Meditation is a mind-based practice deeply rooted in tradition and history. As the research around meditation continues to advance, scientists have found a significant number of benefits the exercise has to offer those who practice it.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a technique used to heighten a person’s awareness and attention. There are many different forms meditation can take, including:
- Mindfulness meditation
- Concentrative meditation
- Spiritual meditation
- Guided meditation
- Loving-kindness meditation
- Mantra meditation
The practice can change thought patterns and help a person work toward mindfulness and consciousness. The technique has been used in many different cultures, religions, and countries worldwide for thousands of years and will likely be around for thousands more.
The Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is a powerful tool that can change the physiology of your brain as well as your entire life. The practice of meditation has offered many psychological and physical health benefits. These benefits include:
Reducing Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety can often occur when a person fears the future or worries about their past. Many types of meditation are great for helping a person find the present moment again. This could be why so many people find that meditation reduces their stress and, consequently, anxiety. One study, in particular, concluded that meditation could significantly benefit those struggling with general anxiety disorder, reduce stress reactivity, and improve their ability to cope in stressful situations.
Encouraging Emotional Regulation
Emotional regulation plays a huge role in a person’s ability to enjoy life. Meditation has been found to benefit emotion regulation. One study found that meditation does this by offering an improved emotional recovery, fewer negative emotional responses, increased positive emotional reactions, reductions in avoidance, and overall improvements in emotion regulation.
Improving Attention Span and Memory
Meditation has been found to have many cognitive benefits, as well. These cognitive benefits include an increased attention span and improved memory, even in new meditators who practice brief, daily meditation.
Sleep is a critical aspect of a high-quality life. However, it doesn’t always come easy- especially if you have found yourself feeling stressed or worried right before bed. Researchers found that sleep-deprived individuals who began to use meditation reported a better night’s sleep than before.
Promotes a Healthy Cardiovascular System
As we mentioned before, meditation can reduce stress and anxiety. Both of these can take a serious toll on a person’s heart health and blood pressure. When one feels stressed or anxious, their heart rate picks up and their blood pressure skyrockets. While the research still has a ways to go, many studies have suggested that the easily obtainable practice could be highly beneficial to a person’s cardiovascular system.
Aches and pains are a normal part of life. However, studies have suggested that meditation could be an excellent tool for pain relief. This could prove to be huge for those suffering from chronic pain.
Meditation is an easily obtainable, cheap method of self-care that has a multitude of benefits to offer its user. With the benefits being so significant, it is no wonder the practice has been used for thousands of years by people from all different corners of the world.