14 Ways Meditation May Help You Eat Healthier, Feel Happier
There are many forms of meditation. At least one of them is bound to suit your temperament and lifestyle.
Here are 14 reasons cultivating a focused, quiet mind through mindfulness or mediation can help you develop a healthier relationship to food, and to yourself.
14 Reasons to Meditate
- A quiet mind is more likely to keep things in perspective, to see things as they are and not as we want them to be—including the body.
- Part of meditation or mindfulness is accepting the present moment as it is. This opens us to the possibility of accepting our self, as it is.
- In the stillness of meditation we learn to watch our thoughts, emotions, and feelings come and go, and realize they are experiences, not who we are.
- Because we become more objective about thoughts and feelings through meditation, impulsive reactions to people, events, and things (even food) can diminish.
- In stillness, the mind is uncluttered and open, so our perception clears. It becomes easier to comprehend cultural influences such as how the media can affect self-image.
- In stillness, our self-compassionate heart slowly opens to our own truth. When in touch with our own truth, there is no need to look for truth outside the self. The need for approval by others diminishes.
- Meditation invites self discovery, getting to know our self minus fears of inadequacy and self-doubt. This cultivates confidence and a sense of personal power.
- A quiet or focused mind is strong and resilient. Though thought-tempests may stir up our mental and emotional waters, the practice of meditation teaches us how to restore tranquility.
- With a still mind we can experience lightness of being. It is so pleasant and restful, sometimes joyful, it keeps people coming back to stillness for more.
- We may not like everything about our body, but meditation helps us maintain the body well by slowing the signs of aging, improving metabolism and digestion, lowering blood pressure and heart rate, enhancing the immune system, stimulating cell regeneration, and sharpening brain function.
- People with quiet minds tend to be good listeners, and good listeners tend to have more satisfying relationships - even with their pets.
- Our body, mind, and emotions naturally find a healthy balance when negative thoughts - and the distressing emotions that go with them - are out of the way.
- Most individuals who meditate become less judgmental of themselves and others. This naturally reduces negative thinking and harsh comparisons. Tolerance for our weaknesses grows, and we a more likely to notice and appreciate our strengths.
- Practicing present moment awareness can be done anywhere, anytime, and for moments at a time.
Although quieting the mind can be intimidating at first, many counselors now teach mindfulness as a therapeutic tool, and a life skill. Practicing mindfulness meditation with a compassionate therapist is an excellent way to safely explore the self.
Photo credit: Darragh O Connor