Practicing Buddhism goes with engaging in various practical activities. For Buddhists, these activities are important to their overall existence in life. That is to say, they engage in them as they work towards the ultimate awakening. However, there are various physical benefits of engaging in Buddhist practices.
As a result of these benefits, the practice of Buddhism is fast rising across the world. Nowadays, a good percentage of westerners are considering Buddhism. And, at various levels.
Buddhism teaches that mental and physical well-being can help you to achieve happiness. This is the kind of happiness that the statue of the happy Buddha depicts.
This suggests, therefore, that practicing Buddhism can benefit us mentally and physically. Consequently, leading to our happiness.
As a result, we are going to see the benefits of Buddhism in the different aspects of our daily living. And, these include benefits on mental health, physical health, spiritual well-being, and social well-being.
Then, we are going to discuss on this page those Buddhist activities that will benefit us in many ways.
Thus, we are going to narrow our discussion down in the following subheadings:
- Mental Health Benefits Of Buddhism
- Physical Health Benefits Of Buddhism
- Social Well-being Benefits
- Spiritual Well-being Benefits
In each subheading, we will see what Buddhism has to offer in order to promote the aspect of living. Most importantly, these are Buddhist practices that anyone can choose to engage in.
Mental Health Benefits Of Buddhism
There are various activities in Buddhism that helps to improve the mental well-being of individuals. Read on to find out. Moreover, understand also how to employ the practice for a long term mental health care.
Mindfulness meditation is a recognized practice in Buddhism. This may involve breathing meditation where one is present at the moment. And, also aware and conscious of his surroundings and thoughts.
Meditation is a practice that helps in controlling the mind. As a result, one who meditates tends to remain calmer at every situation. Above all, he understands his thoughts and actions more.
Studies and experience prove that meditating mindfully greatly benefits mental health. For example, it helps to reduce stress and anxiety. As a result, it equally controls depression and mood disorder. That is to say, meditation is a major form of mental training and development.
Meditation will keep you in full control of your thoughts and actions. However, it does this over time as you regularly practice meditation. It makes you see your wandering thoughts from a very different angle. This means that meditation lets you to easily let go of your negative thoughts. Hence, you will be able to acknowledge your thoughts and know they are only there to take advantage of you.
Most importantly, studies show that Buddhists who have experience in meditation are least fearful. They experience anger, frustration, surprise, and shock less often. Consequently, they are always in a positive state of mind and a good mood. This shows that mindfulness meditation works on mental health to improve calmness.
Summarily, the Buddhist practices recognize that the human brain can suffer from overload due to stress. And, this results from the day-to-day activities of man. Therefore, one must struggle to maintain balance in life. Hence, the regular practice of meditation.
The Chanting Of Mantras
In Buddhism, chanting of mantras is a practice used to promote inner peace. And, this is a meeting point between the teachings of Buddha and mental health.
An example of the mantra that promotes inner peace is the om śhănti śhănti śhănti. People who chant this mantra are likely to develop a strong self-peace. That is to say, they are less likely to flare up at others no matter what they encounter.
Although, the chanting of mantras may appear to be a spiritual practice. However, this also qualifies as a lifestyle that in practice encompasses the mind. This is because chanting of mantra involves repeating sayings with focused attention.
As a result, chanting of a mantra is a form of meditation practice. And, also seen as a process of mental training through which one can attain inner peace. Consequently, Buddhists recognized inner peace as the source of happiness. That is to say, when you have peace of mind, you are bound to be happy.
Lastly, Buddhism gives you the opportunity to experiment with your mind. And, this helps you to understand what works best for you. Above all, this is another way Buddhism helps to benefit your mental health.
Knowing You Are In Charge
There is nothing that boosts confidence more than knowing that you are in control of your life. And, this is the basic teaching of the Buddhists. Hence, as a practicing Buddhist, you are aware that no one is coming to save you other than yourself.
This feeling of being in charge of your life will make you less dependent on any external factor. As a result, the frustration that comes from waiting for others for help would be expelled. Thus, you know that your happiness is your choice. After all, the Buddha said, “the mind is everything, what you think, you become”. Therefore, you now know that when you think about happiness, you will end up happy.
