Meditation is a normal process of training your mind to focus and re-direct your thoughts. The popularity of meditation is increasing as more and more people experience its many health benefits. You can use it to increase your awareness and environment. Many people think of it as a way to reduce stress and increase concentration.
Humans also use this technique to promote other useful habits and feelings, such as good mood and self-control, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns, and even pain tolerance.
Health Benefits of Meditation
Reducing stress is one of the most common reasons people try to meditate. One review concluded that meditation lives on its reputation for reducing stress. Often, mental and physical stress causes elevated levels of the hormone cortisol. This produces many of the harmful effects of stress, such as the release of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines.
These effects can disrupt sleep, promote depression and anxiety, raise blood pressure, and contribute to cloudy fatigue and thinking. In an eight-week study, a meditation technique called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammatory response caused by stress.
Also, studies have shown that meditation can also improve symptoms of stress-related conditions, including irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and fibromyalgia.
Meditation can reduce levels of stress, which translates into less anxiety. Meta-analyzes included nearly 1,300 adults who found that meditation could reduce anxiety. Significantly, this effect was most pronounced on those with high levels of anxiety.
Also, one study found that eight weeks of meditation helped reduce symptoms of anxiety in people with common anxiety disorder, as well as an increase in sound statements and improved resilience to cope.
Another study of 47 people with chronic pain found that eliminating the 8-week meditation program led to a significant improvement in depression, anxiety, and pain over a period of 1 year.
Also, some studies suggest that different ways of thinking and meditating can reduce levels of anxiety. For example, yoga has been shown to help people reduce anxiety. This may be due to the benefits of all meditation and physical activity.
Meditation can help you to control your work-related anxieties. One study found that employees who used an 8-week mental health program experienced a better feeling of well-being and reduced stress and work stress, compared to those in the control group.
It improves emotional health
Other forms of meditation can lead to a better image and a positive outlook on life. For example, one review of treatment given to more than 3,500 adults found that mindfulness meditation improved symptoms of depression.
Similarly, a review of 18 studies showed that people who received meditation treatments experienced reduced symptoms of depression, compared to those in the control group.
Some studies have found that people who have completed meditation exercise experience fewer negative thoughts in response to viewing negative images, compared to those in the control group.
Also, inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, released in response to stress, can affect emotions, leading to depression. A review of several studies suggests that meditation can also reduce depression by lowering the levels of these inflammatory chemicals.
It improves self-awareness
Some forms of meditation can help you improve your self-esteem, helping you to grow into a better person. For example, self-reflection aims to help you improve your understanding and how you interact with those around you.
Some forms teach you to identify thoughts that can be harmful or self-destructive. The idea is that as you gain a deeper understanding of your thinking habits, you can direct them to more constructive patterns.
One review of 27 studies showed that practicing tai chi may be associated with improved effort, which is a term used to describe a person’s belief in their own strength or ability to overcome challenges.
In another study, 153 adults using a 2-week meditation program experienced fewer feelings of loneliness and increased social contact compared with those in the control group. Additionally, meditation knowledge can develop problem-solving skills.
Increase attention span
Concentrating on your thoughts is like lifting your weight. It helps to increase the strength and endurance of your look. For example, one study found that people who listened to a meditation tape experienced improved care and accuracy while completing the task, compared to those in the control group.
Similar studies have shown that people who are accustomed to meditation do better at visual activity and have a longer attention span than those who do not know about meditation.
Also, some reviews have concluded that meditation can alter patterns in the brain that contribute to mental retardation, anxiety, and inadequate attention.
Even a brief meditation each day can be beneficial. Some studies have found that just 13 minutes of daily meditation improves attention and memory after 8 weeks.
It can reduce age-related memory loss
Improvements in visual acuity and clarity of thought can help keep your mind young. Kirtan Kriya is a meditation technique that combines a mantra or singing with repeated finger movements to focus your thoughts. Studies in people with age-related memory loss have been shown to improve performance in neuropsychological tests.
Also, the review finds the first evidence that many meditation techniques can increase attention, memory, and mental speed in older volunteers.
In addition to fighting age-related memory loss, meditation can at least improve memory in patients with dementia. It can similarly help stress management and improve coping with those who care for family members with dementia.
