12 Science-Based Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is the habitual process of training your mind to focus and redirect your thoughts. The popularity of meditation is increasing as more people discover its many health benefits. You can use it to increase awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Many people think of it as a way to reduce stress and develop concentration. People also use the practice to develop other beneficial habits and feelings, such as a positive mood and outlook, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns, and even increased pain tolerance.
1. Reduces stress
Stress reduction is one of the most common reasons people try meditation. Many styles of meditation can help reduce stress. Meditation can likewise reduce symptoms in people with stress-triggered medical conditions.
2. Controls anxiety
Meditation can reduce stress levels, which translates to less anxiety. Habitual meditation can help reduce anxiety and improve stress reactivity and coping skills.
3. Promotes emotional health
Some forms of meditation can lead to improved self-image and a more positive outlook on life. Some forms of meditation can improve depression and reduce negative thoughts. It may also decrease levels of inflammatory cytokines, which could contribute to depression.
4. Enhances self-awareness
Some forms of meditation may help you develop a stronger understanding of yourself, helping you grow into your best self.Self-inquiry and related styles of meditation can help you “know yourself.” This can be a starting point for making other positive changes.
5. Lengthens attention span
Focused-attention meditation is like weight lifting for your attention span. It helps increase the strength and endurance of your attention.Several types of meditation may build your ability to redirect and maintain attention.
6. May reduce age-related memory loss
Improvements in attention and clarity of thinking may help keep your mind young.The improved focus you can gain through regular meditation may boost your memory and mental clarity. These benefits can help fight age-related memory loss and dementia.
7. Can generate kindness
Some types of meditation may particularly increase positive feelings and actions toward yourself and others.Metta, or loving-kindness meditation, is a practice of developing positive feelings, first toward yourself and then toward others. Metta increases positivity, empathy, and compassionate behavior toward others.
8. May help fight addictions
The mental discipline you can develop through meditation may help you break dependencies by increasing your self-control and awareness of triggers for addictive behaviors .
Research has shown that meditation may help people learn to redirect their attention, manage their emotions and impulses, and increase their understanding of the causes behind their habits. Meditation develops mental awareness and can help you manage triggers for unwanted impulses. This can help you recover from addiction, manage unhealthy eating, and redirect other unwanted habits.
9. Improves sleep
Nearly half of the population will struggle with insomnia at some point. A variety of meditation techniques can help you relax and control runaway thoughts that can interfere with sleep. This can shorten the time it takes to fall asleep and increase sleep quality.
10. Helps control pain
Your perception of pain is connected to your state of mind, and it can be elevated in stressful conditions.
Some research suggests that incorporating meditation into your routine could be beneficial for controlling pain.Meditation can diminish the perception of pain in the brain. This may help treat chronic pain when used to supplement medical care or physical therapy.
11. Can decrease blood pressure
Meditation can also improve physical health by reducing strain on the heart. Blood pressure decreases not only during meditation but also over time in individuals who meditate regularly. This can reduce strain on the heart and arteries, helping prevent heart disease.
12. Accessible anywhere
People practice many different forms of meditation, most of which don’t require specialized equipment or space. You can practice with just a few minutes daily. If you’re interested in incorporating meditation into your routine, try a few different styles and consider guided exercises to get started with one that suits you.
The bottom line
Meditation is something everyone can do to improve their mental and emotional health.
You can do it anywhere, without special equipment or memberships.