It can be easy to lose sight of the things we find happiness in through the hectic nature of our daily lives. When exercising, hanging out with friends, or doing an activity you enjoy aren't enough, try turning to meditation for an extra boost of joy in your day.
Meditation: more than a trend?
Meditation is not a new practice, but it has definitely become more of a trend in recent years. What started off as a religious ritual has become a topic of study in the medical community because of the many benefits that the practice is said to have. According to an article from Business Insider, just a few of the scientifically proven benefits of meditation include improving focus and memory, decreasing blood pressure and fatigue, and boosting your immune system.
Can it make you happier?
Although all of those benefits sound great, they still don't tell you if meditation can make you happier. Happiness can be difficult to measure by the numbers in studies. In order to account for that, most studies equate happiness to being less stressed. You probably experience the initial signs of stress on a daily basis, like a faster pulse and sweaty palms when you're cramming for a quiz or trying to catch the bus home. Small signs of stress are normal but over time stress can have a negative impact on your health. Meditation can reduce your stress levels and therefore make you happier by lowering the number of stress hormones your body releases and changing your brain's stress response center over time. In a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Diagnostic Research, researchers found that those who practice meditation reported a higher level of overall happiness than those who didn't.
How can you meditate?
Meditation is great because it's easy and it doesn't take a lot of time. According to an article published by Harvard Health, you can add meditation to your day in as little as 15 minutes. Although there are many different meditation practices, the basics of any meditation include controlling your breath and your focus. For example, if you choose to meditate by doing a body scan, you take in deep breaths while focusing on different parts of your body. Another form of meditation can include focusing on a particular word or mantra as you take in deep breaths. If you need more guidance when it comes to meditation there are plenty of podcasts, apps, and YouTube videos that can direct you through a 15-minute session that is sure to leave you feeling a little bit calmer and happier.
With these tips in mind, you're on your way to a happier you with just 15 minutes of meditation a day.