This is also evident in the Buddhist belief of Karma. That is to say, Karma also lets us understand that we are responsible for our future. That one can change the course of things they experience in life. And, this is more like a call to responsibility. That what you live out today determines what you get from life tomorrow.
Therefore, if you do things to the benefit of all, you will receive the consequences later in your life. Also, the same goes when you do things to the detriment of all. Hence, in Buddhism, your actions today is what matters the most. This is because good fortune or bad luck is a result of Karmic effects in one’s life.
Summarily, in a practical sense, there is a feeling of fulfillment in doing good. The result of this is inner peace and happiness. Most importantly, knowing you are in charge of what you do with your life will keep you conscious. And, this has a positive impact on your mental health and general well-being.
Physical Health Benefits Of Buddhism
The practice of Buddhism also has a way of benefitting us physically. That is to say, apart from mental health, practicing Buddhism also produces a positive effect on our physical health. Thus:
Movement meditation involves meditation techniques such as walking meditation, yoga, Tai Chi, and qi long. These meditation techniques involve the movement of the parts of the body while maintaining focus. As a result, they train both the physical body and mind.
The physical exercise helps you to gain control over your body giving you balance. Moreover, with these exercises, one can learn good posture. For example, sitting in an upright position which relieves the spine. And, assuming a good walking posture that enables you to walk for long without even feeling it. This is in the case of walking meditation.
All these add up to the physical health of an individual who practices such exercises. Moreover, they offer balance and stability. As such, someone who practices movement tends to stand firmly on the ground.
Consequently, experienced Buddhists in movement meditation are less likely to trip and fall. And, are also physically fit for day-to-day tasks.
In summary, movement meditation is a way through which Buddhism can physically benefit you. That is to say, one can still maintain physical fitness by practicing Buddhism.
Controlled Feeding Habits
The Buddhist monks have the most stringent feeding routine among the Buddhist community. That is to say, they control how they eat and what they eat. This is because most of what the Buddhist monks eat comes from alms. These are mostly leftover foods donated to the monasteries by the lay community.
This feeding habit may have other significance in Buddhism. However, it is of the simple notion that a proper diet which is regular should just quench hunger, relieve you of thirst, keep you from illness. As a result, Buddhist monks follow a diet routine that prevents the habit of unhealthy eating. So that they can avoid overeating and gluttony.
On the other hand, there are monasteries that allow monks to cook. Of course, this sounds less stringent. But, also they go for a high-quality cuisine that promotes good health. Also, the diet tends to be flavorful.
Most importantly, the ingredients should be locally available and natural. With this, there would not be a space for processed foods. Or, any food preserved chemically. Well, of course, naturally obtained ingredients tend to be more healthy.
In the Zen tradition, there are normally three bowls of dishes served in the monasteries. These usually are bowls containing grain-based diet, stew or soup, and a last bowl of vegetables. This shows that Buddhists pay attention to healthy food groups. And, they include carbohydrates, proteins, and fiber.
Summarily, this diet routine may seem to apply to only the Buddhist monks. However, there are devout lay Buddhists who also pay attention to their feeding habits. As a result, a practicing Buddhist can follow the significance of the Buddhist monk diet. And, enjoy the health benefits that come with it.
Staying Away From Intoxicants
The practice of Buddhism tries to keep the followers of the Dharma conscious and mindful. Therefore, the Buddha instructed his followers to desist from intoxicating substances. For example, alcohol, opium, tobacco, and other addictive substances.
These substances when ingested leads to mindlessness. And, this is in direct contrast to the goal of Buddhism which is mindfulness. Moreover, it leads to a
Moreover, this is a part of the five Buddhist precepts. And, it advises Buddhists to refrain from ingesting intoxicants. In addition, you vow to uphold these precepts during the ceremony of taking refuge. This is a ceremony that marks you as an official Buddhist.
Intoxicants are harmful to health. Above all, anyone under the influence of intoxicating substances loses control of his actions. Therein, he can cause harm to himself or others unconsciously.