Do generate kindness
Some forms of meditation can especially enhance good feelings and good deeds for you and others. Metta, a form of meditation also known as a meditation on loving-kindness, begins with developing kind thoughts and feelings for you.
Through practice, people learn to extend this kindness and forgiveness outside, first to friends, then to acquaintances, and finally to enemies. The meta-analysis of 22 studies of this method of meditation has shown its ability to increase human compassion for themselves and others.
One study of 100 adults randomly assigned to a program that included a meditation on loving-kindness found that these benefits were dose-dependent. In other words, the more time people spend in the habit of meditating on the metta each week, the more comfortable they feel.
Another study of 50 college students showed that meditating on metta 3 times a week improved positive emotions, social interaction, and understanding of others after 4 weeks. These benefits also appear to be accumulated over time by the practice of meditation on loving-kindness.
It can help fight addiction
The psychological discipline you can develop through meditation can help you to break free from anxiety by increasing your self-control and awareness of the causes of addictive behavior.
Research has shown that meditation can help people learn to direct their attention, manage their emotions and feelings, and increase their understanding of their causes.
One study of 60 people receiving alcoholism treatment found that excessive meditation was associated with lower levels of stress, anxiety, alcohol cravings, and alcohol abuse after three months.
Meditation can also help you to control your appetite. A review of 14 studies found on mental meditation helped participants reduce their emotional stress and overeating.
About half the population will experience insomnia at some point. One study compared mindfulness-based meditation programs and found that people who meditated were more likely to be asleep longer and had better sleep, compared with those who had no medication.
The ability to meditate can help you to control or recreate thoughts of rushing or running away that often lead to awareness. Also, it can help to relax your body, relieve tension, and put you in a more comfortable position where you can sleep.
It helps control pain
Your perception of pain is linked to your mood, and you may rise to stressful situations. Some research suggests that incorporating meditation into your routine can help manage pain. For example, one review of 38 studies concluded that mental meditation can reduce pain, improve health quality, and reduce depressive symptoms in people with chronic pain.
A large meta-analysis of studies enrolling nearly 3,500 participants concluded that meditation was associated with reduced pain.
It can lower blood pressure
Meditation can also improve physical health by reducing stress in the heart. Over time, high blood pressure causes the heart to work harder to pump blood, which can lead to heart failure.
High blood pressure can also contribute to atherosclerosis, or narrowing of the blood vessels, which can lead to heart attacks and strokes. A meta-analysis of 12 studies enrolling nearly 1000 participants found that meditation helped lower blood pressure. This worked well among older volunteers and those with high blood pressure before the study.
One review concluded that several types of meditation have shown similar improvements in blood pressure. In part, meditation appears to regulate blood pressure by suppressing sensory signals that regulate cardiac function, blood vessel tension, and a “fight or flight” response that increases awareness in stressful situations.
What are 8 benefits of meditation?
1. Reduced Stress. 2. Emotional Balance. 3. Increased Focus. 4. Reduced Pain. 5. Reduced Anxiety. 6. Increased Creativity. 7. Reduced Depression. 8. Increased Memory.
What meditation does for the brain?
Meditation and mindfulness induce a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. Various studies demonstrate the practice can help relieve stress — as well as manage anxiety, reduce inflammation, and improve memory and attention, to boot.
Is it good to meditate everyday?
Daily meditation can help you perform better at work! The research found that meditation helps increase your focus and attention and improves your ability to multitask. Meditation helps clear our minds and focus on the present moment – which gives you a huge productivity boost. Lowers risk of depression.
How much time we should meditate?
Mindfulness-based clinical interventions such as Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) typically recommend practicing meditation for 40-45 minutes per day. The Transcendental Meditation (TM) tradition often recommends 20 minutes, twice daily.
Does meditation increase IQ?
The results showed that participants who meditated showed an average gain in IQ of 23 percent. One of the reasons is that deep meditation slows down brain activity. With slower brainwaves, the brain increases its ability to reorganize itself. When you give your brain some rest, it improves itself.
What is the power of meditation?
Meditation lets you become more awake and more purposeful about your actions. It teaches you how to respond, rather than react, to situations in your life. Meditation sounds simple. But it takes discipline to remain still in body and mind.