Health professionals today recommend meditation for everyone because of its proven health benefits. Numerous scientific studies conducted to control the benefits of meditation have demonstrated the spiritual, emotional, social, and physical benefits of meditation. In today’s hectic life, meditation is the key to peace of mind and happiness
Listed below are the top 7 health benefits of meditation.
1. Meditation to manage stress, anxiety and depression
Meditation has been found to be very helpful in reducing stress, anxiety and depression. It calms the mind and keeps the mind from getting caught up in unwanted thoughts.
Studies suggest that with regular meditation practice, your cortisone level (also known as a stress hormone) tends to decrease and you feel less stressed.
A study conducted by Johns Hopkins revealed that meditation provided the same depression relief as antidepressants.
Another study conducted by Ohio State University suggests that meditation is useful in memory processes and emotional regulation by increasing the concentration of gray matter in brain regions.
Meditation helps us to be less reactive and more sensitive to the events of our life.
2. Meditation to lower blood pressure
Meditation is considered the best alternative method for patients with hypertension. According to health experts, meditation works in the same way that antihypertensive drugs work in the human body, that is, it reduces the response to stress hormones.
The study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine suggests that relaxation response techniques such as yoga or meditation may help lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of heart attacks.
In addition to having such a great health benefit, meditation is cost effective, readily available, and free of any side effects unlike antihypertensive medications. With regular practice, you can feel a general improvement in health.
3. Meditation for better sleep quality
Meditation improves sleep by reducing the severity of stress, anxiety, and depression, which are the leading causes of sleep disruption. A study published by JAMA Internal Medicine on the effects of mindfulness meditation on sleep quality revealed an improvement in sleep quality with meditation.
Meditation is considered the best practice because it is harmless, cost effective, and readily available.
However, some money may need to be spent on meditation classes and books, but this could be a one-time investment, if at all.
There are also many free mobile apps and YouTube videos available if someone wants to try it out before spending money on it.
Regular practice of meditation can be helpful not only for sleeping faster but also for a more relaxed and sound sleep.
4. Meditation for happiness
There is a strong connection between meditation and happiness. Meditation brings happiness by working on our thoughts, actions, and desires.
All human beings have desires, most of which are unnecessary or unwanted. In order to achieve these desires, they become anxious, hyperactive, and overly ambitious, leading to mental and physical wear and tear.
The path to fulfilling these desires sometimes brings a lot of sadness, grief, and sorrow. With meditation we can learn to create a balance between mind and body that in the long run helps to regulate emotions.
“Human desire is often insatiable. We are so anxious for pleasure that we can never get enough of it. We stimulate our sense organs until they become insensitive, so if pleasure is to continue, they must have stronger and stronger stimulants.. ” ~ Alan W. Watts
While completing his doctorate. research at Harvard University Matt Killingsworth wanted to know the answer to a question “what makes us happy?
As part of his research, he created an application called Keep track of your happiness (available only at the Apple app store) where it collected a large sample of 15,000 people from 80 countries.
These people belonged to different income group levels, age, gender, education, marital status, and employment.
The results were amazing. Individuals who were focused on their present moment / experience were noticeably happier than those who were concerned with the career thoughts in their mind.
5. Meditation to cure cravings and addiction
Meditation has been shown to be of great help to those suffering from addiction. We develop desires for certain things when our brain begins to anticipate rewards for a specific habitual action. Although it is part of human nature, it can become an addiction in extreme cases.
American psychiatrist, neuroscientist and author Dr. Judson Alyn Brewer wrote in her book The mind craving that we are all vulnerable to addiction. Explain how the feeling of fulfilling a desire creates a new memory in our brain.
Repetitive actions to satisfy these desires lead to an addictive pattern in our brain. Severe addiction can lead to despair and make us feel out of control.
A study of smokers found that they quit smoking willingly after participating in meditation training sessions.
With regular meditation practice, we can become aware of and witness these desires instead of responding impulsively and becoming a victim.
6. Meditation to enhance creativity
Meditation helps to break down our mental blocks created by habitual thought patterns and paves the way for new and innovative ideas in our mind.
Regular practice improves the functioning of our brain, including working memory, which is essential for keeping information active in our mind.
The neuropsychological connection between creativity and meditation is an investigation based on electrophysiological studies conducted by Ast. Hong Kong Polytechnic University professor Roy Horan III, who is also the founder of Innova Ltd. (a company that trains creative, mind-boggling approaches to improving performance and well-being) supports the hypothesis that meditation training enhances creativity.
Another study by Italian cognitive psychologist Dr. Lorenza Colzato highlights the effects of meditation on creative thinking.
One of the greatest innovators and thinkers of the modern era, Steve Jobs, also referred to meditation as the main source of his creativity.
It is worth noting what science says about the correlation between meditation and creativity!
7. Meditation for Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Medical research performed on a small group of people with symptoms of IBS. They were further divided into 2 groups, one group participated in support group therapy and another in conscious meditation.
After a 3-month follow-up, the study revealed that the physical and psychological symptoms of IBS were managed more effectively by those who practiced mindfulness meditation than those who were being treated in support group therapy. .
Mindfulness meditation techniques have been found to have better results in patients with IBS because it has been found to improve the symptoms of chronic depression and fibromyalgia.
Studies clearly indicate that mindfulness meditation is a practical and economical method to improve IBS, says a licensed clinical psychologist who was one of the researchers involved in the study.
According to research published by National Library of Medicine – National Biotechnology Information Center10 of the original 13 participants with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) participated in a one-year follow-up study to determine whether the effects of meditation on reducing IBS symptoms were long-term.
From pretreatment to one-year follow-up, significant reductions in symptoms were observed.
It is quite obvious that meditation is not just a spiritual practice, in fact it has a lot of health benefits proven by science over and over again.
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