Well for some, that may be true. However, for those who practice meditation with a strong conviction, the benefits of meditation are far greater than being able to sleep fast. Basically, meditation has been designed to help people free their minds from life’s constant conflicts. It promises to give people a deeper sense of relaxation and higher control of themselves. 11 Benefits of meditation
Scientific studies even found explanations to confirm some benefits of meditation. These studies point out that meditation shifts the brain’s activity from the stress-prone part to the calmer part of the brain. This mind exercise lessens the effects of stress, anxiety and depression. They further found out that the brain processes lesser fear due to the changes in the brain’s activities. 11 Benefits of meditation
There are benefits of meditation that most people find very helpful. One is, it actually releases a person from the bondage of past traumas which causes a feeling of having “unfinished business”, and hindering present growth. Through this, one can also enjoy the little joys that each moment brings. 11 Benefits of meditation
The benefits of meditation
Because of the benefits of meditation, a lot of people suffering from psychological problems have found an ally in this mind practice. It is said to be able to pull one out of depression. And because it gives us a better understanding of ourselves, meditation also encourages people to quit their addiction to vices. It could help in their healing and recovery, and live better and healthier lives.
Some health experts have found out that people who have been diagnosed to be suffering from too much stress and extreme anxiety need not be treated with drugs. The benefits of meditation were once again proven in the study of these people. They found out that engaging in meditation is a good panic attack prevention.
A lot of people have different things to say about meditation. Although there are numerous techniques in meditation, they should all be treated the same way. They are not designed to solve our problems or make life worry-free. They are here so that we will be more accepting of life and its challenges.
1. Reduces stress
Stress reduction is one of the most common reasons people try meditation.
One review concluded that meditation lives up to its reputation for stress reduction.
Normally, mental and physical stress cause increased levels of the stress 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, increase blood pressure, and contribute to fatigue and cloudy thinking.
In an 8-week study, a meditation style called “mindfulness meditation” reduced the inflammation response caused by stress (
2. Controls anxiety 11 Benefits of meditation
Meditation can reduce stress levels, which translates to less anxiety.
A meta-analysis including nearly 1,300 adults found that meditation may decrease anxiety. Notably, this effect was strongest in those with the highest levels of anxiety
Also, one study found that 8 weeks of mindfulness meditation helped reduce anxiety symptoms in people with generalized anxiety disorder, along with increasing positive self-statements and improving stress reactivity and coping
Another study in 47 people with chronic pain found that completing an 8-week meditation program led to noticeable improvements in depression, anxiety, and pain over 1 year
What’s more, some research suggests that a variety of mindfulness and meditation exercises may reduce anxiety levels
For example, yoga has been shown to help people reduce anxiety. This is likely due to benefits from both meditative practice and physical activity
Meditation may also help control job-related anxiety. One study found that employees who used a mindfulness meditation app for 8 weeks experienced improved feelings of well-being and decreased distress and job strain, compared with those in a control group.
Similarly, a review of 18 studies showed that people receiving meditation therapies experienced reduced symptoms of depression, compared with those in a control group.
Another study found that people who completed a meditation exercise experienced fewer negative thoughts in response to viewing negative images, compared with those in a control group.
Furthermore, inflammatory chemicals called cytokines, which are released in response to stress can affect mood, leading to depression. A review of several studies suggests meditation may also reduce depression by decreasing levels of these inflammatory chemicals. 11 Benefits of meditation
4. Enhances self-awareness
Some forms of meditation may help you develop a stronger understanding of yourself, helping you grow into your best self.
For example, self-inquiry meditation explicitly aims to help you develop a greater understanding of yourself and how you relate to those around you.
Other forms teach you to recognize thoughts that may be harmful or self-defeating. The idea is that as you gain greater awareness of your thought habits, you can steer them toward more constructive patterns.
One review of 27 studies showed that practising tai chi may be associated with improved self-efficacy, which is a term used to describe a person’s belief in their own capacity or ability to overcome challenges.
In another study, 153 adults who used a mindfulness meditation app for 2 weeks experienced reduced feelings of loneliness and increased social contact compared with those in a control group.
Additionally, experience in meditation may cultivate more creative problem-solving skills. 11 Benefits of meditation
5. Lengthens attention span
Focused attention meditation is like weight lifting for your attention span. It helps increase the strength and endurance of your attention.
