7 Facts About Meditation That May Surprise You

1. Meditation is more than just closing your eyes.
Meditation can initiate an incredibly restful physical and mental state of consciousness called the “Relaxation Response.” But merely closing your eyes won’t guarantee it anymore than turning off the lights guarantees that you’ll fall asleep at night. Your breath, body position, and the time of day also play a part in yielding deeper experiences.

2. You don’t need to meditate for hours.Meditating for an hour or two a day usually ends up being unsustainable, especially when you factor in work, kids, hobbies and recreational activities. 15-20 minutes has been shown to be optimal for meditation time. Even 5 or 10 minutes of meditation every day is better than meditating sporadically or not meditating at all.
3. There is a right way to meditate.There are more efficient ways to meditate just like there are more efficient ways to swim. With proper technique, swimmers can glide through water with ease. With no training, that same body of water becomes potentially hazardous. Likewise, proper meditation training will help you glide through your thoughts. But without training, you risk drowning in your thoughts, which can cause meditation to feel like torture.
4. Thoughts are a part of everyone’s meditation.
No matter how long you’ve been meditating, you will experience thoughts. The difference in long term meditators and brand new meditators is brand new meditators fight their thoughts while long term meditators embrace their thoughts. Once you begin accepting your thoughts, meditation will feel a thousand times easier.
5. Meditation should feel easy.
This idea that meditation needs to be hard and uncomfortable dates back to a time when people associated the practice with monasticism. But there are householder styles of meditation that have co-existed alongside of monk practices for thousands of years, and they can make meditation feel as natural as dreaming. If your meditation doesn’t feel that easy, it’s probably because you’re trying to meditate like a monk, and not like a householder.
6. Meditation is compulsory for optimum health.Every day, whether you meditate or not, stress accumulates in your body like trash accumulates in your house. If you don’t empty the trash on a regular basis, it will stink up your house. Likewise, if you don’t empty the stress from your body on a daily basis it will stink up your mind, and affect your health. Mental relaxation creates a perfect outlet for stress release, which gives practical value to daily meditation.
7. Not meditating is expensive.Did you know that the average American spends over $7,000 on every year on stress-related health issues, and that every major health problem we face as a society has strong links to stress accumulation? If you need convincing, Google “symptoms of stress” and see if you don’t find a multitude of health issues that affect you or people you know. Meditators have been shown to significantly reduce their instances of heart disease, cancer, infectious diseases and transportation accidents within the first few years of practice.