Why Meditate? You Decide.

YOU DECIDE.

It would be really easy to answer the question “Why Meditate?” by simply listing the benefits – both anecdotal and research-based –  of a regular meditation practice. But in my 22 years of experience as a dietitian-nutritionist, I’ve learned that simply listing the benefits of doing something (say, eating a nutritious diet for example) is very often not a good enough motivator to get people to do it.

DOING IS BELIEVING

I recently finished several months of traveling to nearly every major city in the northeast U.S., presenting on a variety of wellness topics. During the stress reduction and “Mindfulness Matters” presentations, I had the groups participate in a brief, guided meditation. At first I assumed that these people who don’t normally meditate might think even a brief meditation was a waste of time. What I learned from the evaluations, however, was that the guided meditation was the participants’ “favorite” and “most useful” parts of the seminar. I hoped that they would use the experience to begin their own regular practice, but like any daily habit or practice -like leading a horse to water- you can’t “make” someone meditate.

BENEFITS OF MEDITATION

Maybe you know someone with a regular meditation practice who has told you they don’t know how they functioned in life without it. I’d say the same about my personal meditation practice. I have become as passionate about sharing the benefits of meditation as I have about sharing the benefits of eating vegetables…maybe more so. A regular meditation practice can:

  • Reduce stress and improve response to stress
  • Lower blood pressure
  • Reduce anxiety
  • Aid in weight loss
  • Improve creativity
  • Cure insomnia
  • Increase optimism
  • Improve mood
  • Improve digestion
  • Increase mental clarity
  • Increase self-awareness
  • Promote calmness
  • Increase energy levels
  • Improve relationships

And the list goes on. But unlike my captured audiences in my corporate seminars, I can’t force you to close your eyes, focus on counting deep breaths and simply notice and dismiss thoughts without judgement. So rather than try to convince you, I’ll suggest that you watch this short video (click here) . If celebrity endorsement is not your thing, consider that meditation has been the focus of thousands of peer-reviewed studies over the past several decades, and is now widely accepted as a standard therapeutic tool employed in medicine, psychology, education and self-development.

Many people tell me “I tried meditating, but I’m not good at it, my mind is constantly racing.” Remember, meditation is a practice…with cumulative beneficial effects. If you’re skeptical, start small and short but consistent. Consider taking 5 minutes – JUST 5 MINUTES – to participate in this guided meditation (click here). Maybe you’ll continue with the full 21 day program. Maybe you’ll download Insight Timer or Head Space on your phone for other guided meditation options. Or maybe you’ll check out the Transcendental Meditation program (like I did) and learn how to meditate pretty much anywhere, anytime, with no guidance. Meditation itself is free. And there is no wrong way to do it.

I can’t think of a single person of any age, who wouldn’t benefit from a meditation practice. It’s even being taught in some schools which is a wonderful thing because unless the internet, technology and our hyper-connectivity is going away anytime soon (which it’s. so. not.) meditation will continue to help humans not only cope, but live their best lives in this fast-paced, stressful world. Try it. I’m convinced you’ll be glad you did.

Happy Centering 🙂

 

  • Chris June 15, 2017, 3:53 pm

    Very insightful and helpful. Thanks to you, I’ll give it a try.

    Reply
    • Colleen Gerg June 15, 2017, 4:02 pm

      Thank you. That coming from you, I can almost say “my work is done here.” 😉

      Reply
  • Sheri June 15, 2017, 7:34 pm

    Great article, thanks!!

    Reply
    • Colleen Gerg June 16, 2017, 12:15 pm

      Thanks my zen friend! xo

      Reply

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