Like everyone else, you will have heard of Zazen. You may also know that it is part of the Buddhist Zen tradition. But do you actually know what Zazen really means? Do you know what the benefits are for you?
There are many questions to answer about Zazen and we will study the second question in depth in this post.
What Are the Benefits of Practicing Zazen?
By regularly letting your thoughts run free, you will get to know yourself better and accept yourself better. A person who accepts himself as he is naturally has more self-confidence.
People with anxiety disorders often have to deal with recurring negative thoughts that they cannot let go of. Through the practice of Zazen, one obtains the ability to dismiss these thoughts. This also prevents anticipation anxiety.
Better concentration and more focus
Since Zazen is a combination of emptying your mind and learning to passively deal with emotions and all kinds of thoughts that come to you, you will notice that your concentration and focus will improve a lot.
Better sleep and more energy
Zazen gives you balance, internal calm, and focus. By letting your thoughts run free during the day and putting them away, you will have a much calmer night’s sleep.
This can solve problems such as insomnia and other sleep disorders.
The increased brain activity while practicing Zazen will help you regulate emotions and make good decisions in an easier way. Better focus will also make it easier to work towards a goal and achieve things.
Better mood / Happier
Any activity increases levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and dopamine. However, it is true that Zazen is meant to be silent and that we are not supposed to be mentally active in arousing certain thoughts but the fact that our thoughts are allowed to run free, even though one is not actively dealing with them, will increase brain activity. This activity boosts our happiness hormones, which are the most powerful natural antidepressants. Furthermore, it goes without saying that if one has a better night’s sleep and is more focused on our daily tasks, this will improve our mood.
Less stress / Calmer
Thanks to the ability to focus that one develops at Zazen, our thoughts no longer wander. The accumulation of stimuli is one of the most common factors that cause stress. On the other hand, by keeping a focus, you obtain a calm mind in harmony with what surrounds you.
Earlier we discussed that Zazen helps us focus, which lowers our stress levels. The combination of centered thoughts with low stress levels will automatically mean that you will be much more patient and that unexpected situations will have much less impact on your mood and your way of responding.
Practicing Zazen stimulates the neocortex, where the higher cognitive functions are generated such as language or feeling. This is exactly what you need if you wish to become more creative.
Practicing Zazen will help you to know yourself better and to be connected to your emotions which will make you a more sensitive person. This will enrich your life in many ways.
Zazen has a lot to offer. What are you waiting for to try out Zazen?