Are you wondering what real benefits you can reap from meditating? Sure, you know it's generally good for you from reading articles, news stories, and write-ups in your favorite health magazines. However, in many instances, there is no real concrete evidence to back up any of the claims. In this article, you will find 10 proven benefits of meditation and how they can improve your life.
1. Improve Concentration
With or without an attention deficit diagnosis from a doctor, many suffer from not being able to concentrate. Research has shown that through just a few weeks of regular meditation, concentration points increased substantially. A large part of this has to do with the DMN or default mode network. This network is used when you are not thinking about anything in particular when you're not living in the moment and your mind starts to wander. A brain that goes off without a purpose is associated with people being unhappy. Meditation can assist in a more present and focused mindset.
2. Reduce Depression, Anxiety and Pain
Pain, anxiety, and depression are feelings that nobody wants to deal with. Through meditation, Johns Hopkins was able to discover that even in small amounts, these feelings can be reduced. Meditation is mind training. You can teach your brain to manage the symptoms that you are feeling for a better quality of life.
3. Increase Learning and Memory
One form of meditation is Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction or MBSR. Researchers did a study on subjects where they went through an 8-week training period of MBSR. Afterward, it was discovered that those involved had increased the size of their hippocampus. This is the area of the brain associated with learning and memory.
4. Increase Emotional Regulation
MBSR Meditation also plays a big role in emotional regulation. This type of meditation leads to a person being more able to stay in control of their psychological well-being. As a result, those that practiced the meditation improved their mood and overall happiness.
5. Feel Less Fear and Stress
The amygdala is the area of the brain where feelings of stress and fear originate. Studies have shown that participants of meditation felt like their levels of these decreased after taking part in the practice. What this proves is not only are their changes that can be reported in the brain, the person who does the meditation has a change in their subjective perception of their own feelings.
6. Improve Self-Control
Research already shows that meditation affects the self-control areas of the brain. It was proven by a study on people who quit smoking. Those that went through meditation brain training were more likely to quit and stay free from cigarettes than those who did not meditate.
7. Improved Psychological Well-Being
Part of the reason you want to put in the work associated with meditation is because you can improve your entire psychological well-being through meditation awareness training or MAT. Studies done by the research groups from Nottingham Trent University in the UK show that people, who have done regular meditation training, had notable improvements in their personal problems including bad moods and stress.
8. More Creativity
You may be someone that has a need to be creative in your work or personal life. When you run out of ideas and the creative juices seemed to have stopped, meditation can help. Studies show that those that have worked on their meditating practices have been able to improve their creative performances. Open-monitoring practices open up the different areas of the mind including divergent thinking that can help in the formation of new ideas.
9. Reduce Risk of Stroke and Heart Disease
Heart disease is an illness that is known to kill more people worldwide than any other illness. Through Transcendental Meditation, high-risk individuals were able to reduce their chances of having a stroke or heart disease by nearly 50%. The practice lowers blood pressure and works at reducing stress, which are two main culprits of heart-related illnesses.
10. Improve Immunity
Practicing meditation can help maintain a healthy state of being by improving immunity. Through the practice, you can improve your mitochondrial production of energy along with consumption and resiliency. As a result, your body will have a stronger immune system.
These are just 10 of the many researched positive effects that result from making meditation a normal part of your routine. As you advance, you will discover personal reasons that your mind, body, and soul desire meditation.