7 Benefits of Meditation
Mediation has been around for many many years. However it is just recently that a daily practice of meditation is fast becoming a mainstream hobby.
With a growing body of evidence revealing how remarkable it can be, there are many benefits of meditation. Probably too many to even name, but 7 great benefits of meditation have made it into this post, may it encourage you to change your life and take up meditation yourself.
Benefit of Meditation 1: Decreases Stress
There is substantial growing evidence that meditation can significantly decrease stress.
This is turn reduces the impact of our day-to-day frustrations. It also prevents us from focusing on past annoyances, and future anticipation of things that will annoy us.
We tend to get stressed as a natural reaction to something that displeases or overwhelms us. However through meditation, you can slowly learn to distance yourself from your thoughts, and behave out of intent rather than reaction.
A University of Wisconsin-Madison research study found that meditation reduces grey matter density in the human brain in areas associated with stress and anxiety. Those who meditated regularly were also found to have less probability of having worries and obsessive thoughts.
Benefit of Meditation 2: Improves Creativity
When you meditate and quiet your mind, you are connecting with that state of being that is free from inner criticism and judgement, leaving you free to flow and connect with your true self.
It is in this state of mind where the great ‘aha’ moments occur, and where we get quiet nudges that enable us to be extremely creative. The mind is more focused and relaxed with meditation, allowing the brain to have full creative thought as it isn’t focusing all attention on getting carried away with and stress or emotions.
Most artists and writers usually get into a state of flow before they create something amazing. Despite thinking that this kind of brilliance is only available to the ‘talented people’ it is actually available to absolutely anyone.
I’m sure you have experienced a time where you have felt in full flow of what you were doing, meditation is essentially training the brain to focus and help you to come into a state where you are thriving in full flow.
Benefit of Meditation 3: Lowers Pain
This group had increased activation in higher-order brain regions that were connected with attention control and enhanced cognitive control.
They also showed a deactivation of the thalamus, which is associated with letting pain go into the brain.
Meditation has been shown to change the structure of the brain regarding pain, meaning that pain is not felt with the same level of intensity as before.
Benefit Of Meditation 4: Boosts Psychological Strength and Resilience
Meditation is essentially strengthening and exercising the brain, and a regular habit builds more resiliency. This helps the mind recover quicker from psychological stress.
Just like exercising your muscles at the gym, activating and using your brain works in the same way. This makes you able to bounce back a lot quicker from stress, and see things with compassion and loving kindness.
Meditation trains the mind to focus on the present moment rather than getting carried away by worries or obsessions, which results in an increased emotional strength and ability to see things clearer.
It also allows you to distance yourself from your thoughts, enabling you create space between something happening and your reaction in certain situations.
With this increased emotional strength you are less likely to blindly react to something and more likely to weigh up the situation and respond in a way that will benefit you.
Benefit of Meditation 5: It reduces memory loss
We have previously covered how meditation is essentially mind strength training. One of the great results of regularly strengthening and exercising the mind with meditation is a prolonging of the brain.
Exercising and building your ‘mental muscle’ will help prevent memory loss in later life.
Aside from slowing down the premature ageing process of the brain, meditation also stimulates the parts of the brain associated with long term and short term memory.
Regularly stimulating and exercising these parts of your brain increases more room for retaining memories, both in the present moment and in time to come.
A main cause of memory loss is also due to a lack of focus, for example when forgetting the names of places or things, this may happen due to a lack of concentration.
As meditation teaches you to focus and be aware of the present moment, you are more likely to remember things like names and places as you are fully aware of what you are taking in and your brain will assign it significance.
Benefit of Meditation 6: It Reduces the Need For Sleep
Evidence suggests that those who meditate long-term need significantly less sleep. Buddhist texts suggest that proficient meditators need only 4 hours of sleep per night.
This reduced need for sleep is said to occur because of the increased production of Melatonin, stimulated by meditation.
Melatonin is significantly inhibited by stress, and studies have found that meditation significantly boosts the amount of Melatonin in the body!
It is Melatonin that is responsible for helping you reach a state of REM much faster and in turn reach more efficient and deeper levels of sleep. This means that you do not need as much sleep to achieve a fully rested state.
Meditation can also help you fall asleep faster as it encourages you to be present in the moment. This reduces the amount of time spent lamenting over past and future thoughts that most of us do just before we go to sleep.
Benefit of Meditation 7: Enhanced Decision Making
The relaxed state of mind that meditation creates allows the perfect environment for making clear, effective decisions.
When we are stressed the hormone cortisol floods our body and essentially gives us tunnel vision.
Things may seem bigger and more intense than they actually are, and we may see things only in black and white.
Calming the mind through meditation allows you to see things a lot clearer and be able to make better decisions in turn.
You will be a lot more focused and less likely to succumb to distractions, and you will also be open to seeing new ways of looking at things. This may offer positive solutions and outcomes that wouldn’t have been available to you if you were stressed.
You Don’t Even Need To Do It Very Long To See The Benefits
Even just meditating for 10-15 minutes a day can encourage positive changes in many different aspects of life. Considering it is free and involves one of my favourite past times- lying down, it makes total sense that developing a daily habit is extremely beneficial and worthwhile doing!
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Wishing you and abundance of joy,