For example, one study found that people who listened to a meditation tape experienced improved attention and accuracy while completing a task, compared with those in a control group.
A similar study showed that people who regularly practised meditation performed better on a visual task and had a greater attention span than those without any meditation experience.
Moreover, one review concluded that meditation may even reverse patterns in the brain that contribute to mind-wandering, worrying, and poor attention.
Even meditating for a short period each day may benefit you. One study found that meditating for just 13 minutes daily enhanced attention and memory after 8 weeks.
6. May reduce age-related memory loss
Improvements in attention and clarity of thinking may help keep your mind young.
Kirtan Kriya is a method of meditation that combines a mantra or chant with repetitive motion of the fingers to focus your thoughts. Studies in people with age-related memory loss have shown it improves performance on neuropsychological tests.
Furthermore, a review found preliminary evidence that multiple meditation styles can increase attention, memory, and mental quickness in older volunteers.
In addition to fighting normal age-related memory loss, meditation can at least partially improve memory in patients with dementia. It can likewise help control stress and improve coping in those caring for family members with dementia.
7. Can generate kindness
Some types of meditation may particularly increase positive feelings and actions toward yourself and others.
Metta, a type of meditation also known as loving-kindness meditation, begins with developing kind thoughts and feelings toward yourself.
Through practice, people learn to extend this kindness and forgiveness externally, first to friends, then acquaintances, and ultimately enemies.
A meta-analysis of 22 studies on this form of meditation demonstrated its ability to increase peoples’ compassion toward themselves and others.
One study in 100 adults randomly assigned to a program that included loving-kindness meditation found that these benefits were dose-dependent.
In other words, the more time people spent in weekly metta meditation practice, the more positive feelings they experienced.
Another study in 50 college students showed that practising metta meditation 3 times per week improved positive emotions, interpersonal interactions, and understanding of others after 4 weeks.
These benefits also appear to accumulate over time with the practice of loving-kindness meditation.
8. May help fight addictions
The mental discipline you can develop through meditation may help you break dependencies by increasing your self-control and awareness of triggers for addictive behaviours.
Research has shown that meditation may help people learn to redirect their attention, manage their emotions and impulses, and increase their understanding of the causes behind them.
One study in 60 people receiving treatment for alcohol use disorder found that practising transcendental meditation was associated with lower levels of stress, psychological distress, alcohol cravings, and alcohol use after 3 months.
Meditation may also help you control food cravings. A review of 14 studies found mindfulness meditation helped participants reduce emotional and binge eating.
Nearly half of the population will struggle with insomnia at some point.
One study compared mindfulness-based meditation programs and found that people who meditated stayed asleep longer and had improved insomnia severity, compared with those who had an unmedicated control condition.
Becoming skilled in meditation may help you control or redirect the racing or runaway thoughts that often lead to insomnia.
Additionally, it can help relax your body, releasing tension and placing you in a peaceful state in which you’re more likely to fall asleep.
10. Helps control pain 11 Benefits of meditation
Your perception of pain is connected to your state of mind, and it can be elevated in stressful conditions.
Some research suggests that incorporating meditation into your routine could be beneficial for controlling pain.
For example, one review of 38 studies concluded that mindfulness meditation could reduce pain, improve quality of life, and decrease symptoms of depression in people with chronic pain.
A large meta-analysis of studies enrolling nearly 3,500 participants concluded that meditation was associated with decreased pain.
Meditators and non-meditators experienced the same causes of pain, but meditators showed a greater ability to cope with pain and even experienced a reduced sensation of pain.
11. Can decrease blood pressure
Meditation can also improve physical health by reducing strain on the heart.
Over time, high blood pressure makes the heart work harder to pump blood, which can lead to poor heart function.
High blood pressure also contributes to atherosclerosis, or a narrowing of the arteries, which can lead to heart attack and stroke.
A meta-analysis of 12 studies enrolling nearly 1000 participants found that meditation helped reduce blood pressure. This was more effective among older volunteers and those who had higher blood pressure prior to the study.
One review concluded that several types of meditation produced similar improvements in blood pressure.
In part, meditation appears to control blood pressure by relaxing the nerve signals that coordinate heart function, blood vessel tension, and the “fight-or-flight” response that increases alertness in stressful situations
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