5 Benefits of Using Mindfulness and Meditation to Strengthen Willpower and Resolve
Did you know that practicing mindfulness and meditation for just a few minutes a day can help boost your willpower, resilience, and sense of resolve?
When you practice mindfulness and meditation, you build up the gray matter in the areas of the brain that regulate emotions and govern decision-making.
Kelly McGonigal, a health psychologist who teaches a class on the science of willpower at Stanford University states:
“When your mind is preoccupied, your impulses – not your long-term goals – will guide your choices.”
When you practice mindfulness and meditation, you learn how to turn off your thoughts so that you can be present in the moment. While this may seem like a simple task, it’s not always that easy.
A few minutes of meditation a day can not only help boost willpower and resilience but also give you greater focus and clarity.
When you meditate, you give your mind a workout, because the mind is like a muscle. The more you practice meditation, the more you will begin to understand what is really going on behind the scenes. Each of us has thousands of thoughts per day running through our minds, so it takes some real practice to sit in the stillness and turn those thoughts off.
The more consistent you are in your meditation practice, the more you will understand what drives you and what might be holding you back.
Meditation and Resilience
According to an article in Corporate Wellness Magazine, there are many benefits of meditation when it comes to building resilience and the fact is, that the practice of meditation is much more than a simple relaxation technique.
Some benefits of meditation that you may not have considered include:
- Boosting willpower and resilience.
- Enhancing your sense of resolve.
- Helping you respond versus react.
- Better ability to think quickly.
- Greater ability to bless the mess and roll with the punches of life.
When you meditate, you calm that overthinking mind. Sitting in that place of peace and stillness helps you realize that you have all the tools you need to handle anything that comes along. This alone helps build that sense of willpower and resolve.
Meditation also helps you focus and concentrate better, helping you react quicker and think quicker.
Fight or Flight Syndrome
When you get stressed and anxious, your body produces cortisol, the stress hormone. This keeps you locked into a continual state of anxiety or fight or flight.
Too much cortisol can be detrimental because it keeps you from reaching that calm and relaxed state of mind.
Stress also tends to age you more quickly, so engaging in a regular meditation practice can also help you stay youthful and radiant. Meditation also helps boost your immunity, which can help protect you from diseases and viruses.
It has been said that each of us has up to 90,000 thoughts a day! That's a lot of thoughts. Many of these thoughts are the same because we tend to repeat things over and over in our minds. If we repeat a thought that is more negative or self-defeating, that certainly doesn't help us live a peaceful healthy life.
Meditation helps you have a greater awareness of that stream of consciousness that's always flowing through your mind.
The more aware you are of those thoughts, the more power you have to shift your consciousness and focus on the positive.
Meditation can also help increase those neural pathways in the brain, helping you with memory and learning. The more you open those neural pathways up, the more malleable and plastic your brain is, which can help you take in new information and receive new information more quickly.
There are many ways to practice a simple form of meditation. You don't have to try to meditate for hours at a time.
One good way to practice is by breathing deeply. Try setting a timer for 5-10 minutes and count your breaths at each inhale and exhale where one complete breath is one inhale and one exhale.
As you breathe deeply, you can also focus on a positive affirmation or whatever state of being that you want to cultivate in your life.
Start small and work your way up to longer periods.
Meditation and mindfulness may not necessarily be a quick fix, but they can help set you on the right road going forward. The more you meditate and practice being present in the moment, the more peaceful, calm, and balanced you will feel on a day-to-day basis and that may very well be the best benefit overall.
If you’re not sure how or where to start with the practice of meditation, start by browsing through our amazing yoga instructors and life coaches. Our instructors are specialized across various areas and are ready and willing to work with you! Our online platform makes it simple and easy to browse coaches and book 1-on-1 video sessions all from the comfort of your home, so take a look today!
By Jordan Blair