7 Life Changing Benefits of Meditation
There are many benefits of meditation, from stress relief to a deep feeling of inner peace. It is the cornerstone for almost all spiritual practices. Its benefits reach all areas of our lives, here are 7 life changing benefits of Meditation.
1. Relieves Stress
Meditation is most commonly used to reduce stress. Stress is primarily caused by the stress hormone; cortisol. This can create a lot of harmful effects such as problems sleeping, depression, anxiety, increased blood pressure, fatigue and cloudy thinking.
Research has shown that meditation improves symptoms of stress-related conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder and fibromyalgia. A study involving approximately 1,300 adults showed that meditation does decrease stress, especially in people with already high levels of stress. Another study proved that meditation reduces the density of brain tissue associated with anxiety. So if you are looking to reduce your stress levels, try meditation.
2. Helps with Anxiety
The less stress you have, the less anxiety you will ultimately have. Meditation has been shown to reduce symptoms of anxiety disorders, such as phobias, social anxiety, paranoid thoughts, OCD and panic attacks. It can also help you job-related anxieties in high pressure work environments.
A study of volunteers who continued their regular meditation over an eight-week program were able to maintain lower levels of anxiety over a long period of time. In another study of 2,466 participants showed that different types of meditation also helped to reduce anxiety levels.
3. Improves Emotions Health
Meditation has also been proven to improve one’s self-image and self-confidence and gives you a more positive outlook on life. Stress affects mood that can lead to depression and since meditation reduces stress it in turn reduces depression.
A study that followed 18 volunteers while they practiced meditation over 3 years showed that they had a long-term decrease in depression. One study where they watched the electrical activity between the brains of people who practiced meditation were able to measure changes in the brain relating to positive thinking and optimism.
4. Helps You Become More Self Aware
Most forms of meditation help you to develop a strong understanding of yourself and it has been proven to help you become a better version of yourself. If you do self-inquiry meditation it helps you to develop a better understanding of who you are. Some forms of meditation can help you see if you are harmful to yourself or self-defeating. When you gain greater awareness of yourself, you can start moving towards a more constructive path.
A studying following 21 women with breast cancer found out that when they took part in tai chi, their self-esteem improved. In another study a group of 40 men and women took part in meditation which reduced their feelings of loneliness.
5. Improves Sleep
Many people in this modern age struggle with getting a good night’s rest and at least half of the population struggles with some type of insomnia in their life. Doing meditation can help you control and change your thoughts so you can get a good night’s rest. It also helps relax our body, putting you in a peaceful state where it will be easier for you to fall asleep.
One study compared two meditation programs, one group would practice meditation while the other group wouldn’t. The meditation group was able to fall asleep sooner and stay asleep for longer while the control group struggled to fall asleep.
6. Increases Your Happiness
As mentioned above, meditation reduces depression which in turn creates a happier outlook on life. Meditation increases self-awareness and self-acceptance which contribute to greater happiness because if you feel good about yourself, you will feel happier.
Studies have been done where they watch the brain signals and when you meditate it showed that the left hemisphere’s prefrontal cortex was active. The left hemisphere of the prefrontal cortex is responsible for positive emotions The activity in the right hemisphere was also decreased which is commonly associated with negative emotion.
7. Encourages a Healthy Lifestyle
Since Meditation helps you will with self-awareness, you will be more in tune with yourself. You will be more sensitive to what you eat, this in turn will assist in making better life choices, which will lead to a better lifestyle, and a more enjoyable life in all areas.
There are reports of people that have stopped smoking and drinking alcohol because they started meditating. Additionally lots of people have switched to eating more fresh foods instead of processed foods adding life to their years and years to their life.