1) It can help get out of the fight or flight branch of the nervous system and help us RELAX
Too often from the first thing in the morning to the last thing at night we are rushing around. Even when we are sat down often the mind is still rushing, the breath and therefore the nervous system. With just a short 12 minute practice everyday the body can naturally shift into its relaxation response meaning the cortisol levels go as does oxygen consumption, heart rate, respiratory rate, and blood pressure!
2) It can help us focus on what we want to
There are more and more distractions in the West and addictive social media means our attention spans are getting shorter and shorter. With a mindfulness meditation practice we can learn to focus on what we want to and let go of what we don't.. An especially useful practice for when it is time to sleep and shut off the mind!
3) It helps us bring in more patience and compassion into our lives.
There is no one more worthy of love and patience that the person sat on your seat, right now. We often forget this, and can be very self critical. When we practice a moment to moment, non judgmental mindful practice of returning to the breath whenever the mind wanders then we start to create neural pathways in the brain of loving kindness. When we start to create new routes of patience and compassion in the brain then it is much easier to share with others.
4) It actually changes the chemicals in the brain!
Numerous studies have shown these beneficial effect on the mood stabilising neurotransmitters such as Gaba and Serotonin. A low level of these two has been associated with depression or anxiety. One study by psychiatrists at the Boston University School of Medicine found an incredible 27% increase after less than one hour of meditation!
5) It improves all of our relationships
Presence is the best gift you can give someone. An all too rare thing in a world where we struggle to be ever here. It seems we are missing each other amidst a world of staring at phone screens. When we start to meditate the mind starts to slow down and as we learn how to focus on what we want to it means that we become more present in our relationships. As we become more present, offering our mindful listening and attention, all relationships start to go to a deeper and more intimate level. Wait and see!