Benefits Of Meditation
Meditation is a process of rewiring your brain and training your mind to have power over your thoughts. Many see it as a way to reduce stress and concentrate. People also rely on meditation to develop other beneficial habits and feelings like positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns, and even increased pain tolerance. Let’s look at some health benefits of meditation that are backed by science! Also, check out the myths about meditation.
Among approximately 1,300 people in another study, it was shown that meditation could reduce stress. This effect was powerful in individuals with the highest stress levels. Research has shown that meditation can also improve stress-related symptoms like:
- Irritable bowel syndrome
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Heart disease
1. Combat Stress
Increased levels of the stress hormone cortisol are caused by mental and physical stress. It causes many of the adverse effects of stress, such as releasing chemicals called cytokines that facilitate inflammation. These effects can interfere with sleep, and encourage depression. Anxiety, increased blood pressure contribute to tiredness and cloudy thinking. In an eight-week study, the inflammation response caused by stress was reduced by a meditation style called ‘mindfulness meditation.’
2. Improves Self Consciousness
Many meditation types help you develop a better self-understanding, allowing you to evolve into your best self. Meditation may also cultivate more creative problem-solving. Self-inquiry meditation, for example, explicitly aims to help you develop greater self-understanding and how you relate to those around you. Moreover, certain meditation types also help you recognize thoughts that might be negative or encourage you to lose yourself. The idea is that, as you become more aware of your habits of thinking, you can guide them towards more constructive patterns.
A study of 21 women fighting breast cancer showed that their self-esteem increased more than it did in those attending social support sessions when they participated in a tai chi program. In another report, 40 senior men and women taking a mindfulness awareness course experienced decreased feelings of isolation relative to a control group put on the program’s waiting list.
3. Reduced Memory Loss Associated With Age
Improvements in mindfulness and clarity can help to keep your mind young. Kirtan Kriya is a meditation technique that incorporates a mantra or chant with repeated finger movement to concentrate thoughts. This increased the capacity of participants to perform memory tasks in multiple studies of memory loss associated with age.
In addition, 12 studies found that in older participants, different types of meditation improved focus, memory, and cognitive pace. In addition to preventing normal memory loss associated with age meditation can improve memory in patients with dementia at least partially. It can also help control anxiety and improve the ability to cope with dementia in family members.
4. Helps In Developing Kindness
Some forms of meditation can increase positive feelings and actions towards yourself and others. Metta, a kind of meditation also known as a meditation on loving-kindness, begins to develop kind thoughts and feelings towards yourself. With practice, people learn to express this compassion and acceptance outwardly, first towards family, then towards acquaintances, and finally towards enemies.
Twenty-two studies of this form of meditation have shown their ability to increase the empathy of people for themselves and others. Here are the other things it does…
- Increases positive emotions
- Decreases chronic pain
- Increases gray matter volume
- Activates empathy and emotional processing of the brain
- Decreases your biases toward other people
- It makes you a more helpful person
5. Assists In Conquering Addictions
The mental discipline that you can build through meditation helps you to break down attachments by building self-control and encourages you to get rid of addictive behaviors. Evidence has shown that meditation can help people learn to focus their attention, increase their willpower, control their emotions and desires, and improve their awareness of the triggers of their addictive behavior.
A study that taught 19 alcoholics how to meditate found that participants receiving the training were getting better at controlling their cravings and stress related to cravings.