Meditation has been around for thousands of years. It’s often seen as a spiritual practice, so it can be difficult to think of it as something with proven, scientific benefits. But the reality is, meditation isn’t just about connecting with and healing your soul! Meditation has real, physical effects on your mind and body. While there is still a lot of research to do on meditation, here’s a little more about the impact it can have on your health:
Number 1 – Fights Stress
Stress can occur anywhere, even in a non-stressful situation, usually leading to panic attacks or wrong decision making. When you feel stress, you have a physiological reaction, which can negatively impact your health over the long term. Stress can cause headaches, aches and pains, anxiety, depression and a number of other physical symptoms. Giving your body a break from the physical effects of stress can help alleviate physical symptoms aggravated by stress.
Number 2 – Boosts Immunity
This is one of the most surprising health benefits of meditation. Stress and anxiety wreak havoc on your immune system, leaving you susceptible to all kinds of bacteria and viruses – particularly during the winter. Developing a regular meditation practice, reduces the amount of stress-related chemicals in your body. It also leaves you less likely to turn to unhealthy coping strategies to deal with the stress.
Number 3 – Improves Self-Acceptance
When you meditate, you become more aware of and more capable of controlling your thoughts. A key part of meditation revolves around noticing your thoughts without judging them or getting caught up in their stories or meanings. This helps you to develop a different perspective on your internal dialogue, develop a greater understanding of yourself, and practice noticing your thoughts and feelings without attaching meaning or judgment to them.
Number 4 – Improves Your Relationships
Meditation can help improve your relationships in two ways: First, it provides you with time to reconnect with yourself. The more relaxed, grounded and self-accepting you are, the more you are able to be your best with other people. Second, meditation also helps develop your awareness of the stories you might hold around your relationships. In addition to noticing thoughts and feelings about yourself, meditation provides you with the opportunity to see stories you have about others, from a different perspective as well.
Number 5 – Improves Self-Confidence
Your self-confidence is built on the stories you have about yourself. And just as meditation helps you develop self-acceptance, it also works to build your self-esteem. When negative thoughts or feelings about yourself come up during meditation, you practice noticing them in the moment. Over time, this leaves you better able to handle negative internal dialogue outside of meditation.
Number 6 – Gives Your Brain a Boost
Meditation has a huge impact on your physical health, but it can also give you a mental boost by actually helping improve your brain. Studies have shown that regular meditation can help improve your ability to process information. It can also help with focus and memory.
Number 7 – Improves Creativity
Creative blocks are caused by a number of internal and external factors. Whatever the cause, the result is usually that you get stuck in certain thought patterns, and are unable to move past them. When you’re struggling to break through one of these blocks, taking time to meditate is like hitting the reset button. When you step away from these patterns, you also step out of them, making it easier to move past them.
Number 8 – Relieves Pain
Meditation is highly recommended by experts to those suffering from a chronic pain. With meditation, you come to peace with your mind, as well as your body, allowing the process of healing to happen faster than normal.
Number 9 – Improves Concentration
Concentration is required to complete any task at hand with grace. Be it a student or a professional, concentration is a key factor to success. Meditation is essentially a practice in concentration! Once you learn to concentrate on your breath, notice when you get caught up in thoughts, and return your concentration to your breath, you can translate that skill into any number of settings you choose. Through regular meditation, you also get used to shifting your attention back to the task at hand when it strays.
Number 10 – Helps With Blood Pressure
The majority of people who start practicing meditation regularly, can actually lower their blood pressure so much, that they are able to stop taking blood pressure medication altogether. This is because meditation helps promote relaxation and helps improve circulation. When this happens, the blood vessels open up and improve blood flow, therefore decreasing blood pressure. It is a natural and effective way to help alleviate a very serious condition.
Number 11 – Helps With Addiction
Those who have serious addictions, substance abuse problems and who abuse alcohol can see great effects on their road to recovery with regular meditation. Stress is one of the main factors that causes people struggling with addiction to give into their demons. Regular meditation helps combat stress, and the chain reaction can help get better control over addiction issues.
Number 12 – Feel More Complete
The power of spending even a few minutes a day connecting with your body and your mind is not to be underestimated. Doing so, produces this innate sense of well-being that could be described as oneness, stability, or self-connection. In a world where most of our time is spent focusing on external activities, taking even a few minutes to reconnect with our internal feelings and sensations can change our experiences in life. You might feel that you’re too busy for something like meditation. But studies suggest that people with jam-packed schedules stand to benefit most from meditation! The great thing is that you can meditate for as little as 5-10 minutes a day, and still receive many of the amazing benefits that meditation offers.