Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Meditation
Meditation is a mental exercise that trains attention and awareness. It is to strengthen the brain’s ability to regulate concentration. Meditation is an effective form of stress reduction. Mindfulness meditation involves sitting comfortably, focusing on your breathing, and bringing your mind’s attention to the present without drifting into concerns about the past or future.
Meditation is so powerful that it’s been shown to physically change the brain by increasing the volume of gray matter in areas linked to learning and memory, regulating emotions, sense of self, and having perspective. It also reduces the volume of gray matter in brain regions associated with stress and anxiety.
Meditation is a practice that has been around for centuries, but it’s only recently become popular in Western society. The best part about meditation is you don’t need any special equipment or training – all you need is yourself and a few minutes. You may feel silly sitting in silence with your eyes closed, but there are plenty of ordinary people who meditate every day and have found it life-changing
The benefits of meditation are numerous, but research shows that regular practice can have a positive impact on physical and mental health, including:
- Lowers blood pressure.
A study published showed that meditation could lower blood pressure. Another study published in the same journal that year showed that transcendental meditation could significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
- Reduces anxiety and stress.
Anxiety and stress are linked to high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity, and diabetes, among other health problems. Many research studies have shown that meditation can help reduce anxiety and stress.
Mindfulness meditation improves the ability to manage stress by teaching practitioners how to respond calmly instead of reactively to stressful situations. The practice has been shown in randomized controlled trials to reduce anxiety symptoms and improve quality of life measures in people with anxiety disorders such as panic disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
- Improves sleep quality.
Sleep is essential for good health. Meditation can help you fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, get better quality sleep, and feel more refreshed when you wake up.
- Increases self-awareness.
Meditation helps you discover yourself on a new level, allowing you to identify patterns of thinking or behavior that may be negative or counterproductive. We become more aware of our thoughts and emotions and those of others around us through meditation. This understanding naturally leads to increased acceptance and compassion towards ourselves and others.
- Helps fight addictions.
Whether it’s alcohol or tobacco, meditation is one way to beat an addiction naturally by helping you gain control over your thoughts and emotions.
- Increased concentration and focus.
Meditation may improve focus and concentration. Research has found that practicing mindfulness for as little as four days can improve focus and attention span — even among people who aren’t regular meditators. Meditation may also help people become more creative problem-solvers by giving them the ability to become more aware of their emotions without reacting to them right away (a skill known as metacognition).
- Increased sense of calmness and tranquility.
Meditation can bring about a sense of calm, peace, and balance to your life. That calmness and serenity will keep you grounded when things get hectic, but it will also carry over into your relationships with others. You’ll be more open and receptive to people in your life, giving you the opportunity to build deeper connections in all aspects of your life, including family, spirituality, work, and social relationships.
- Increased immunity.
Some studies have shown that meditation can boost levels of antibodies in the blood, which means a more robust immune system and higher resistance to diseases like the common cold.
- Better heart health.
There is also evidence that people who meditate regularly have lower blood pressure than those who don’t, which lowers the risk for stroke, diabetes, and heart attacks.
- Increases attention span.
Meditation is all about training your attention and awareness. You can learn to redirect and focus your attention away from harmful or unproductive thoughts by meditating. This can help you better focus at work or while studying or increase patience and self-control in challenging situations.
- Improves memory.
Meditation can improve memory. Meditation provides mental clarity and calmness that help in enhancing memory power. It also helps in processing information quickly. This mental clarity also allows a person to perform daily tasks better.
- Boosts creativity and problem-solving skills.
Studies have shown that meditation improves creativity and promotes divergent thinking, which is essential for problem-solving skills, innovation, and brainstorming new ideas. Researchers believe that mindfulness meditation helps people pay attention to their thoughts and feelings to experience them fully. When people do this, they can begin to see patterns in their thinking, which may help them solve problems more readily.
- Meditation improves your ability to multitask.
In a recent study published by the American Psychological Association, researchers at the University of Washington found that people who regularly practiced mindfulness meditation could switch between tasks more effectively than those who didn’t. The study also found that these individuals had less activity in the anterior cingulate cortex when they weren’t meditating, which is an area of the brain associated with emotion and empathy. The research suggests that regular mediation may help train your brain to stay focused on whatever task.
- Increases energy levels and reduces fatigue.
Many studies have shown a connection between meditation and decreased stress levels. Brain scans of people who meditate regularly show changes in the parts of their brains responsible for stress management.
- It promotes weight loss by reducing stress hormones that lead to overeating.
Daily meditation can help you lose weight by decreasing your stress levels. A study published in the Journal of Obesity found that meditating for 20 minutes a day for three months reduced cortisol levels and body mass index (BMI) in overweight adults.
Another study published in the International Journal of Behavioral Medicine found that meditation helped obese women lose weight and keep it off. The women who completed this 10-week stress reduction program lost an average of 5 pounds, while those in the control group who did not practice meditation gained 14 pounds.
Meditation has a whole bunch of scientifically proven benefits, physical and mental. And while it’s not necessarily easy to meditate initially, learning to meditate can begin an entirely new chapter in one’s life, one with more happiness and peace of mind. It’s certainly worth the effort. The scientific evidence supporting the benefits of meditation is overwhelming, showing that it can boost your energy levels, decrease stress and anxiety, improve your concentration, increase focus and creativity, and more. Meditation might seem too good to be accurate, but the studies can’t be budged: it’s real, it works, and you should start trying it out as soon as possible.