Your mind is a beautiful thing—but for many of us, chaos exists beneath the surface. Chaos is not always negative if you can bring it under control, but doing that is sometimes easier said than done! Meditation is an excellent practice to help you gain control of that seeming chaos.
Meditation is simply the act of separating the chaos from the beauty in your mind.
“Separating the chaos and beauty” might be an unfamiliar phrase—you may be more familiar with the phrase “finding your inner peace.” No matter how you label it, meditation is a personal practice that can help improve your mental health.
Here at Dr. Quintal and Associates Counseling Center in Lakewood Ranch, FL, we want to answer the question:
Can meditation improve my mental health?
Our counseling center treats each person with love and compassion. We provide a range of mental health services, including therapy.
The Effects of Meditation
Of the many types of meditation, one of the most prevalent is mindfulness meditation. Being mindful teaches you to become aware of the present and improves your ability to achieve daily responsibilities. The goal of mindful meditation is to remain at peace despite your circumstances or surroundings.
Whether you practice mindfulness, Qi gong, or guided meditation, meditation can teach you to control your blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, and fight symptoms of depression.
Our daily lives are full of pressure—from work, family, or societal expectations. No matter what is overwhelming your mind, meditation can help you release that stress.
Studies have shown that meditation can lower cortisol levels in your body. The body produces cortisol to boost energy for fight-or-flight situations. However, too much cortisol can create harmful long-term effects. Meditation is an excellent way to tell your body that you are not in a dangerous situation and that you don’t need the extra boost of energy.
Managing Anxiety or Depression
Have you ever had trouble sleeping or lost your appetite? These are common symptoms of depression. Studies have found that meditation can calm your mind and give your body the strength to fight symptoms of depression.
One of the best ways to stop intrusive thoughts that can lead to anxiety or depression is to think about something else. Meditating on the good things in your life can change your mindset. Think about the breath in your lungs or the colors of the sky. These might be small things, but if you focus on being thankful for the small things, you will realize that you have a lot to be grateful for.
Our brains contain millions of neural pathways that help us do things out of habit. It is good to have habits, as they increase our efficiency and productivity. However, some habits are detrimental to our physical and mental health.
Thankfully, the neural pathways that form these habits are malleable. They can change. Mental exercises such as meditation can encourage new pathways to develop our brains. Meditation can help you become aware of the triggers in your life and not turn off the craving to respond.
It is easier to drop one habit if you replace it with another. One of the ways meditation provides value is that it can become a new habit.
Improving Self-Awareness and Self-Esteem
Life can be busy! While staying busy is neither good nor bad, what matters is that you distinguish being busy from being productive or having a purpose. Sometimes we need to stop, turn off all the noises, and think. Many people never allow their minds to process information.
Meditation is a great way to allow your mind to process and reflect on the people and responsibilities in your life. The process can help you find negative and positive behavior patterns.
Becoming aware of your behavior and reactions can lead to better decisions in the future. Better decisions can increase self-esteem.
It’s Never Too Late to Ask for Help
Mental health issues are more common than people realize. Unfortunately, people can form bad habits trying to cope with these issues. They do not have people in their lives who can help them find a healthy way to process.
At Dr. Quintal and Associates, our team would love to be a positive force in your life. We hear the question “Can meditation improve my mental health?” all the time. If you have real struggles, we can help you find healthy ways to manage them—through meditation as well as other techniques.
We’re here to help you at our counseling center serving Sarasota and Bradenton. Call us at (941) 907-0525 when you’re ready to take the first step!