MEDITATION & MARRIAGE

Did you know that one 20-minute meditation is the equivalent of four hours of sleep? Forget naps!! Just meditate. Did you know that daily meditation for two months shows great improvement in dura matter quality per brain scans? How about the fact that meditation leads to neuroplasticity, the brain's ability to change (structurally and functionally), allowing it to physically heal and you to control thoughts, emotions, and reactiveness? And that meditation actually causes the brain to grow, creating thicker cortical walls which slows the aging process, improves memory, attention, and aids decision making skills?

Meditation offers countless benefits for psychological, physiological, and spiritual enhancement (think Mind-Body-Spirit). There are countless ways to practice meditation and there are several categories of meditation. I am a beginner to meditation myself - I've been practicing less than a year, but it has been life-changing -- it yields daily benefits in all areas of my life. Since I am a beginner, instead of trying to educate you on the different forms of meditation and convince you of any one particular method, I'll just list the benefits and why meditation is important. There is a plethora of information on the internet, so have fun learning and experimenting. At the end of this article, I will provide a link to my favorite meditation - the one that has brought drastic change to my life. It's golden!

So how does meditation impact marriage and long-term relationships? Well, we all know the first step to improving any of our relationships lies in our own personal development. Daily meditation will make you a better person and a more pleasant person to be around. But when BOTH partners meditate, whether together or separately, the relationship goes to a whole new level. I recommend meditating together, and then sharing your experiences. My favorite meditation is called Priming, and I discuss this more at the end of this article, but it involves gratitudes and goal setting. Both are excellent to share with your partner. You can encourage each other and hold each other accountable. This fosters teamwork and connection. That leads to better communication and more passion.

WHAT IS MEDITATION?

It's a practice that involves focus. You can focus inward on your health/body, on your breath, spirituality, goals, or on nothingness. There is no right or wrong way to meditate, but choosing the subtype of meditation based on desired goals combined with proper technique used consistently, will certainly provide maximum benefit. All meditation will provide benefits, but different meditative processes provide different benefits - so, do your research to determine the best form of meditation so you can accomplish your goals.

WHY MEDITATE?

In short, meditation provides a plethora of health benefits for mind, body, and spirit. I've broken down the benefits into three categories below.

PSYCHOLOGICAL BENEFITS

Builds self-confidence

Increases Serotonin levels

Helps overcome stress

Resolves phobias and fears

Helps control own thoughts

Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation

Increased emotional stability

Improves relationships

Develops Intuition

Able to see the larger picture in a given situation

Develop will power

Develops emotional maturity

Grows a stable, more balanced personality

Increases tolerance and compassion

Gives composure to act in a considerate & constructive way

Decreased tendency to worry

Helps make more accurate judgments

Decrease in restless thinking

PHYSIOLOGICAL BENEFITS

Increases the size of the brain

Increases brain wave coherence

Improves cognitive processes - maximizes focus, concentration, creativity, memory

Decreases heart attack risk, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels > lowers risk of cardiovascular disease

Increases blood flow and slows the heart

Improved flow of air to lungs, resulting in easier breathing and better oxygenation

Decreases respiratory rate

Improves sex life and boosts libido

Increases exercise tolerance

Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation

Reduces anxiety attacks by lowering the levels of blood lactate

Enhances the immune system

Helps diminish chronic disease

Helps aids post-operative healing

Decreases muscle tension

Decreases pain perception by 40% (morphine only decreases by 25%)

Reduces viral activity

Cultivates healthy habits that lead to weight loss

Cure headaches and migraines

More inclined to sports, activities

Improves digestion

Relaxes the nervous system

Harmonize your endocrine system

Reduces pre-menstrual symptoms

Heals infertility (the stress of infertility can interfere with the release of hormones that regulate ovulation)

Reduces overall need for medical care

SPIRITUAL BENEFITS

Enhances spirituality as a whole

Helps keep things in perspective

Provides peace of mind

Increases compassion

Fosters wisdom

Increases self-actualization and understanding of others

Fosters the ability to forgive

Improves outlook on life

Helps one live in the present

Creates a widening, deepening capacity for love

Increases acceptance of oneself

Discovery of the power and consciousness beyond the ego

Deeper level of spiritual relaxation

Creates a deeper and stronger relationship with God

Reduces patterns of judgment

Opens one to limit-less belief

Shifts one to being happier with simplicity, nature, and self

My favorite meditation is called Priming. It's a 12 minute guided meditation led by Tony Robbins and can be found HERE. I do this every morning. If you're married or in a long term relationship, I suggest sharing your gratitudes and goals with each other daily. If you can make time to meditate together, even better.... it will foster connection, compassion, love, teamwork, better communication, and passion!

And I love the Tibetan Bowls Meditation App (found in iTunes) for bath time - it'll take your bath to a whole new level.

What are YOUR favorite meditations?

Don't hate, meditate :)

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