Meditation is becoming more popular because now people understand its benefits.
Meditation is the best exercise to train your mind so that you can control your mind and try to focus on things you actually want. Meditation is the best way to reduce stress and increase your concentration level.
Most of the people use this exercise for other good benefits also such as healthy sleep, good mood, increase tolerance level, positive outlook and self-discipline.
1. Reduces Stress
The most common reason for which people do meditation is stress reduction.
In a study of sample size of 3500 adults it is concluded that people do meditation because it helps in stress reduction.
Generally, physical and mental stress leads to increased level of stress hormone cortisol in the body. This can cause many harmful effects of stress such as the secretion of inflammation-promoting chemicals namely, cytokines in the body.
These effects can harm your sleep, can cause anxiety and depression, increase blood pressure and contribute to fatigue.
Various researches had proved that meditation can improve stress related conditions, fibromyalgia and a post-traumatic stress disorder.
2. Controls Anxiety
Low stress level means low anxiety level. It helps in reducing symptoms anxiety disorders like phobias, social anxiety, unreasonable thoughts, panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive behavior etc.
Meditation also helps in controlling job related anxiety disorder high pressure dynamic work environment.
A study of sample size of 2466 participants, showed that variety of different meditation strategies may reduce anxiety.
3. Promotes Emotion Health
Some kinds of meditation helps in improved self-image and more positive outlook on life.
A couple of studies of mindfulness meditation founded that depression is decreased in about 4600 adults.
Inflammatory chemicals namely cytokines, which are secreted in the body because of stress, can affect the mood of the person and can lead to depression. Many studies had concluded that meditation reduces the depression by reducing the secretion of inflammatory chemicals in the body.
4. Enhances Self Awareness
Some kinds of meditation help you in understanding yourself in a better way, which will further help you in growing into your best self.
Self-understanding meditation aims to help you in understanding yourself and how can you relate to those around you.
Other kinds of meditation teach you to recognize thoughts that may be harmful and self-defeating. The main idea behind doing meditation is that as you gain awareness of your thought habits, you can move them towards more constructive patterns.
In a study of about 21 women’s who were suffering from breast cancer, when they take part in a meditation programme namely Tai Chi Programme, it was concluded that their self-esteem improved more than it did in those who attended social support classes.
5. Lengthens Attention Span
Meditation helps in lengthens your attention span. It means that if you are focusing on something then you can focus on that thing for a longer period without any stress. In other words, it increases your attention strength or attention strength.
A study was conducted which noticed the effects of an eight-week mindfulness meditation course and concluded that the meditation improved the ability to re-orient maintain their attention for a more longer time.
Similarly, a study showed that human resource workers who regularly practiced meditation stayed focused on a task for a longer period. It is also concluded that the workers who practiced meditation regularly remembered the details of the work they do better than their peers who did not practice meditation.
6. May Reduce Age Related Memory Loss
Improvements in attention and clarity of thought can help to keep your mind young. Kirtan Kriya is a meditation method that combines a mantra to focus on thoughts with repetitive finger movement.
In several studies of age-related memory loss, it is concluded that it improved the ability of the participant’s to perform a memory task. In addition, a review of 12 studies found that in older volunteers, various styles of meditation increased attention power, memory power, and mental speed.
While fighting with normal age-related memory loss, regularly practicing meditation also helps in improve memory in patients with dementia.
7. May Help Fight Addictions
The mental discipline that can be developed through meditation can also help you break dependencies by increasing your self-control and awareness triggers for addictive behaviors.
Meditation also helps in controlling food cravings. A review of 14 studies of mindfulness meditation concluded that it helped the participants to reduce overeating habits
8. Improves Sleep
After some time about half of the population will suffer from insomnia.
A study was conducted based on mindfulness meditation programs by assigning people one of the two groups randomly. People of one group did meditation while other’s didn’t.
Then it is concluded that the people of the group who did meditation regularly had sleep sooner, had a longer sleep than those who did not practice meditation.
Further, it also helps in relaxing your body, releasing tension and placed you in a peaceful state which will further help in a good sleep.
9. Helps Control Pain
The perception of pain is linked to the state of your mind and can be increased in stressful conditions.
One study used functional MRI techniques to observe brain activity when participants faced painful stimulation. In this, few participants have gone through four days of mindfulness meditation training, while others did not.
In the brain centers which is known to control pain, the meditating patients showed increased activity. They also reported reduced pain sensitivity.
In this scenario, both meditators and non-meditators experienced some degree of pain but the meditators showed the higher ability to cope up with pain and also reduced the sensation of pain as compared to the non-meditators.
10. Can Decrease Blood Pressure
Meditation also helps in improving physical health by reducing strain on your heart.
High blood pressure makes it more difficult for the heart to pump which can lead to poor heart function.
High blood pressure leads to atherosclerosis, which means shrinking of arteries, which will further lead to heart attacks and strokes.
Summary : meditation helps in controlling blood pressure by relaxing the nerves.