When we hear the word, it’s hard not to conjure up certain images. These vary from robe-clad monks and their Gregorian chants to hippies sitting in the lotus position repeating “Ohm” over and over again.
The truth is that meditation includes both those things but so much more!
In case you’re not involved with a regular practice yet, let me appeal to that logical brain of yours.
Here are 9 scientific reasons (with links to the actual studies) why every STEMinista needs to start meditating today:
Meditation and Your Physical Brain
To keep up with all facets of her life, a STEMinista knows that she needs to keep her brain in peak condition. Not many women realize, though, that meditation can change your brain for the better.
Regular practice increases the volume of your brain in areas related to emotion regulation, positive emotions and self control. Not to mention that you’ll actually increase your grey matter, too. Throw in a little increase in cortical thickness in areas related to paying attention, and we have a perfect trifecta!
I’m not even talking about reaping the benefits of these physical changes, I’m talking about actually changing your brain. When we hear so much about how aging affects the brain, it’s nice to know that there is something real and tangible we can do to counter those effects.
Meditation and Your Productivity
There’s an inherent contradiction with the idea that meditation (ostensibly doing nothing) can actually increase your productivity.
But the studies say this is true.
And when we are juggling so many demands and we want to rock in all of them, creativity becomes critically important.
Why do I mention that? You guessed it! Meditating improves your ability to be creative and think outside the box!
Meditation and Your Happiness
No list of studies related to meditation would be complete without touching on our happiness. We all want that overarching sense of well-being that permeates all areas of our life, but meditation can play a profound role in helping us attain that.
So much is heard about being positive. Try to see the positive in every situation. Every cloud has a silver lining. Blah blah blah. It’s hard to see the silver lining when you’re sucked into the chaotic vortex on a daily basis!
But meditation can help us with that. One kind of practice, called loving-kindness meditation can induce those positive emotions.
And last but not least, meditation can reduce your stress level. I am totally on-board with this one! It’s hard to be happy when you are under constant stress, so anything that can take that feeling away – I’m all for it.
There are many other reasons to start incorporating daily meditation into your life, but I wanted to hit the big ones when it comes to juggling a career, relationships, motherhood and self-care.
This is definitely in the self-care realm. Remember my post on needing a vacation from my vacation? I talked about candlelight yoga? That falls under the realm of meditation, too.
For tips on getting started, see my YouTube video How to Get Started with Meditation. In that I’ll cover the myths that are so prevalent and some no-nonsense ways to start today (even if it’s only a little!!).
Also, check out my Facebook live video on my journey with meditation; where it started and where I am today!
And, just for giggles, here is a link to an article that explains 23 different types of meditation. I don’t want you to feel compelled to don robes and clang gongs (although you are perfectly free to do so if you want…).
Leaving you with this from the lighter side: Did you hear about the guy who had his tooth pulled without Novacaine? He wanted to transcend dental medication. (sorry, I couldn’t help myself…)