Ironically, many people who meditate every day aren't particularly disciplined people. What they do have in common rather, is a feeling of calm that they can harness at any given moment thanks to the regular practice of mindfulness that they've come to enjoy and depend on.
You've probably heard about many scientific benefits of how meditation changes your brain and rests the body (1). But meditating in the morning or right after waking up can leave you with a tangible feeling of clarity to start the day and can create a ripple effect of goodness that extends throughout other important areas of your day and life! Here are 9 practical but unexpected benefits that can happen as a direct result of a consistent morning meditation routine.
Benefits of early morning meditation
1. You won't feel like you need as much coffee
Meditation activates your parasympathetic nervous system, which triggers a deep state of relaxation during the practice (2). So even if you wake up still feel exhausted, after meditating for 20 minutes, you’ll get energy-boosting endorphins that’ll help you spring to life without having to rely solely on caffeine.
2. You'll want to eat cleaner foods
It's no secret that when we're sad (or pissed off) we reach for the guilty-pleasures that only temporarily make us think we feel better. But after you start to build up your morning meditation practices, you may discover that cravings for the sweet, sugary stuff dissipate and get replaced by a craving for healthier, cleaner foods. It's a win-win because your body will have an easier time digesting and turning these foods into fuel for you to operate at a higher level throughout your day.
3. It can help boost your work outs
Meditating regularly can have a huge positive effect on how you exercise. For men in particular, meditation can cause testosterone levels to increase, which results in bigger, stronger muscles, and more energy while working out (3). Plus, your workout will seem much more enticing when you’re more rested and less stressed – a by-product of your morning meditation.
4. It can help you boost happiness and fend off stress
Meditation is like kryptonite to stress, with the primary side effects being increased happiness, creativity and the ability to get better sleep. If there ever was a perfect solution to dissolving stress, it would be daily meditation as many can attest.
5. You could have fewer headaches
Although meditation is not a substitute for medical treatment, it has been shown to reduce pain associated with headaches, making it an ideal complement to more traditional approaches to wellbeing (4). Also, when you find the right meditation practice for you, group class, or YouTube video series etc, you begin to look forward to it and this naturally calms your mind.
6. You automatically turn on your mental 'spam' filter
Imagine if your email didn’t have a spam filter, and for every relevant message, you had to sift through hundreds of messages related to money scams, voucher deals, and Viagra. Meditating can help you filter out the 'noise' and the negative, sabotaging self-talk.
7. You can handle whatever the day brings
You’ll find that meditation allows you to more easily drop into a calm state in which you become supremely adaptable to change. Unexpected deadline? No problem. Someone cuts you off while driving? All good.
8. Men might last longer in bed
Men might not want to talk about it, but it's been proven that meditation can improve your sex life and help you last longer! (5) Again, as testosterone increases, the ability to last longer in bed increases. So if morning sex is an option, you may find that in addition to having more stamina, meditating provides you with more patience and sensitivity when it comes to being present with your partner.
9. Your circle of influence can grow
Because daily meditation helps to release stress, it can make you more compassionate – and in the process, you become less judgmental and critical of others. Noticed that your friends gravitate towards you and want to spend more time with you? You can thank the positive energy of meditation for that.
So what are you waiting for? Start your daily practices this week and before you know it, you'll be reaping the amazing benefits of morning meditation every single day.
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1. National Library of Health: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4076570/
2. Eco-Institute: https://www.eocinstitute.org/meditation/meditation-relaxes-your-nervous-system/
3. Science Daily: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780128012994000098
4. Michigan Headache & Neurological Institute: http://www.mhni.com/headache-pain-faq/non-drug-treatment-alternatives
5. Eco-Institute: https://eocinstitute.org/meditation/increase-your-libido-through-meditation_455/