Today, we’re talking about the benefits of meditation, what meditation is and just how you can begin to adopt this practice into your life.
What is meditation?
Meditation is a practice that includes techniques to help transform the mind.
Meditation is a term that refers to a variety of different practices including techniques that are designed to develop your emotions, improve your focus and energy, as well as encourage relaxation.
It’s a practice that is a big part of tradition for some religions, including Buddhism.
There are various postures which meditation can be done in, but we’ll get to that later on in the article, after we’ve gone through the benefits in detail.
Why should you meditate?
Over the years, there have been so many benefits of meditation proven! A lot more than you’d think, and certainly a lot more than the most common benefits featured in this article.
Not only does meditation help benefit your health; but it also improves your mind and helps you develop your emotions. We’ll go into further detail on this shortly.
10 Proven Health Benefits of Meditation
So what are the benefits of meditation, and how can you start experiencing them? Take a look below where we go into detail, and discuss 10 proven benefits of meditating every day.
1. Mediation Improves Your Ability to Focus
Those who practice meditation regularly are likely to see an improvement in their ability to focus. A study in the Journal of Science showed a shift in brain patterns, which leads to an increase in focus and brain performance.
The study compared a group of volunteers who had been meditating every day for 3 years, with that who had never meditated.
The results of the brain scans showed that those who meditated had much more stability with their thoughts, and their mind wandered a lot less.
2. Meditation Reduces Blood Pressure
As meditation is made up of many different techniques, there’s one that has been proven to be great for reducing blood pressure.
Your blood pressure is reduced due to meditation helping you to relax and improve your stress levels. Two of the most common symptoms of high blood pressure are increase in stress.
3. Meditation Reduces Stress & Anxiety
As I mentioned above, meditating can lead to a reduction in blood pressure levels, due to improved stress levels.
For many years now, it has been proven that just 20 minutes of meditation a day can lower your body’s levels of the stress hormone cortisone.
4. Meditation Can Help Reduce Alcohol Abuse
So, how does meditation help you cut alcohol and substance addiction?
In essence, everything you see with meditation is a chain reaction. The facts that your stress levels are lowered, indirectly affects your want to drink.
Stress is one of the main causes of alcohol and substance abuse, so less stress, less chance of addiction.
In addition to this, meditation helps us improve our attention span and concentration, which aids us in forgetting the thoughts various cravings.
5. Meditation May Help You Live Longer
It’s been concluded that meditation may just help increase your life span.
How does it work?
In various experiments, meditation has been shown to increase the length of our telomeres. The telomeres lie on the end of our chromosomes, protecting our DNA from degeneration.
As we grow older, our telomeres are worn down and our DNA loses its ability to replicate. As this happens, our bodies weaken and age.
Increasing the length of our telomeres could potentially help protect our DNA for longer, resulting in an increased life span.
6. Meditation Gives You Mental Strength & Resilience
Meditation is an excellent technique for improving your mental strength and toughness.
Through reduced stress, improved relaxation and improved focus, your mind becomes healthier and stronger. Therefore you become more resilient and and able to concentrate on the things most important to you.
7. Meditation Decreases Feelings of Loneliness
A study conducted several years ago; showed that when a group of 40 people between ages 55 and 85 took up the practices of meditation, the average survey results indicated lower levels of loneliness.
The group was required to practice mindfulness techniques for 30 minutes a day, and attend group sessions and meetings.
8. Meditation Helps Fight Depression
In the same way that meditation helps fight stress, and promotes relaxation. These feelings transcend through to helping fight depression in adults.
A positive and healthy mind helps combat any feelings of depression that might be brought on by worrying thoughts, stress, and other factors that mindfulness techniques can help control.
9. Meditation Improves Your Vigilance
Meditation can actually help to improve your psycho-motor vigilance, and improve your awareness to help you respond more quickly.
Check out this study where this hypothesis was proven, an also meditation’s ability to decrease one’s need for sleep.
10. Meditation Improves Your Ability to Process Information
Meditation can improve our brain’s ability to process information. Take a look below at an image showing the brain’s activity before meditation, in comparison to the brain’s activity after meditation.
How Do You Meditate Properly?
Now that we’ve spoken about the various health benefits of mediation, it’s time to understand how you can actually begin to practice meditation.
Meditation has become a very important practice, especially in this day in age where levels of stress, depression, anger and such are higher than ever.
Here are a few of the basic steps on how to meditate for beginners. We encourage you to try these out everyday for at least one month, and see just how much of a difference it makes to your life.
1. Think about what your meditation goals are
Before you begin meditation, think about what you’d actually like to achieve from it. Now that you’ve seen what the possibilities are.
What would most like to happen from spending 20 minutes a day practicing this technique?
2. Find an area where you won’t be distracted
It’s crucial to find a room where you won’t be distracted. Pick a room that feels comfortable for you, but also quiet, so that your mind won’t be tempted to wander.
For example, a room that loud and can have distractions like phones, T.V’s, other people and so on is not a good room to use for meditation.
3. Make sure you’re comfortable
Sit on a comfortable cushion, and keep your legs and arms in a position that’s comfortable for you. In most pictures or videos, you’ll see people sitting with their legs crossed and their hands at their knees.
This isn’t necessary. Just sit how you feel most comfortable.
4. Sit upright with a straight back
Sitting upright helps to concentrate on your breathing, and so is the perfect position for practicing the breathing techniques of meditation.
5. Close your eyes and breath through your nose
Be sure to inhale and exhale through your nose at a relaxed pace. That’s the important part.
6. Focus on your breathing
Meditation is all about focusing on your breathing. To think about only the inhaling and exhaling of your breath.
Don’t think about all the other things going on in your life. Just focus on breathing in, and breathing out. Relax.
7. Try not to let your mind wander
If you start to find your mind wandering, then go back to focusing on your breathing. This is one of the hardest things to do when meditating. It can be so easy for your mind to wander, no matter how experienced you may be at practicing the techniques.
We’re coming towards the end of the article, so let’s quickly recap in short the different proven health benefits of meditation once again:
- Improves your ability to focus
- Reduces blood pressure
- Reduces stress & anxiety
- Can help reduce alcohol abuse
- May help you live longer
- Gives you mental strength & resilience
- Decreases feelings of loneliness
- Helps fight depression
- Improves your vigilance
- Improves your ability to process information
The steps to start meditating for beginners:
- Think about what your meditation goals are
- Find an area where you won’t be distracted
- Make sure you’re comfortable
- Sit upright with a straight back
- Close your eyes and breath through your nose
- Focus on your breathing
- Try not to let your mind wander
What’s the conclusion?
There are far too many benefits of meditation for people to not take advantage of it. A lot of people say they don’t have time to meditate. However, these are the people who are normally the ones needing to practice it the most.
If you really want to improve your overall health, and keep a clear and focused mind, then meditation is a must.
For anyone looking to develop a successful mindset for wealth and happiness, try meditating!
Do you meditate? Join the conversation and tell us the benefits of meditation you’ve experienced. Leave a comment below.