Why isn’t there one simple answer to the question: “Why do people meditate?”
That’s because there are so many benefits to meditation. It’s actually near impossible to create a definitive list of all the benefits, because it can affect people’s lives in multiple ways, and there is a ripple effect where one benefit can lead to more benefits.
When I teach beginners to meditate, they want to know why people meditate. I start by explaining that meditation is fitness for the mind, and when you cultivate the practice, it can change your experience of life, and improve your health.
- Most people meditate to deal better with life – primarily stress management. This is probably the first benefit that people will notice from having a meditation practice. This unto itself can be life-changing.
- The multitude of health benefits has been vastly proven in recent years, and continue to be actively researched. The Harvard Business Review is now recommending that health insurers cover wellness and prevention-oriented therapies that are both low-cost and evidence-based, as both yoga and meditation are. See: “Now and Zen: How mindfulness can change your brain and improve your health”
- Some people choose to use meditation for spiritual growth. This can be a beautiful practice to cultivate a connection with something bigger than yourself, whatever your belief system may be.
So when someone asks me ‘Why do people meditate?’, my answer is that people come to meditation for many reasons and it is a personal choice as to why one meditates. What inevitably happens once someone starts a meditation practice is that they can cite many benefits they are getting, and the initial reason they started meditation is happily accompanied by numerous other benefits.
So if you are thinking of starting a meditation practice, it’s well worth doing so. It’s life skill that can be life changing. Ensure you find a good instructor that you trust and can guide you. There are many wonderful meditation apps to get you started and keep you going, but in my opinion, when you are learning, it is best to find a group with a good instructor.
Wishing you a wonderful day,
~Wendy Quan, of The Calm Monkey.