You must have heard your grandparents or any other elder relative talking about meditation and why it is good for you. You may even find a few TV shows on meditation, or you may have seen a meditation center around your residence. Everyone talks about how it can change your life if you start doing it. Meditation is getting popular day-by-day as more people are trying and discovering its benefits. But does it really work?
In this rapidly moving world, people are busy earning more money, working day and night for their jobs. This leads to daily stress, anxiety, and the human mind can often come under a lot of pressure. These factors directly affect our mood, self-assurance, and make us feel less positive. Meditation is believed to have a profound, calming and rich effect on the human body, and is said to clear our minds and increase the feelings of peace and positivity. So, here are a few benefits of meditation backed by science.
Meditation Can Help You Reduce Stress And Control Anxiety
There have been multiple studies that show how meditation can help reduce stress. Reducing stress is one of the most common reasons why people turn to meditation. The researchers deduce that meditation might very well help people deal with psychological stress. Mental and physical stress triggers the levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which promotes many of the harmful effects of stress. The effects of stress can disturb your sleep, increase blood pressure, promote depression and anxiety, and even contribute to fatigue and cloudy thinking. However, endorphins can reduce these stress levels in the human brain. So, with mindfulness meditation, you can stop worrying about the little things in life and deal with stress. This will help you to concentrate on the promotion of positive feelings. And less stress means less anxiety. An eight-week study of mindfulness meditation helped participants reduce anxiety. Meditation also reduces symptoms of anxiety disorders, phobias, social anxiety, paranoid thoughts, obsessive-compulsive behaviors, and panic attacks. It is also shown to help control job-related anxiety in high-pressure work environments.
Lowers Blood Pressure
High blood pressure will make your heart work harder to pump blood. This leads to poor heart function. The benefits of meditation extend to your heart too. Meditation has been connected to decreased blood pressure. This means that your body can better regulate blood flow depending on how much oxygen you need at the time. Research has proven that meditation reduces blood pressure, both in the short term and long term. The decrease in psychological stress and increased coping ability leads to lower blood pressure, helping you to pursue a healthier life by reducing strain on your heart.
Meditation Can Improve Sleep
Almost 50 percent of the population will struggle with insomnia at some point in their lives. A study was done, where random participants were divided into two groups. One group practiced meditation, while the other group didn’t. This study showed that participants who meditated fell asleep sooner and slept longer as compared to those who didn’t meditate. You can control or redirect the racing or “runaway” thoughts that often lead to insomnia once you become skilled in meditation. Focusing the mind on mental and physical processes will aid relaxing your body, releasing tension and placing you in a peaceful state. This peaceful state makes you fall asleep easily.
Meditation Also Helps Control Pain
The perception of pain is connected to the state of mind, which can be elevated in stressful conditions. If you do a continuous practice of meditation, it can lead to certain physical changes in your brain that help alters the perception of pain. In one study, MRI techniques were used to observe brain activity as participants experienced a painful stimulus. Some of these participants had gone through four days of meditation, while others had not. The patients who had done meditation showed increased activity in the brain centers that are known to control pain and they also reported less sensitivity to pain. This way, meditation can also help you if you suffer chronic pain.
Increases Your Focus
Meditation will help you increase the strength and endurance of your attention, as it allows you to learn how to discipline yourself and this will reflect in your everyday lifestyle. Mindful meditation is found to improve the ability to reorient and maintain attention. It also helps in staying focused on a task for longer. Meditating even for a short period can benefit you, your mind will focus more naturally and you will experience an increased efficiency.