How Meditation can Change Your Life and Your Mind

min read
A woman surrounded by plants meditating in a quiet room.
BetMGM Mar 01, 2023, 1:17 AM

While modern culture has convinced us to look for the secret to wellness outside of ourselves, the most powerful tool has been within us all along. Meditation is more than a trend; it’s a science-backed miracle that can improve minds and lives. The versatility of this practice lends itself equally to channeling your focus before an online poker game and to unwinding after a stressful day at work. But meditation is about more than just being calm. Let’s show you the incredible benefits of this simple practice and how rewarding it will be to make it part of your everyday life. 

What is meditation?

Before we can understand the power and importance of meditation, we need to understand mindfulness. Mindfulness essentially means being grounded in the present moment. It means intentionally stopping distracting thoughts from pulling you away from the present into the past or future. As a practice of mindfulness, meditation brings us to a state of mindfulness by anchoring us in the present moment. It teaches us control over our minds and thoughts instead of letting thoughts push and pull us against our will. Ultimately, the practice of mindfulness or meditation helps us to discover who we are by helping us to stop identifying with our thoughts. 

As simple as it may seem, meditation requires patience and consistency of practice in order to make a difference in our lives. But the work and commitment are worth the while. Check out the incredible benefits meditation brings to our overall well-being. 

The life-changing benefits of daily meditation

If you’re looking for one habit to add to your daily routine and that will change your life, look no further than meditation. With consistent practice, these are some of the proven benefits of making meditation a part of your life.

Reduced stress levels

Few things in life are certain – except for death, taxes and stress. We can’t avoid stress, but we can train ourselves to manage it better. Meditation is an excellent stress management tool. It not only calms you but also reduces your heart rate while actually lowering the production of stress hormones such as cortisol. Professionals agree. They’ve been prescribing meditation to anxiety disorder patients and have seen impressive results. In the long run, regularly meditating can possibly provide even better results for treating stress and depressive symptoms than antidepressants or cognitive behavioral therapy. 

Better sleep duration and quality

In the sleep department, meditation hits two birds with one stone. The practice not only helps you to fall asleep quicker but also improves the quality of your sleep. If you often feel fatigued even after sleeping a sufficient number of hours, it means you’re not getting quality sleep. Adding a short meditation practice to your bedtime routine will make a big difference. 

Enhanced focus and concentration

Our tech-centered world constantly demands our attention and weakens our ability to focus and concentrate. Mindfulness practices such as meditation help you to focus on the present, which in turn improves your concentration on other daily tasks. A study conducted by Harvard Medical School in 2011 also found a correlation between mindfulness and our ability to process new information.

Fighting overthinking and your inner critic

An overactive mind and self-critical inner voice can severely impact your emotional and mental well-being. We all constantly ruminate on events and conversations or ask big questions about the future, past and our own flaws and insecurities. Meditation quietens the mind and helps you to focus on one thing at a time. You might still fall into old patterns of overthinking, but over time consistent meditation will help you develop inner peace and a quieter mind. As an added bonus, meditation also helps regulate your emotions. 

Higher self-awareness

Meditation prompts you to slow down and spend time on deep self-reflection. Once you see yourself as separate from your thoughts, you can examine them without judgment and in that way improve your self-awareness and self-esteem. Increased self-awareness and self-esteem will boost your social skills and decrease social anxiety.

Beating addiction

Studies have shown that meditation reduces cravings for alcohol or drugs by altering the brain receptors associated with addiction. The practice can also increase your awareness of your own cravings and help you to manage them before they get out of control. A 2018 study published by Substance Abuse and Rehabilitation found that mindfulness training can help to prevent future relapses by regulating how the brain experiences pleasure. 

Gambling addiction is a real issue and prevention is better than cure. Why not start meditating for a few minutes before you play online slots or table games to help you remain present and aware while you play? Let’s show you how to meditate so that you can enjoy these incredible meditation benefits. 

How to start meditating

A rigid routine can make it more difficult to create healthy habits. To incorporate meditation into your life, make it work for you. Ask yourself which type of meditation you want to start. This could be spiritual, focused, mantra, transcendental, movement, relaxation or loving-kindness meditation. 

There are many meditation styles and techniques to adopt. Find one that helps you to focus your mind and let go of thoughts and emotions. These methods can involve counting breaths, yoga, chanting, rituals or using any of the many guided meditations available on a variety of apps. Here is a basic exercise to get you started. 

Beginner meditation exercise

  • Choose a place that is quiet and free from distraction. Set aside 10 to 15 minutes and start a timer on your clock or phone. 
  • Settle down in a comfortable position. A great position is to sit comfortably cross-legged on a pillow on the floor. Keep your back straight and relax your belly and your diaphragm. Close your eyes or leave them open and look straight ahead if that is more comfortable.
  • Put your hands on your knees or rest them on your lap. Make sure none of the muscles in your body is taught or tense, unclench your jaw and relax your shoulders.
  • In this first stage, allow your thoughts to flood your mind. Don’t judge or analyze them – rather assume the position of observer or witness. Let the thoughts come and go without engaging them. 
  • Pay attention to your breathing. Breathe in through your nose until your chest is full and your belly has expanded. Then, slowly exhale through your mouth. Repeat this breathing pattern and focus on counting your breaths. 
  • When a distracting thought arises, restart your count and focus on your breathing. Don’t criticize yourself for any intrusive thoughts – it’s normal to have those. Simply let the thought pass and reset your count. 
  • It will take consistency and commitment to get to ten in your counting. Keep going until your timer runs out. As you improve, feel free to increase the time. If sound stimulates or calms you, use a meditation app or playlist to help you focus. 
  • Meditate daily, preferably always at the same time, and make it a priority in your schedule. Once you’re ready to move on and diversify your meditation practice, feel free to explore the kind of guided meditation that works for you.

You can use this exercise as a morning meditation or as part of your bedtime routine or to center yourself in the middle of a stressful day.  Did you know that play and fun also play a powerful role in our mental health and emotional well-being? Once you’re focused and relaxed, play online casino games and slots at the BetMGM online casino. 

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.