Meditation or mindfulness has the ability to improve your life in all aspects. When I first started meditating In noticed an increase in my focus and productivity and more control over my emotions. The benefits of meditation are scientifically proven and could possibly cure mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety. There’s no doubt it could truly change your life.
The health benefits
These are the 10 evidence-based health benefits of meditation.
1. Reduces stress
We experience relief when meditation gives us space and clarity we need to organize our priorities. This is the core of stress management.
Through mindfulness meditation practice, our minds can become more capable, focused and clear, enabling us to better handle stressful situations
2. Controls anxiety
Anxiety is a cognitive state connected to an inability to regulate your emotional responses to perceived threats. Mindfulness meditation strengthens a person’s cognitive ability to regulate emotions. “Although we’ve known that meditation can reduce anxiety, we hadn’t identified the specific brain mechanisms involved in relieving anxiety in healthy individuals,” said Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., postdoctoral research fellow in neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist and lead author of the study.
3. Promotes emotional health
There’s some research to suggest practicing meditation can help with managing negative emotions, such as anger and fear.
A small study published in February 2016 in the journal Consciousness and Cognition suggested that meditation may help people cope with anger. (3) Furthermore, improvements were seen with just one session of meditation.
4. Enhances self-awareness
Self Awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions. Self Awareness allows you to understand other people, how they perceive you, your attitude and your responses to them in the moment.
September is Self-Awareness Month. To me, self-awareness is the process of going within and connecting with your true self. Not with your outer appearance or personality, but your inner essence. It means knowing yourself as both a physical and spiritual being, connected to all that is and all the universe. The reason self-awareness is so important is that it allows you to know what your body, mind, and spirit is craving in order to live a fulfilling life.
5. Lengthens attention span
Research says meditation helps in improving concentration and focus. You see meditation is about focusing on breathing or some kind of prayer, so we can say it will help to make your mental cells related focus and concentration to get stronger, hence improving those focus.
6. Improves memory
One study conducted by researchers in Boston found that frequent meditation seemed to bolster the cerebral cortex of its subjects’ brains. The cortex deals with mental functions such as learning, concentration, and memory. Regular meditation increases blood flow to the brain, which leads to a stronger network of blood vessels in the cerebral cortex and reinforces memory capacity. One study that was published by a reputable cognition journal indicated that meditating for 20 minutes a day boosts memory and concentration.
7. May help fight addiction
A person who meditates is better able to handle stress, making them less likely to turn to addictive substances as a coping tool in the first place. And if they’re addicted already they are more to abstain from it due to an increase in emotional endurance.
8. Improves Sleep
A study published a few years ago in JAMA Internal Medicine included 49 middle-aged and older adults who had trouble sleeping. Half completed a mindfulness awareness program that taught them meditation to help them focus on “moment-by-moment experiences, thoughts, and emotions.” The other half completed a sleep education class that taught them ways to improve their sleep habits.
Both groups met six times, once a week for two hours. Compared with the people in the sleep education group, those in the mindfulness group had less insomnia, fatigue, and depression at the end of the six sessions.
9. Reduces pain
The study discovered that by activating and reinforcing some areas of the brain used in pain processing, meditation has the overall effect of helping to reduce pain intensity in patients.
10. Decreases blood pressure
Two researchers at Kent State Universities have found that mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) can reduce high blood pressure, which affects nearly 60 million adults in the United States.
MBSR, which involves the practice of meditation, body awareness and some gentle yoga, has been shown to be effective in preventing and treating depression and anxiety and alleviating stress, but scientific studies of its effects on blood pressure are rare.
If you are just starting out, I recommend you meditate for anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes every day. You can start with even less. Maybe try it for 1 minute in the morning. And when you can sit still and relax for that long, move to 2 minutes. And then you keep increasing your time as you get comfortable with the practice.
The most important thing is to just start. The next most important thing is to be consistent. You are trying to set a new groove here. So starting simple is a great way to go. This will make it easier to stick to this habit.