Right now, you are probably compiling your list of New Year's resolutions for 2016. But there really should only be one thing on your list — and that's to meditate more. We could all stand to do a lot more of it, and some of us have never even given it a try. For the newbies, it doesn't need to be an extremely spiritual routine, with chanting your personal mantra over and over again while breathing deeply. It certainly can be, but more than anything, it's about focusing on your breathing and nothing else. It's also good to learn how to remove all the outside distractions from your environment and be still.
Mastering this skill gets increasingly difficult each year, because we're constantly finding ways to do more things at once. So let's figure out how to sit quietly and live in the now. Because pretty soon, the "now" will become just another "then" and we'll be counting down to 2017 without having accomplished anything. Which would SUCK. And it would be like all the previous years when we made a bunch of resolutions that never got completed. Here are all the reasons why your 2016 New Year's resolution should be to meditate.
1. Because we all need to slow down
We all move too fast. Ferris Bueller even recommended slowing down in order to enjoy life. And he was right. Because if we don't stop and look around once in a while (and mediate!), we might miss it.
2. Because you can do it alone
If you enjoy solo activities, this one is for you. It's also the perfect excuse to leave a social situation that's giving you anxiety, because taking a few minutes to breathe in silence to reset will make you feel one million percent better.
3. Because it battles depression and anxiety
While there is still research being done on exactly how effective meditation is at battling anxiety and depression, it does allow you some time to get out of your own head (which is where depression and anxiety high five each other and destroy your life), and come back into the present. Meditating your way out of a particularly dark moment will calm you down, bring your blood pressure back to your normal rate, and give you the chance to see the same situation with a clearer view.
4. Because it's an important skill
Training yourself to step outside of your present circumstances into a more peaceful head space will help you if you're ever in an emergency situation. Because in an emergency, what's the first thing everyone needs to do? Calm down. If you can do this in a pinch on your own, you can handle your drama in the worst conditions.
5. Because it makes you a better sleeper
According to Dr. Herbert Benson, director emeritus of the Harvard-affiliated Benson-Henry Institute for Mind Body Medicine, mindful meditation is the key to more restful sleep. "Mindfulness meditation is just one of a smorgasbord of techniques that evoke the relaxation response," Dr. Benson told the Harvard Health Blog.
When you shift your body into a more relaxed state before bedtime, the easier it will be to turn off your brain and catch those Zs.
6. Because it's fun
Especially if you rock a hot outfit like Chili does here for meditation time. Because when you're feelin' your look, everything else is easy, and way more fun.
7. Because it can keep you healthy
Much like yoga, meditation has been known to reduce high blood pressure, alleviate pain, and increase lung capacity. And once you become a better breather, exercise gets easier, which will make you more inclined to do it. Then you'll be well on your way to a much healthier lifestyle.
8. Because it helps you live longer
If you do it regularly along with eating a balanced diet and exercising regularly, and you're getting more sleep, you're going to stay healthy longer. And that'll extend your time on this Earth. So you can thank meditation for your (almost) immortality.
Looking for more holiday cheer? Check out Bustle on YouTube.
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