Updated: Oct 12, 2021
Many people operate on the assumption that if you do a lot of something, it is going to be better for you than if you do a little of something. Of course, this mentality is rarely applied to the foods we eat, but generally we have the idea that bigger is better in a lot of cases.
However, when it comes to the consistency of meditation, this is not necessarily the case. People who believe that meditating for a long time but infrequently may ultimately be missing out on the benefits of those who meditate consistently but for shorter amounts of time.
While all meditation can be beneficial, consistent practice tends to have the most long term effects. Even if you only meditate for five minutes daily, it can have more lasting effects than a twenty minute session every week. The chemicals that meditation encourages in our minds are more effective when they are produced regularly, such as the gamma waves that promote neuroplasticity.
Longer meditations do have their benefits, however, if you want to create lasting change in your life through meditation, it is better to be consistent with it. In fact, taking just a few moments out of your day to clear your mind is bound to make it easier for you to obtain the same level of calm during stressful situations, many of which may require you to have a split second to make a reactive choice versus an objective point of view that prevents the situation from escalating to unhealthy levels.
A lot of people might be discouraged by meditation because they have only ever heard of guided meditations that can last anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour, or Zen meditations where you are meant to repeat mantras for several minutes at a time. But there are several different ways to meditate, many of which can be done in just a few minutes. And it is very important to be able to create a space of peace in your mind that you can visit at a moment’s notice.
It doesn’t take hours of daily meditation to get to a place where it begins to benefit your brain and body without a conscious effort. In fact, a simple exercise of meditating ten minutes per day is all it really takes to see some really tremendous results. Once meditation has become a consistent practice, we will have trained our brains to be more objective and flexible so that we can find the harmony in almost any situation without reacting in a way that causes more harm than good.
Constant meditation helps us to remain adaptable and objective, while also giving us the security of knowing that we have a peaceful place to fall back on should we need it throughout the day. When we are tested emotionally or mentally, meditation helps us to cope with these obstacles and stay balanced, whether we meditate for an hour a day or ten minutes!
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