However, practicing Buddhism will make you stay away from intoxicants. This will benefit both your body and mind.
Social Well-being Benefits
In the society level, the practice of Buddhism also benefits everyone. That is to say, Buddhism has a positive influence on the way people relate with each other for the growth of the environment. As a result, here are the ways through which Buddhism promotes social well-being.
Connecting With Other People
Buddhism teaches that every person is equal. So, there is nothing like superiority or inferiority among humans. As a result, the only responsibility of a human being to another is to render help. And, must avoid taking any action that will cause harm to another.
This is a fundamental teaching in Buddhism. Therefore, a practicing Buddhist should share love, kindness, and compassion towards others. A connection of this nature keeps everyone existing in harmony.
A Buddhist should not feel isolated from society. Or, live a detached life from other people. Instead, he should identify with society. Above all, he should be able to effect positive changes in society. This he should do without feeling superior or inferior to others in any way.
Certainly, the best way to connect to society is by caring for the well-being of others. And, in a rather humble way without losing identity.
This basic Buddhist teaching promotes the social well-being of everyone in society. Also, it leads to peaceful coexistence. Which is what the world today needs.
Living In Natural Environment
The Dharma points out that the environment in which we live matters a lot. As a result, the most suitable environment is that which is still natural and tranquil. Also, it should still be in full possession of the natural elements. For instance, a green landscape with fresh air, ponds, and lakes, and different species of living things cohabiting in peace.
Buddhists believe that human beings are equally part of the natural environment. As a result, should live in agreement with nature. The teachings of the Buddha pointed out that the natural environment affects humans easily. For instance, the process of weather and temperature.
Therefore, for a healthy lifestyle, it is necessary that we adapt naturally to these phenomena.
However, on the contrary, our urban society is no longer in accord with natural living. This is due to the increase in factories and
In summary, the practice of Buddhism helps us to understand the very essence of our natural environment. Also, it helps us to seek peace by living in harmony with nature and its components.
Spiritual Well-being Benefits
When you talk about spirituality in Buddhism, it is more of an experience which pertains to the mind. That is to say, it relates to a higher endowment of the mind. On the same note, it suggests the undying essence of a human being. Or, what we see as the soul.
The practice of Buddhism also benefits the human spirit in many ways. As a result, the practice of Buddhism will help you to understand and become aware of your whole existence. Therefore, you will find out the truth, which is the goal of Buddhism.
Spiritual life is very crucial to our existence. So, we must not overlook this aspect of our lives.
Hence, here are the ways in which Buddhism can benefit our spiritual life.
- Through the devout practice of Buddhist meditation, one promotes his spiritual well-being. You will develop your soul as you grow towards awakening.
- Buddhism encourages the keeping of a natural environment and living in it. One effect of a natural environment is that it has a soothing feeling of calmness and relaxation on the mind. This, in turn, raises spiritual awareness. Above all, a natural environment creates a perfect atmosphere for spiritual development.
- Buddhism teaches the importance of helping one another. Consequently, almsgiving promotes living together in peace. And, increases inner peace. Peace of mind is the basis of a
- In Buddhism, everyone’s salvation lies in his hands. And, knowing this, gives you a sense of responsibility. As a result, take full control of your actions. This is a form of spiritual development.
- The practice of Buddhism makes us understand the importance of living a simple life. That is to say, a life without so much worry about the possession of material things. This is because material things lead to craving, greed, envy, and other vices. All these leads to unhappiness and distractions from one’s spiritual life.
In this page, we have seen the ways in which Buddhism benefits the different aspects of life. And, these we categorized under mental health, physical health, social well-being, and spiritual well-being. They are the major phases of life. As a result, you can see that Buddhism benefits life in general. Also, it touches all the aspects of living.
Most importantly, in this, our society of today filled with strife, conflict, and violence. Buddhism is a practice one should consider in order to maintain personal calm.
Lastly, happiness is the key to life. Therefore, one must try to live a life of happiness. And, this is the aim of Buddhism.