10 Benefits of Meditation

How regular meditation can improve your health

Meditation has resurged in popularity as people strive for holistic ways to manage their stress.

There are numerous benefits of meditation for both mind and body, and that’s what this article explores.

Whether you are a practised yogi or brand new to the art of meditation, it’s comforting to know that meditation doesn’t just help you keep calm, it benefits your health as well.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits of meditation.

10 Benefits of Meditation

1. Reduce stress

Stress relief is probably the primary reason why people (especially in Western civilisations) start a meditation practice.

The act of sitting calmly for extended periods of time reduce levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in the blood and can leave you with a feeling of tranquillity.

2. Makes you more self-aware

While there are many different forms of meditation, such as mindfulness and transcendental, overall you will find yourself gaining more self-awareness as you learn to meditate.

Meditation calms the incessant chatter in your head, which leaves you with space to think deeper thoughts.

3. Your heart loves meditation

According to the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) there is a positive correlation between meditation and improved condition of heart health and blood sugar control in people with metabolic syndrome and coronary heart disease.

4. Improves focus and concentration

A useful benefit of meditation includes the ability to focus for longer periods of time.

This is because the practice of meditation requires you to stay in a state of “focused inattention” for periods of time.

It could be that this trains the brain to be able to focus on tasks with more intensity and be less susceptible to distractions.

5. Improved sleep

If you suffer from insomnia, this benefit alone might compel you to take up meditation.

Without deep sleep the body is unable to repair, leaving you groggy, irritable and craving sugar.

Meditation can be done practically anywhere.

Let’s face it, we can want to eat as healthily as we want and exercise regularly but nothing matters if we don’t have the energy to do it.

One of the benefits of meditation is that it can help improve the quality and quantity of your sleep.

6. Lessens anxiety

Meditation calms the sympathetic nervous system.

This is the system responsible for your body’s panic response ie: ‘fight or flight’ reaction when put under high-risk and stressful situations.

It makes sense that regular meditation would play a role in lowering the hormones responsible for anxiety and stress: cortisol, epinephrine and norepinephrine.

These hormones play an important role in our survival mechanism, but ongoing stress can leave us feeling utterly burned out.

Meditation can help reduce our levels of anxiety and keep calmer in stressful situations.

7. Boost your creativity

Some people swear by meditation for their creative process.

In fact, MRI studies of the brain have proven that meditation affects our brainwaves.

For some incredible insights into how meditation affects our brainwaves, read this article here.

8. Improves memory

Another benefit of meditation is a better memory. Now if only we’d known this when we were still at school!

Who wouldn’t want to remember birthdays, dates, faces and names with ease?

Even if meditation only increased your memory recall by 5%, wouldn’t it be worth doing?

9. Pain relief

There have been numerous studies showing that meditation can reduce our ability to feel pain.

The important thing to note is that this benefit works best when one is an experienced meditator.

10. Sense of meaning

This benefit of meditation is largely attributed to the meaning you assign to the practice.

Being part of a global community of meditators can encourage feelings of connectivity and belonging.

Knowing that you are part of a network of people who are consciously rewiring their brains for the better gives you a powerful feeling of support.

Closing thoughts on the benefits of meditation

There’s a quote that says:

Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you.

Nathaniel Hawthorne

When it comes to the benefits of meditation, they are similar to the beautiful metaphor in the quote.

Practising meditation for one week and expecting to have completely transformed your outlook on life is unrealistic.

That’s why some people call meditation an art. And as you know, art is perfected with practice.

If you are curious as to what meditation can do for you, download a free app like Insight Timer or Calm and it will teach you the basics of how to meditate.

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