Like death and taxes, these days it seems like stress is just an inevitable part of life. To deal with it, we’ve turned to wine, venting to our significant others and meditation, the third of which has turned out to provide way more benefits than we ever imagined. Read on for eight things that might happen if you start embracing the calm.

meditation lessstress

You might be less stressed

We won’t get into the science-y details, but simply put, meditation changes your brain. When you meditate, you’re loosening the connections of certain neural pathways while strengthening others. This makes you better equipped to deal with stressful situations and activates the part of the brain that deals with reasoning.

meditation healthy

And probably just healthier in general

Obviously stress is a huge problem, and often manifests physically. But meditation helps with more cut-and-dried medical issues as well. According to Herbert Benson, MD, a cardiologist who has studied the health effects of meditation for decades, "The relaxation response [from meditation] helps increase metabolism, lowers blood pressure, and improves heart rate, breathing and brain waves." We’re listening…

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And even more compassionate

Studies on meditation (and there are many) have shown that people who do it regularly show more empathy and compassion than people who do not. And hey, it makes sense. Aren’t you way more likely to snap at your mother when you’ve spent the day huddled over your computer like a giant stress-ball?

meditation early

But you’ll have to get up earlier

Most people meditate for 20 minutes right after getting up and 20 minutes sometime before going to bed. So yes, this means you’ll either have to get up earlier or skip blow-drying your hair. The things we do for a quieter mind.

RELATED: Good News: Anyone Can Meditate

meditation productive

You’ll probably get more work done

In excellent news, meditation increases your capacity to resist distracting urges. And if you’re able to resist the Internet puppy video for an hour or two, you’re way more likely to achieve your actual goals sooner.

meditation posture

And sit up straighter

Meditation requires good posture. So the more you meditate, the more you become hyperaware of your posture in pretty much every situation.

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And sleep better

A recent study by the Journal of the American Medical Association found that mindfulness meditation improves the quality of sleep and could help fight against insomnia. Reason being, you’re better equipped to block out all of the unnecessary (at the moment) and racing thoughts that are keeping you up.

meditation work

But you might have to work hard at it

Like taking up knitting or learning to ski, you’re probably not going to be an expert the first time you try it. It takes practice to push all of the unnecessary thoughts from your mind and focus on being in the moment. The key is to stick with it, and recognize that you will get better.

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