Most of the time, we tend to associate meditation with our emotional and intellectual life. From changing our perspectives to making us kinder, meditation is very much an “internal” thing – and it goes without saying that when it comes to we humans, the most important things lie beneath the surface. But while it’s pretty awesome that meditation offers lots of health and wellbeing benefits, what’s even awesomer is that as well as making us feel amazing, meditation can make us look amazing too.
This may all sound a little shallow, but we’re sure even very serious and important people like to wink at themselves in the mirror occasionally, and there’s nothing wrong with wanting to look at our best. So the fact that meditation can unleash the handsome devil within all of us is a brilliant bonus on top of all those other benefits we get to enjoy.
But how exactly does meditation make us look great? Read on to find out more!
One of the biggest factors in our appearance is our age, and one of the biggest contributors to premature ageing is stress. The stress hormone cortisol is thought to break down skin collagen and even make our cells age faster, while the lack of sleep and poor diet that can accompany a high-stress lifestyle also take their toll.
Lots of sunscreen, quitting cigarettes and eating well can go a long way in keeping our skin looking healthy, but stress is undeniably harder to keep at bay. The modern world is full of pressures and demands, and few of us can afford to escape from it for any meaningful length of time.
This is where meditation steps in. Because meditating every day provides such a profound rest (much deeper even than sleep) it can help us find islands of calm even in the busiest of days. It also reduces that pesky hormone cortisol by up to a third, giving it far less of a chance to do damage.
Other stress-related problems with our appearance, such as thinning hair and acne, can also be alleviated with meditation, and as it helps us sleep well, the physical signs of tiredness can be erased. Feeling bright, well rested and happy, meditation can give us that oh-so-illusive touch of authentic radiance that beauty products never quite manage to provide.
When we are stressed, our digestion is often the one of the first things which is noticeably affected. When we are in fight or flight mode, the energy used in general bodily maintenance – like quietly digesting our lunch – is redirected to emergency functioning to ensure we have the reserves needed to escape from danger. One result of this, along with other digestive trouble, is uncomfortable bloating.
Having our stomachs swell up beyond all sense is especially annoying when that favourite pair of jeans suddenly don’t fit as well as they usually do. However, meditation can help us avoid this situation by calming down our hair-trigger fight or flight response, leaving our digestive system undisturbed and able to perform at its best.
Good Lifestyle Choices
When we are feeling a little low or stressed out, we can develop all kinds of bad habits. Smoking, drinking too much or eating a few too many treats are an almost inevitable consequence of a life that feels drained of other pleasure or comfort, as we search for quick fixes to relieve our stress.
With meditation, however, we feel more energetic, and begin to develop a naturally positive frame of mind – making it far easier to make the healthy lifestyle choices that seem so difficult otherwise.
Because meditation is a brilliant keystone habit (something in our lives which triggers further positive changes), we can find that being healthy becomes much less of a conscious effort. Looking after ourselves with lovely nourishing food, some fun and enjoyable exercise, and avoiding things that are bad for us is much easier when we feel good about ourselves.
What’s more, when we are positively glowing with health and happiness, it’ll be immediately evident in our appearance as half of the challenge with looking brilliant is feeling brilliant. It’s why brides and grooms glow on their wedding days (although the flush of bubbly probably plays a part too!) and there’s something captivating about the truly happy. So if you fancy becoming the best version of you, and a little bit sexier to boot, pop along to one of our intro talks!
Words by Holly Ashby