareness, once you begin to connect with this pure part of your being, you know you can always come back to it. This is how meditation can become a great anchor when experiencing challenging states.

A greater connection to your own will power allows you to bring more direction focused towards the light which will help you to move beyond suffering and towards healing. Great amounts of light are always available to us all. All you have to do is make space for it internally and invite it to enter you. Each of us holds an immense source of light within, and through meditation this internal brightness and abundance may grow, transforming inner poverty. Everything we need can be found within.

 

8. Helps us to change habitual thought patterns:

Although it is natural for the mind to create habits and patterns, it also has neuroplasticity. It has a great potential to change and for new connections and patterns to be made through new learning and updating our beliefs.

Meditation only helps this process. Through observation we can see what is going on, and through stillness there is more space. When we are present, we gain more choice in how we respond to situations because the part of our brain where conscious thinking takes place becomes more active. We begin to see that we have more options in how to respond to situations, rather than letting our conditioning take over the show. Without this practise, our reactions are mostly unconscious and can be unhelpful, but through this practise, we connect with our internal power to positively influence our life.

 

9. Allows negativity to have less power in your life:

Normally we may respond to our ailments, pain and suffering with negative thoughts and fear. Meditation opens the doorway to respond differently than the way we have been conditioned. This brings us freedom to be less affected by challenges and allows us to let go. Our life is in our hands through how we respond NOW. Meditation helps us to become more response-able, as we realise our power to positively influence and nurture our life. Consistent practise will help us to heal our hearts and grow compassion and wisdom which can help us to overcome all obstacles.

 

10. Helps you to tune into your body’s needs, intuition and internal guidance:

Often symptoms can symbolise a need for change in our lives. We have not been leading balanced lives and they are an invitation to tune into the wisdom of the body by listening to the signals we receive internally. This is about self-care. Often, we reside so much in the mind we do not listen to the body at all, we just keep pushing it to its limit. It is the body which allows us to experience life, we must learn to be kind and love the body! Let it be our teacher, it will show us how to live in a balanced way. Meditation will also strengthen our connection with the heart and intuition which will give us a greater sense of our truth, needs and direction.

 

11. Gain true understanding of the mind and the power of thoughts:

When we begin to watch our thoughts instead of being completely involved in them, we can observe how they affect our feelings, energy levels and actions. The fact is that we fill our minds up with a lot of junk, untruths, fears and thoughts that are not helpful to ourselves or to others. Once we see this, we can begin a process of purifying our mind because we see that our life will benefit from this, we see that we don’t need to suffer as much as we do.

Much of the junk stems from false beliefs… so why not seek the truth! All the junk is doing is draining us of energy and cutting us off from love. When we see the cause and effects going on between our thoughts and feelings, we can then begin to choose not to grow down certain routes of thinking, because we know that they are not needed, not true and will only bring us down! The heart will no longer allow this destructiveness!

We will know when we have nurtured more truth within our being because we will be feeling more joyful, more at peace, more in our heart.

 

I walk down the street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I fall in.
I am lost... I am helpless.
It isn't my fault.
It takes forever to find a way out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I pretend I don't see it.
I fall in again.
I can't believe I am in the same place.
But, it isn't my fault.
It still takes me a long time to get out.

I walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I see it is there.
I still fall in. It's a habit.
My eyes are open.
I know where I am.
It is my fault. I get out immediately.

walk down the same street.
There is a deep hole in the sidewalk.
I walk around it.

I walk down another street.

-Portia Nelson, There's a Hole in My Sidewalk

 

 

 

 

Anna HuntComment