THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION FOR THE MIND AND BODY
Meditation is a practice that has been carried out in one form or another for centuries. No matter what name it’s called or who practices it, the essence of meditation is that it allows the person practicing it to relax, to be in control of their thoughts and emotions, and to experience peace of mind.
We have always been told to practice meditation because of its several 'health benefits’. But what exactly are these benefits? How is meditation actually helping us?
Let’s find out.
1. Helps relieve stress
One major health benefit of mediation is that it helps reduce our stress levels. When stressed, our body produces a hormone called cortisol. It is this hormone that is responsible for many of the health issues that we suffer due to stress. Mediation is found to result in lower levels of cortisol in our body.
Therefore, by practicing meditation, people can build resilience and lower the effect of stress on themselves. Further it also helps with symptoms of disorders caused by stress, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), etc.
2. Helps lower anxiety
Practicing meditation can help us keep our anxiety in check. The lower the stress we experience, the lesser the anxiety. It also helps reduce the symptoms associated with anxiety disorders such as social anxiety, panic attacks, phobias, etc.
3. Improves emotional health
Meditation is found to have a positive influence on our self-image and self-confidence. It gives us a positive perspective on the world around us. Research shows that those who practiced meditation are less likely to develop depression and other mood disorders than those who did not meditate.
Meditators are also generally more optimistic and practice positive thinking. Meditation helps improves self-esteem.
4. Improves attention span
The goal of meditation is to keep us in the moment. Consequently, over time, meditation helps improve our attention.
It increases our attention span and makes it easier for us to focus on a task for longer periods of time. It helps train our mind from wandering and keeps us from unnecessary worrying.
4. Helps improve memory
Regular meditation helps reduce the loss of memory associated with age. This is mostly because increased attention often leads to increased memory. Studies have shown meditators to perform better at memory tasks than non-meditators do.
5. Increases self-awareness
Meditation helps us bring the focus of our attention upon ourselves, and to understand ourselves better. It encourages us to reflect on our thoughts and feelings, and to understand them.
Once we are more aware of ourselves, we are able to recognise what we are doing wrong, and can work on it to get better.
6. Reduces blood pressure
An important health benefit of meditation is that it can help decrease our blood pressure. Maintaining blood pressure at normal levels is important to keep our heart healthy and well-functioning. Meditation helps by teaching our body to relax and be less tense. Thus, it can help us avoid heart diseases.
7. Helps manage pain
With meditation, we are better equipped to cope with pain. While meditation does not reduce the pain we experience, it does affect our perception of it- it makes us less sensitive to pain. Meditation can help people suffering from short-term as well as chronic pain in addition to their medical treatment.
8. Teaches us to be kinder
Certain forms of meditation encourage treating oneself well and being kind to oneself. After developing this sentiment toward ourselves, we can learn to extend this feeling of love and kindness outward, towards the people around us. Meditation can make us more compassionate, affectionate and empathetic towards others.
9. Leads to better sleep
Meditation can help improve our sleeping habits. Meditators are found to have fewer sleep troubles. They tend to fall asleep faster and stay asleep longer than non-meditators. Sleeping problems are often experienced because people are unable to stop the constant flow of their thoughts. Meditation trains us to control our thoughts and feelings. It helps us relax and induce a peaceful state of mind that can lead us to fall asleep.
10. Other benefits
Meditation has a positive impact on creative thinking, problem solving and decision making skills. It helps us build a stronger immunity. Meditation helps develop self-control which is important for eating healthy and fighting addictions.
Overall, meditation can help us improve our physical health and your psychological well-being. This has been proven time and again by research conducted by experts. This method of self-care has been practiced through the years and has always come out effective. So let's try to adopt meditation into our life slowly but regularly to truly experience its benefits.
What benefits of meditation have you experienced yourself?