Meditation is the practice of meditating. Meditating is defined as a practice where an individual uses a technique, focusing their mind on a particular thought or object to achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm state. There are many scientific-proof benefits to meditating, such as being able to help fight addictions, helping with sleep problems and helps keep chronic pain under control. In one study, MRI techniques were used to observe brain activity as participants experienced a painful stimulus. Some of the patients had gone through four days of mindfulness meditation training, while others did not. The meditating patients showed increased activity in the brain centers known to control pain. They also reported less sensitivity to pain than those who did not meditate. Some research suggests that meditation can help people manage symptoms with asthma, high blood pressure and cancer.Recent studies from Harvard University found that long-term meditators have increased amounts of gray matter in the insula and sensory regions, and the auditory and sensory cortex.
While these health benefits are enough reason to start meditating today, keep scrolling for 5 more reasons you should be meditating everyday.
Many studies have proven a significant reduction in stress when meditation was used and it just so happens to be the common reason for people wanting to meditate. The practice of meditation also helps with blood pressure by inducing relaxation, which increases the compound nitric oxide that causes blood vessels to open up and subsequently, blood pressure to drop. One study, published in 2008 in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, showed that 40 of 60 high blood pressure patients who started meditating could stop taking their blood pressure medication.
With less stress comes less anxiety, so with meditation one dies with the other. One study found that a meditation program reduced anxiety in a group of nurses, proving to be beneficial in high pressure work environments. Yoga has also been proven to help people reduce anxiety too. Meditation has been shown to work as well as common prescription drugs for anxiety, even reversing damage and making your brain less anxiety-prone.
Better Attention Span
Meditation has been proven to build a more focused and stronger attention span. One study looked at the effects of an eight-week mindfulness meditation course and found it improved participants’ ability to regain and maintain their attention. Meditating is also known to increase attention, memory and mental quickness — helping to keep your mind young.
To be a better you it takes more than just a good diet. Having problems with anger, lack of confidence or depression can really take a toll on anyone emotionally. By adding meditation into your daily routine, you are exploring your inner self and it gives you the ability to turn your negative thoughts into positive ones. Meditation techniques can be used to adopt an attitude of acceptance. No matter what happens, you can give yourself permission to be peaceful and happy.
According to studies, meditation changes brain physiology to slow aging. “Cognition seems to be preserved in meditators,” says Sara Lazar, a researcher at Harvard University. Lazar adds that meditators also have more gray matter – literally, more brain cells. Lazar’s colleague, Elizabeth Hoge, did a study that showed that meditators also have longer telomeres, the caps on chromosomes indicative of biological age (rather than chronological). That meditation lengthens life “may be a bit of a stretch,” Hoge says. “But there is something about meditation that is associated with longer telomeres … [perhaps that] it reduces stress and its effects on the body.”
Ways to incorporate basic meditation into your life everyday:
Focus on your breath ONLY. All your attention should be only focused on your breathing. Listen to your breath, inhale deeply and exhale. Breath slowly and deeply — when your mind tries to wander, re-center your focus on your deep breathing. Focusing your attention is one of the most important elements of meditation. There are many different types of meditating, such as Guided meditation, Mantra meditation, Mindfulness meditation, Qi gong, Tai chi, Transcendental Meditation and yoga.
All types of mediation are there to help you find your relaxed state of mind and achieve your true inner peace. Some choose to meditate for hours at a time, but it only takes minutes a day to gain the full benefits of meditation. You can attend group classes led by trained instructors or easily incorporate it into your daily routine all on your own.