Meditation is a practice that has been around since time immemorial, and it's been viewed several different ways depending on cultures and societal contexts. In Eastern religions, it's always been a crucial part of connecting to the self, and even something higher than us. In the West, most of this has been discredited, and there's been a lot of stereotypes attached to the practice. The fact of the matter is, in 2017, we should all be meditating, and not just for the spiritual benefits.
If you're not the kind of person who believes in spiritual benefits, believe us when we tell you there are plenty of reasons to be meditating in the modern age.
It improves your concentration
For those who don't pursue meditation for its spiritual qualities, it's important to take the physical into account. Rather than let your mind wander, one needs to give attention to their breath, their posture, and their stillness in meditation that focuses on the physical. This, in turn, will allow for better concentration, and that's one aspect that we could all definitely use in an age of constant distractions.
It gives you a moment of respite
Speaking of constant distractions, between our technologically-fueled lives and the intensely metropolitan existences that anyone reading this article most likely lives, we are never alone. The Guardian published a piece about mental health being increasingly on the decline in city-dwellers, and part of this alarming increase in mental disorders is the fact that we get no rest from others anymore. Meditation allows, more than anything, for a moment to sit with yourself and get to know what you're feeling.
It helps with your breathing
Remember what we said about focusing on your breath? It's not just about concentration. Meditative breathing allows for fully-filling the lungs, a counter to the usual stressed-put, shallow breathing most of us are used to, especially in an urban setting. Your lungs will expand, and you'll be able to breathe much better, and with more oxygen flow to the brain, the concentration you've already acquired meditating will only continue to feed your brain.
It can help lower your blood pressure
So it's not necessarily the source of lower blood pressure, but meditation is one resource that aids in the process. Aside from the increased oxygen introduced into your body, the fact that one is sitting still for so long allows the body to calm down from it's usual activity, a calm that permeates into your mind and that allows for your heart rate—and thus your blood pressure—to slow down.
It helps you stay present
In a world where we're constantly thinking about the future, where we're constantly on social media, where we're constantly disassociated form our own reality, meditation is a healthy and refreshing way to be in the moment. How can one not be, when you're sitting down and breathing? It's perhaps the most simple way, in this day and age, to really take the time to just be exactly where you are and take it in at your own pace.