Know how you can bring a healthy change in your life by practicing meditation. Make it your daily routine and see how it brings your mind and body at peace.
They say ‘meditation is good for your health’. But how? We all need a logical answer to that in this scientific era. Meditation is being practiced by people from ancient times and when we think about it, a Buddha sitting on a bank of a river with closed eyes pops in our minds.
But, truth is that mediation is beneficial for each one of us. It is not limited to religion or culture, but this practice is for all the people in the world to make their lives much easier. It is proved that only 20 minutes of meditation a day can bring lots of positive changes within weeks! And these changes are retained when observed in follow-ups.
Just close your eyes, watch your inhale and exhale. Do not try to stress on your breathing pattern, just let the air flow in and out of you. This is what meditation is.
I have summed-up some benefits based on scientific researches. So, read below and see how meditation works for your mind and body.
Helps with your moods:
‘Meditation is like multivitamins, it is good to take it every day’
Some studies were conducted, one in Belgium with 400 students, one with 22 patients suffering from anxiety, one in the University of Kentucky, and 20 random studies from PshycInfo, PubMed etc. it is concluded that:
- Mindfulness meditation reduces the symptoms of depression. It was studied that the students who practiced in-class mindfulness meditation did show improvement in their depression and were less likely to develop depression-like symptoms.
- Mindfulness meditation helps with mood and anxiety disorder. It is proved that meditation reduces the grey matter in the areas of the brain related to stress and anxiety. It is as beneficial as anti-depressant drugs. But certainly, it does not mean to discontinue your doctor’s prescription when you are meditating.
See also How to boost your brain’s health?
Improves your performance:
Researchers in the University of California have proved that meditation improves concentration, focus, attention, and ability to work under stressful conditions. In improved the cognitive skills 10 times better than the people who did not meditate.
Meditation also improves that decision-making power and enhances the person’s ability to process information quickly. It is seen that meditation increases the folding in the cortex which enhances performance. In a book, ‘Wise mind, open mind’, it is stated that meditation gives you strength, resilience and emotional intelligence.
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) can greatly reduce hyperactivity, impulsivity, and increases the awareness skills. This was proved by a study made with 50 adults suffering from ADHD. Meditation increases the focus and allows the person to concentrate even if there are a lot of distractions.
Meditation reduces pain better than morphine!
Yes! The University of Montreal carried out a study in which they exposed 13 Zen practitioners (those who practice Zen meditation) and 13 non-practitioners to painful heat and measured their brain activity in a functional magnetic resonance imaging scanner. The Zen practitioners reported less pain then reported in their neurological output. They concluded that even brain may be receiving the same input of pain but in their mind, it’s actually less.
Let us see what Zen meditation is. In this technique, you will try to clear your mind by focusing on your breath. Try to do it every day at the same time and soon you will start to achieve your objective i.e. mind clarity.
An experiment was conducted by Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre, 15 volunteers were trained for meditation and then their brain activity was observed using MRI. They concluded that ‘ an hour of meditation training can dramatically reduce both the experience of pain and pain-related brain activation by 40% and 57% respectively, even greater than morphine or other pain-relieving drugs’
Improves physical health and prevent diseases:
‘If you do not like medication, try meditation’
A study has shown that those who took meditation classes had a 40% less risk of heart attack and stroke. Actually, meditation reduces high blood pressure and other psychological and social stress factors.
Mindfulness meditation reduces the inflammatory disorders and decreases cellular level inflammation. This was shown in a research at UW-Madison Waisman Centre.
Meditation also helps prevent Asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
A great practice to reduce social anxiety:
Loving-kindness meditation allows a person to develop more positivity, empathy and general compassion. It makes a person to believe in people and sit with them. A person who has social anxiety should practice meditation to banish his fear of interaction with people.
A study from Carnegie Mellon University indicates that mindfulness meditation is great to minimize the feelings of loneliness and decreases the risk of morbidity and mortality.
Meditation for kids:
After huge research work done, www.mindfulnessinschools.org presented some conclusions. According to them, the children who practiced meditation shown reduced depression symptoms, reduced anxiety and reactivity, increased self-care and optimism, and improved academic performance.
These studies have also shown that the children developed empathy and tried to help their fellows, their physical health was way improved, their motivation increased, and they became more open-minded, kind, and patient.
In a nutshell, meditation is a technique which should be practiced by everyone out there for the betterment of mental and physical health. It also impacts the society in a positive way as the people who practice it become more empathetic and patient. Meditation is not restricted to any particular religion, culture or area. It is something for everyone to practice daily!