Last updated on November 23rd, 2023.
As self-help practices continue to gain exposure and popularity, more and more people are turning to meditation to improve the mental health aspect of their lives. With proper training and regular practice whether is morning or at night, meditation can produce many life-changing benefits, not the least of which is an improved mindset.
Meditation can produce positive changes in your mindset such as in these 7 ways:
- Managing burnout better
- Gaining a new perspective on life
- Increasing self-awareness
- Coping with adversity
- Boosting self-improvement
- Increasing self-control
- Improving focus and decision making
Millions of people around the world have meditation to thank for their improved mental health. And key among its many benefits is meditation’s effectiveness in improving your attitude and outlook on life. Read on to learn 7 ways that meditation can change your mindset for the better.
Why is Meditation so Powerful?
The notion that meditation positively affects your psyche and mental health is beyond dispute. For thousands of years, people from all walks of life and from practically every part of the globe, have utilized meditation to improve some facet of their mental health. But what makes the ancient art of meditation so powerful?
There is increasing evidence that meditation has wide-ranging positive effects on the neurological makeup of your brain. These include:
- Meditation can promote long-term brain health (it is, after all, an organ in your body)
- Meditation can rein in excessive activity in your brain’s default mode network (aka the “me center”), the area of the mind that correlates to worry, self-doubt, and mental cluttering
- Meditation can increase volume in brain cells related to memory, learning, and emotional control while decreasing cell volume in parts of the brain relating to fear, anxiety, and stress
- Meditation has also demonstrated effectiveness in alleviating symptoms of depression rivaling that of antidepressant medicines
So as it turns out, meditation not only trains your mind to function in a healthy way but it can actually implement beneficial physical changes in your brain as well. And modern science is proving what proponents of meditation have known for centuries, and that is, meditation is an incredibly powerful medium that when properly harnessed and applied, can result in immensely positive changes.
What Does it Mean to Have a Mindset?
Generally speaking, the term mindset refers to the set of personally-held beliefs that shape and impact the ways that you perceive life and deal with its challenges. On a fundamental level, your mindset affects your level of happiness and your overall mental well-being because it determines how you process information and make decisions in response to every situation that life throws at you.
How do you Meditate to Change Your Mindset?
Maybe you’re wondering, what should I meditate on? Changing your mindset through meditation is a process requiring commitment, perseverance, and patience. Long-lasting changes to your psyche and mental disorders do not come easily nor should this endeavor be rushed. Studies have shown that regular meditation can alter brain functions in positive ways. For example, these are but just a few of the ways that meditation can implement positive change:
- Meditation can improve the way that the left and right sides of the brain communicate with each other
- Self-awareness can be significantly improved as can self-control
- Meditation also enhances emotional stability and reduces drastic mood swings
But for any long-lasting positive changes to take hold, meditation must be performed on a regular and consistent basis. Generally speaking, the period of time that it takes for meditation to affect certain portions of the brain is roughly 8 weeks.
7 Ways Meditation can Change Your Mindset
Like so many self-help platforms, meditation offers many profoundly impactful benefits. Changing your mindset may be but one way that meditation can be a positive force in your life, but it is a significant one as well as a good place to start, so here are 7 ways to accomplish this potentially life-altering goal.
Meditation can Reduce Your Daily Stress Levels
One of the most common objectives of people who make the decision to start meditating regularly is to manage the everyday stress in their lives. Stress can come from many sources – work, school, colleagues, peers, and even family – and regardless of the source or cause, stress can be a debilitating force regardless of your mental fortitude.
Not only can meditation alleviate the negative effects of daily stress and help to reduce stress overall but it can also alter your mental approach to stressful situations so that you can handle them better and find resolutions quicker. In other words, through meditation, you can achieve a mindset that empowers you to:
- Gain a new perspective on the things that cause stress
- Focus on the here and now
- Strengthen your coping mechanisms
While meditation cannot eliminate the things that cause stress, it can change your mindset in the way that you view them, and ultimately, in the way that you handle them.
Meditation can Change Your Perspective on Life
Another significant way that meditation can change your mindset is by altering your perspective on life in general. By seeing things through a more positive lens (i.e., looking at the proverbial bright side) a host of benefits, both mental and physical in nature, can ensue. For instance:
- Changing your perspective can filter out negative energy from your life
- You can more easily see the big picture and prioritize the things that really matter
- A fresh perspective can help you feel free instead of trapped
As simple as it sounds, having a new perspective on life may be the most significant change a mindset can undergo.
Meditation can Enhance Your Sense of Self-Awareness
Meditation can also enhance your sense of self-awareness. By changing your mindset so that you are more attuned to your own mental and physical conditioning, you can better assess your current state of well-being and focus on the here and now instead of reliving the past or being apprehensive about the future. Much of this has to do with keeping emotions in check and meditation can be a game-changer in this regard.
Meditation can Help You to Better Cope with Adversity
A natural human response, when confronted with a threatening situation, is to initiate the fight or flight reflex. Through meditation, you can change your mindset so that this sympathetic nervous system response is suppressed instead of triggered. The result can be a calmer, more thoughtful approach to problem-solving when adversity comes knocking at your door.
Meditation can Encourage Self-Improvement
Self-improvement starts with developing the right attitude toward positive change and one of the keys is having a growth mindset. Through meditation, you can develop a frame of mind that is conducive to:
- A willingness to approach problems with an open mind
- Embracing change and growth
- Seeking guidance and mentorship
From mindful breathing exercises to actual changes in brain function, meditation can help shape a growth mindset that will foster significant inner growth and encourage self-improvement.
Meditation can Boost Self-Control and Combat Addiction
Meditation can also be a powerful aid in combating addiction and boosting self-control by developing a mindset that:
- Keeps emotions in check
- Suppresses impulses
- Reduces stress and anxiety
- Makes triggers easier to identify
- Controls cravings
With a mindset trained in exercising self-control just about any facet of everyday life can benefit, from eating habits to productivity at work.
Meditation can Sharpen Your Focus and Improve Decision Making
Among its many documented benefits, meditation can help develop a mindset that leads to sharpened focus and optimized decision making through enhanced brain function relating to cognitive mechanisms as well as memory retention. Best of all, studies have shown that the gains in focus and decisiveness that are made through meditation are long-lasting and not just temporary improvements.
On its surface, meditation is an ancient art most commonly associated with achieving inner calm and mental clarity. But its benefits can run far deeper with long-lasting effects such as changing your mindset to enable you to better cope with life and its many challenges.