Meditation has been mystified somewhat as a practice for very spiritual people, but the truth is, there is a very basic science to it, that everyone can benefit from, without making a bunch of ooh-meditation sort of assumptions.
Simply breathing and watching your breath lowers the cortisol, the stress hormone which excess causes inflammation. It is claimed that 80% of doctor’s visits are caused by some sort of inflammation, be it because of diet, environment, or other such factors. Why then put more stress-inflammation hormone on top of the factors that we sometimes have no other choice but live with.
Learning to watch the breath as well makes us better watchers. Just like the practice of anything will most surely make you better at it. So by consequence you start watching more your behaviors making you less reactive to situations and acting in a more coherent and satisfying way, hence less drama and less stress and less cortisol and so on and so forth in a positive vicious cycle. No such thing as “I don’t have five minutes a day” is valid, and taking some minutes off for meditation will even make you more productive by enhancing your focus, practicing the focus on your breath will as well enhance your focus on other activities.
Meditation is actually kind of cool and not so much of a monk stuff. Spiritual things might happen down the road after practicing, but that is another story and journey. A word of caution: you might become addicted to it and use more and more time on it as it increases your overall feeling of wellbeing and improves your life.
Simply watch your breath coming in and out, that’s all you have to do, sounds easy but it is quite hard at the beginning to stay with it and to let go of the chances to drift off in thought and just focus on one single thing, your breath. Don’t become frustrated, accept and stay with it. Sure thing first time you were drawing something as a kid it became a piece of ugly art only beautiful to your parents. So try it, and with a little bit of practice the benefits will sure start coming making a leap of difference in your life.