4 Benefits of Meditation
Meditation has a lot of misconceptions. People often believe it is about staying still, and quiet to create a “blank mind”. But that is not the case. It is an active process that involves training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts peacefully. More research is being presented about its numerous health benefits- here are a few to get you started.
Reduction of Stress
One of the most popular reasons why people opt for meditation is to lower stress. There is abundant science-backed research that indicates its role in reducing cortisol (the stress hormone) and the inflammatory response that follows. As a result, depression and anxiety-related symptoms and blood pressure reduce considerably. Meditation further may improve symptoms of stress-related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and fibromyalgia.
Meditation serves as a source of stronger self-understanding, allowing you to be the best version of yourself. For example self-inquiry meditation enables developing an understanding of how you relate to those around you. Other forms help in lowering negative cognitive patterns, such as thinking negative of yourself and the world around you. Studies have proven that tai chi, a Chinese martial art that doubles up as meditation, allows you to be more confident in your individual capacity, improving confidence significantly.
One huge advantage is the ability to better focus and concentrate. This has benefits for honing in on other day-to-day tasks. In fact, a study conducted by Harvard Medical School revealed regularly engaging in mindfulness meditation enhances the brain’s capacity to process new information. The parts responsible for learning, memory and emotional regulation further increased in gray matter. Meditation is also proven to improve decision-making.
If you suffer from chronic pain, meditation should be on the top of your to-do list. Many doctors recommend it as part of an effective pain management plan. This was proven by a study in 2020, where over 6,400 individuals suffering from post-surgical, acute or chronic pain found meditation helpful in reducing pain perceived. While not a complete cure, it can be beneficial as a long-term remedy.