Studies on meditation have found that by meditating three to four times per week, there are big benefits to be gained, and by regularly meditating for eight weeks, the practice is actually altering our brains,” said Marissa Jarrett, BS, MA. Ed, CHES®️, a certified meditation and mindfulness teacher and co-host of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan’s Virtual Well-Being℠ webinars. She is also the creator of the Wednesday Virtual Well-Being Meditations.
Meditation practice offers numerous benefits, including:
- Stress reduction: Meditation can help lower stress levels by promoting relaxation and reducing the production of stress hormones like cortisol.
- Improved focus: It enhances your ability to concentrate and sustain attention, which can boost productivity and cognitive performance.
- Emotional well-being: Meditation can improve mood, reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and enhance overall emotional well-being.
- Mindfulness: It cultivates mindfulness, allowing you to be more present in the moment and less reactive to negative thoughts or emotions.
- Reduced anxiety: Meditation techniques can alleviate symptoms of anxiety disorders and promote a sense of calm and tranquility.
- Enhanced self-awareness: Regular practice can increase self-awareness, helping you better understand your thoughts, feelings and behaviors.
- Better sleep: Meditation can improve sleep quality and help with insomnia by relaxing the mind and reducing racing thoughts.
- Pain management: It may help reduce the perception of pain and improve pain tolerance through increased awareness and relaxation.
- Lower blood pressure: Meditation has been linked to reduced blood pressure, which can contribute to cardiovascular health.
- Improved relationships: By increasing empathy and emotional regulation, meditation can lead to more harmonious and satisfying relationships.
- Enhanced creativity: Some forms of meditation can boost creativity by encouraging divergent thinking and novel problem-solving.
- Immune system support: There is evidence suggesting that meditation can strengthen the immune system and support overall health.
- Increased resilience: Regular meditation practice can enhance resilience, helping individuals to better cope with life's challenges and setbacks.
- Cognitive benefits: Meditation may enhance cognitive function, memory and decision-making skills over time.
If you want to experience these benefits, the key is to be consistent. There are many types of meditation practices, such as tapping, mindfulness, breathing, movement, mantra, gratitude, lovingkindness and visualization.
Jarrett has created Wednesday Virtual Well-Being Meditations with these styles and more.
“I’ve tried to incorporate something for everybody,” says Jarrett, who even created a meditation to help with procrastination by promoting self-discipline to do the things that you need to get done.
She creates mediations using video footage she's captured in nature, or ones that have been sent in from around the world.
“I do a lot of compassion meditations or mantra meditations to sunsets. There's just something about a beautiful sunset that helps me focus on something positive or be thankful for the people that I have in my life. A lot of times, I'll have something in mind, and I will search for that landscape for that imagery.” she said.
Jarrett’s meditations are between two and 20 minutes. The average is six to eight minutes. She recommends that beginners start with the short ones and work their way to longer ones.
The benefits of meditation vary from person to person, and it's important to establish a consistent practice to experience these benefits. Join a live meditation practice with Jarrett at noon every Wednesday or participate in an on-demand session any time by visiting bluecrossvirtualwellbeing.com.
Learn more about the benefits of meditation in this Blue Cross Virtual Well-Being℠ webinar, Don’t Have FOMO! Attend the Wednesday Virtual Well-Being Meditations. You can also sign up for future employer-focused and individual well-being webinars and meditations here, where you’ll find past webinars and meditations on demand.
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